Sometimes we know the cause, sometimes not. Today, not. Janey screams, loudly. I go over and hold her hands, as sometimes when this starts, the hands get angry---they throw things, rip things up, toss food. She is angry to have her hands held, and jumps up and down screaming, and looking at me in utter anger. She bars her teeth, she yells, she is a picture of fury. I stay calm, which is tougher than most anything I've done, but it does no good for both of us to get out of control. I say the words that sometimes work "You are very angry. You have angry feelings, and sad feelings, and mad feelings, and scared feelings". She likes the list of feelings, and screams after me "I have angry feelings!" but it doesn't calm her down. I work to outlast her, to talk calmly as long as I can. She finally, finally gets tried of the endless pounding of her feet. She moves away as I let go of her hands, and goes to the fridge. I watch as she easily opens the bungie cord we have used for a few years to keep her from taking out food and tossing it. She gets out a containor of cocktail sauce, and goes to get a spoon, and hands it to me. I saw the line I am sure she's as bored of as I am "We don't eat that all by itself". She is furious. I put it back, offer her many alternative foods, but that is just an insult to her. Finally she accepts "Cheese cutter", her term for a slice of the big block of cheddar we always have ready. She eats it, and I draw a full breath finally.
It was a good Christmas and New Years. Janey had one of her longest happy stretches ever, and it was much appreciated. It ended last week, and this weekend wasn't fun. I hope it's a short stretch this time around. I see progress in so many ways, but other ways, none at all. She understands what we say more, but that often just leads to her being angry. She knows now what we mean when we say "no more videos" or "you don't need any more chips" and she doesn't like the meanings. She likes school, and after school, and realizes on the two days she doesn't have after school that we are somehow cheating her, and is angry all the way home. She is angry a lot of the time, at a world she is starting to understand is full of "no"s. But she is happy at times too, and when her requests are something we can give her, her smile is an incredible treat.
Happy New Year!