I wish I could say Janey was doing better today with her crying, but she isn't. She's had a few okay moments, but in general, she's cried all day. We have no idea what is going on, and it's scary. I don't think she's sick, but we finally gave her some Tylenol in case, as I asked her where it hurt and she pointed a few different places. I think something sets her off, and then it feeds on itself---she's crying because she's been crying. If this goes on much longer, I don't know how we will handle it, or how she will.
We tried today---we took her out early to the thrift store she usually loves. She was okay in the car, and part of the time in the store, but then there was a little boy crying and that set her off crying too. Tony noted how their behavior was almost identical, although he was probably about 18 months old. They talked about the same amount, and their cries sounded the same. She cried a good deal of the ride home, and since then, it pretty much hasn't stopped.
Tony took the kids to the free flu shot clinic at the community center, as Boston has declared a flu emergency. He was prepared to leave if Janey couldn't take it, or they couldn't take her, although we did want her to get a flu shot, but it's most vital for Freddy, who has pretty significant asthma and some other health issues. Janey did start to scream her hysterical scream the minute they walked in, but for once it helped out. It was very obvious to the workers there that she had some major special needs, and they let Tony and the kids go to the front of the line. I always feel funny about anything that feels like special treatment, but there was no way she would have stood the hour or so the line would have taken, so it was what it took to get her a shot. Then Tony took the kids to a local chicken place to get take-out, but Janey was too hysterical and he had to leave and walk home with her, leaving Freddy to have to pay with his limited cash for the order they had already put in. We payed him back, of course, but it's just one more example of the siblings being affected and shortchanged by the screaming.
A minute ago, Tony called me from the car. He had taken Janey with him to take Freddy to a friend's house (which I am sure will be an extremely welcome time of respite for Fred) and he was talking to Freddy about how we are handling the crying. He said "We are having to divide and conquer to handle it" Then something amazing happened---Janey through her tears said very plainly, right away "Why does conquer mean, Daddy?" She has NEVER asked what anything meant before. She has extremely, extremely rarely ever asked a question for information, just asked for physical items. Tony and Freddy were both shocked. So maybe, maybe, she is undergoing some kind of mental leap, which is causing her anguish. We can hope it's something like that, but if it makes her this sad, I question whether it's even worth it. Would I trade her being a little bit more aware for being a lot less happy? I don't think so, although that might be hugely paternalistic of me.
It's been a rough weekend, and it's not even half way through. I am appealing to whatever deity still will give me a chance with my limited faith to help us here. Mostly, to help Janey, and ease whatever this horrible mental pain she's having is.