Janey has been in a good mood for a week and a half now, knock on wood. It started when she went back to school after vacation, and it's been great. She's cried very little and has just seemed to enjoy life a lot. As I've said before, when she is happy, it all seems very manageable.
A friend asked me if she's been talking a lot since she's been in the happy mood. That was a good question, as that's sometimes the case, but not this time. I think often when she talks the most is when she's feeling a little manic. This is more of a calm happy. I do think this is when she learns the most, though. She is calm enough and receptive enough to be taking everything in, although she might not show what she's learned.
The last few rides home from school have been so nice. Two nights ago, Janey said "Do you want to go to the CVS chips store?" which of course means "I want to get chips at the CVS" She rarely talks to me at all on the way home, and I love it when she does. She also asks at the right time, before we are passed the store. She's always very aware of where we are in our drive, which is not the case with her older brother Freddy! I asked "Do you want Pringle chips or Dorito chips?" and she answered right away "Pringle Chips!". However, at the store she saw the Doritos first and changed her mind. I reminded her we don't eat the chips until we are in the car, and she was such a good waiting girl, even when we were in a long line with all kinds of people in front of us that seemed to be using ATMs to pay for the first time in their life. I just felt so proud of her behavior and happy to be having fun with her, getting her a treat.
Last night she thought she'd try again and asked again for a chips stop. I thought that was probably a bit much, so I suggested a stop for ice cream. She didn't answer right away, and I asked "Strawberry Ice Cream YES, or Strawberry Ice Cream NO?" That sometimes works, not often, but after about two minutes I heard her pipe up "Strawberry Ice Cream YES!" She was such a delight getting the ice cream, so excited and happy and well behaved. I had her tell the owner what she wanted, and she said "ice cream!" She ate the bowl completely.
So, among the days that are tough, there are good days. I love it when Janey and I can just have fun together. On days like that, I truly am not a bit bothered by her delays, or by her general autism. It's funny---before you have kids, there's the classic thing that you say "As long as they are healthy" which I think usually really means "as long as they are normal, as long as they are intelligent, as long as they aren't slow" And when you are given a child that isn't those things, you change. You see people getting worked up over their child having trouble with algebra, or not making some special team, or not being on track for a top college, and it just seems...well, silly. And I don't like to say things like that, as I do understand those feelings. But on the other hand, Janey makes me see that just a happy day getting a treat can be all you'd ever want being a parent to be.