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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy and Janey

Sandy didn't hit us that hard here in Boston, although school was closed yesterday and it was certainly windy---probably the strongest wind I've ever personally felt, so I never want to feel hurricane force wind.  It didn't cause much physical damage, but Janey was not happy.

I've figured out a while ago that although Janey could never express it, she has a pretty strong sense of time.  Afterschool lasts until 5:30, but I pick her up at 5.  She doesn't mind if it gets stretched to 5:05, but if traffic is bad and I am any later than that, I am almost always greeted by her crying, and someone telling me it just started a few minutes before.  She knows when I should be there.  I wonder if she hears a nearby church bell that rings at 5, or if she's figured out the clocks, or if she just someone knows the time, as some people do.  She also has a very hard time with long weekend.  She knows the weekend should be two days.  The Mondays of long weekends are almost always teary days for her.  She can't explain it---she doesn't say "I should be in school" but she knows.

I am trying to be better about explaining things to Janey that I would think are beyond her understanding, just because we really don't know what she understands or not.  I didn't yesterday, in the excited confusion of a hurricane.  Janey was getting more and more upset.  She hadn't slept well, probably due to the wind, and she was at loose ends.  I finally did what I should have front the start, and said "we had no school today because of the hurricane. Do you hear all the wind making noise?  It's a storm, and it makes us have to stay home from school"  She didn't answer or look like she was listening, of course, but she seemed more settled after that.

Today school is back in session, which was a questionable decision.  Freddy had trouble getting a train to school, as they were running so late, and my niece who teaches reported her room was flooded.  But I'm still glad there's school (although no work for Tony, which does make you wonder how concerned about children the powers that be really are).  I don't think Janey would do well at all with another day off.  So much in the world is beyond her understanding that I think she clings to patterns she has figured out, and when they are upset, she is upset.


Sophie's Trains said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophie's Trains said...

I'm always amazed how alike our daughters are. Sophie knows our daily routine and we tend to do things at predictable times. Yesterday my husband was home and we decided to go to a thrift store to look for some costumes while the older kids were in school. Well she was just miserable, fighting us as we tried to get her dressed, we couldnt figure it out. Finally it dawned on me "she's upset because she doesn't know where we are going!". So I got down, grabbed her shoulders and said "we are going to get in our van and drive to a store. We will do some shopping and come back home". She calmed right down and was happy! I think they really don't like not to know what is happening and why their routine changed

Suzanne said...

That is really something. That's EXACTLY what we finally learned to do with Janey---give her a little summary of where we were going and what we were going to do. It took us years to figure that out, though---you are way ahead of the curve. And you sound a lot like me as well as Sophie sounding like Janey---today Tony didn't have work but the kids had school, and guess where we went---of course, a thrift store! My favorite place in the world to go, especially without any kids.

Sophie's Trains said...

That's amazing :)

audball said...

Glad to hear you're safe, Suzanne…I have a cousin in NYC and it was pretty scary. He has twin girls, so he and his wife were up most of the night comforting them :(…

Do you think Janey would benefit from a social story about your sometimes being late? I know it would be a rarity, but maybe it would be comforting for her to read the story? We had a wonderful OT that used to laminate social stories in book form. We had one for Disneyland (particularly waiting in line and going on the plane), for making friends, etc. I think just looking at the pages was something my DD liked to do.

I also forgot, until my daughter reminded me, that the rain can sometimes cause pressure changes for sensitive little ears. That can ramp up anxiety and sadness too.

Changes in schedule and weather are never fun :(

Sabrina Steyling said...

We got slammed in my town in northern NJ, although at my house we have no electric but we do have water. My co-worker is about 2 hours away from me and she's got no water or electric. There are downed trees everywhere, traffic lights not working, etc. And our boardwalks at the Jersey shore - well, forget it. They're pretty much gone.

Glad you guys made out okay, and I hope Janey gets back on track. Hugs!

Suzanne said...

Scary stuff, Sabrina! I saw your power back on estimate on Facebook just now---wow. I'm so glad you are okay even if your power isn't.

The idea about the social story is very good! I'm going to try that. And that's also a great point about the pressure changes. All of us had headaches on Monday, and I bet Janey is included there, although she couldn't tell us. It has an effect on the whole body. We are so lucky here it wasn't worse. I am thinking of those on you in NY and NJ all the time.