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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One of those days

Yesterday was most certainly one of those days. It was one of the longest days I've had with Janey. She started the day off with a diaper incident, which required a huge cleaning job. Then assorted battles over keeping her clothes on, keeping her out of the fridge, keeping her from creating her own interesting food combinations like ketchup on grapes, keeping her for another new hobby of eating cardboard and paper---you know, lots of your basic fun. Then another diaper incident. By that point we'd had two baths. We kept things lively with a third diaper incident shortly after that, followed by another bath, at which point I bribed William with an offer of take-out for dinner to watch her for an hour because I'd been up since 4 and needed a nap. Then back up, at wit's end, took her outside to play with water for a while, which would have been fun had it not started pouring at that point. We stayed outside for a while in that, but finally it was too much water fun even for us. Back in, Tony got home around 5 and thank goodness took her out for a while as he got William school supplies. He came home with the promised take-out, and we settled down for a fun family night of watching our DVD set of "The Middle", a show we are all enjoying, that is, except Janey. She decided in the middle of it she wanted to watch Hello Kitty. We almost always give in, because once she decides something like that, it's no fun to keep watching what you are watching anyway. But we were all tired, and in need of humor, and decided to just say no. Well, she didn't take to that well. She first just threw quite a few standard fits---screaming as loud as possible, getting in our faces with barred teeth, etc. We resisted. Then she went for the DVD player. I was surprised she realized what we were watching was a DVD---that smart girl. And surprised she knew which was the eject button. She ejected the DVD, and SHE was surprised when we put it right back in and found our place and kept watching. She decided to go raid the fridge, which was bungee corded shut and she couldn't open it, so she contented herself with opening it the inch that she could, and slamming it back shut, for about 10 minutes. We had put the DVD on such a loud setting that we were still able to hear through all this. When she got tired of banging, she went back to screaming, at one point hollering "THIS IS NO FUN AT ALL!" which is a line from The Cat in the Hat. Finally, the show was over. We put on her Hello Kitty, which of course she had no real interest in. And that was that.

It made me realize how rarely we completely say no to her. It just isn't worth the bother, most of the time. There are so few things she knows how to ask for, and we have so many things that we can do for entertainment, that it seems fair to usually let her have the ones she can ask for, and we just do something else. But this time, we all very much needed some family laughter, and we just decided, without discussion, that we were going to get it. Was it worth it? Probably not. I can't say we got much out of that last episode we watched. But I have two children besides Janey. Sometimes, I think it's important for them to see they can get their way, too. 99 times out of 100, they are giving it to Janey, because they are older and they are not autistic. But they are still kids, for a while more, and this time, it was their turn, and our turn. And I wish life wasn't like this most all the time in our house. I'm worn out. I'm more than worn out.


sara said...

This sounds so hard. People can have such an amazing endurance, and you sound like one of them. If I knew you in real life, I'd take you to lunch.


I'm sure that your life isn't the way you expected, but you sound like you're making the best of it. "Special" children demand a lot from those who love them, and it's that love that makes it all worthwhile. Your older kids do deserve to enjoy their lives, and you are wise to realize that. I have prayed for you in your journey with your family. Stay strong and have faith. You are also special.

Suzanne said...

I wish I knew you both in real life! I'd certainly take you put on that lunch offer, Sara.