After I posted last, about Joe-Henry going through a tough transition and my inability to help him, he decided to give me a hand. He didn't automatically change his behavior or anything, but he basically told me to open my parenting tool kit and try something else.
When he was around three, he used to take so long eating his meals that I would despair of him ever doing anything anywhere but the dining room table. Somehow I came up with the "Whatever you do" game, where I would say "Whatever you do, Joe-Henry, DO NOT eat two bites of dinner, or I might just explode!" He would eat two bites and then laugh hysterically while I "acted" angry. It worked great and eventually he started to eat on his own, without being prompted so much.
The other night, after basically begging him to get through dinner, he finally turned to me and said "Mom, can we play the 'Whatever You Do' game?" We did and he finished dinner, as well as got himself through the bath, dressed for bed with his teeth brushed and it was the smoothest night time transition we've had in a long time. He got what he needed and I got what I needed.
Lessons learned around here are more often than not taught by the Master. And the Master is not me.