Janey is not enjoying this 3rd snow day and 5th day off in a row from school. She is very much not enjoying it, to the extent she has spent a huge portion of the day screaming at the top of her lungs. This is despite my decision to put every ounce of energy into engaging her and keeping her happy all day, after yesterday being a bit hellish. That is not working. Right now I begged Freddy to take her upstairs to my brother-in-law's apartment for 15 minutes, so I didn't go insane.
I did keep her happy for minutes here and there. We played a game where she picked if I hugged her, kissed her, or said what I call "nice words" to her, and she had to pick a finger out of three to show me which she wanted. She caught on right away, and got lots of hugs and nice words. Later, we did workbooks. I decided to try just doing the workbooks myself and having her observe, and talking constantly about what I was doing. It worked much better than trying to get her to do them, and I gave her a marker to hold and at times, she jumped in and did parts of them. Someone mentioned here about error-free learning, and I haven't researched it yet, but that is what I was thinking of them. Janey learns so much from videos, and I figure me doing something live might teach her even more. It kept us sane for a while, anyway. I'm pretty good at preschool workbooks, if I do say so myself.
Overall, though, it has been a day of screaming. At one point, she was screaming "I can't take this any more!" which was heartbreaking to hear, although I think it was delayed echolalia she possibly could have heard from me, which is not something I felt proud of. But there does come a point of just not being able to take it. Thankfully, I have Tony and I have the boys. And usually, I have school. Or I can take her someplace, which is not even very possible now with snowbanks covering even a lot of parking lots.
I feel like a failure after a day like today. I think about some of the blogs I read where mothers seem to have eternal patience with their autistic kids, and whose kids seem endearingly quirky instead of completely impossible to understand and comfort. Of course, Janey isn't always that way, but it's always a minute away from being that way. I wish I could video the screaming, but I worry that if anyone saw it, they would think I was a highly unsuitable mother for taping her instead of somehow helping her, and they would not realize I'd spent the last many hours trying desperately to get her happy, and that nothing I can do makes a bit of difference, and that I'd literally do anything that would make her happier, if I knew what it was.
My 15 minutes are probably almost over. Tomorrow will be better.