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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back and Forth

Janey's regression has backed off a little, but she's not back to what I would call "The Golden Month", September. She's been doing a lot more crying still, and just being unhappy. She seems to now have about one second's reserve of patience---she'll say "I want juice!" and then a second later---I WANT JUICE! I WANT JUICE!---and then the full-blown tears and tantrum. It can be tiring. But she's also doing some great talking and responding. On Thanksgiving she gave me a huge Thanksgiving treat. We were at a buffet meal and she said she wanted milk. None of the milk they had there seemed right, and she was starting to melt down when Tony remembered she'd had those little cups of cream for coffee there in the past. So I got her some, and she said, right away, unprompted "Thanks, Mama!" I cried. It was huge. Then I realized I might have mishead Mama and she might have actually said "Thanks, Arnold" which they say in a video, as the rest of the day she said that a lot, but who cares? The thanks was there. She is doing more of that answering. Sometimes when you ask her how she is, she says "Good!" This can be even if she's in the middle of crying. Or when I say something like "Let's get ready for school, okay?" she'll say "Okay!"

One of the things I've been realizing is how bored I think she gets. At school, she has pretty much one on one attention all the time, and if not, tons of kids around who are interested in her. At home, we do all we can to give her a ton of attention, but we have 2 other kids, housework, etc. There is very, very little that interests her on her own. I've tried every kind of toy I can think of, and none hold her interest. She likes videos sometimes, for a while, mostly Kipper, but that is not the way to spend all day. We try hard to include her in all we do, like having her "help" us wash dishes or do laundry, but that only goes so far. I think most 6 year olds can interest themselves in something for a little while---coloring, looking at books, playing dolls, etc, and most 6 year olds have friends they play with. Janey however needs us every minute. Add to that the fact she doesn't enjoy a lot of what we try to do with her (I'd sit all day reading books to her, or playing make-believe, but it just isn't for her), it makes it very hard to keep her happy all day. I'm so grateful for school.

We've had some very nice moments lately, though. One of Janey's favorite things in the world is Christmas music. She adores it. She welcomes all the old carols and songs back like old friends. I hold off until early November, but since then, it's all Christmas all the time. It's wonderful to hear her sing back a full carol, completely in tune and on beat, sometimes one she's only heard once this season. She did that with O Come All Ye Faithful. I've been making CDs of some of her favorite songs, all the same song on each CD but different versions. I do that so she doesn't get stuck on one song, but feels comfortable with the changes. She has strong tastes, which I am happy are usually like mine---she doesn't want things overly jazzed up. At the end of a song she particularlly likes, she will clap and scream in delight. I love that. I love it when I can share something with her on an equal level---it's amazing.

So it's a 50-50 thing. I think we are enjoying her more. She's developing more of a real personality, and finding her place in our family. However, we are also coming to terms with the fact it's never going to be easy. There is always going to be a struggle to keep her happy, she is not going to all of a sudden learn what a 6 year old usually knows, she is not going to suddenly get "unlocked" and be "normal". Not that I really thought that, but God knows I dream of it.

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