Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Big Bag of Toys

Janey is continuing her current wonderful stretch of happiness, with a little more talking added in to the mix.  It's been fantastic.  I need to remember days like this when there are days way at the other end of the pendulum, that there are days when Janey is just amazingly sweet, happy, funny, cooperative, engaged...I need to savor every second of these days.

When looking for something in our cellar, I came across a huge bag of toys I had stored at some point.  I think I put them away when Janey was about 5, possibly during the awful, awful period of time she had then, when she cried for about 2 weeks on end.  My memory of that time is a little hazy, but I think I was trying to clear out the house to try to somehow make it better for Janey, and I decided to put away a lot of toys she had no interest in.  It was like a time capsule, almost---toys that Janey had liked at 2, but that by age 5 she ignored.  There were lots of Care Bears, assorted stuffed dogs, a Bitty Baby and a Cabbage Patch Doll.  It was hard looking at them all.  I remembered the boys gave her the Cabbage Patch Doll for her 2nd Christmas (with my help).  I bought the Bitty Baby actually for myself, actually, when I had realized I wasn't ever going to have a girl.  A month or so later, I was pregnant with Janey.  Janey loved dogs for her first few years more than anything, until she suddenly stopped noticing them, and then became extremely afraid of them.  And Care Bears?  There was a time when Janey knew their names, asked for them at stores, was a huge fan.

I decided to bring a few of the toys up, mainly the Bitty Baby and the Cabbage Patch Doll.  I had them waiting for Janey when she got home.  There wasn't any miracle---she didn't suddenly want to play dolls---but she looked at Bitty for a long time, especially her eyes.  And when I handed her Cabbage Patch, I wanted to think I saw a tiny bit of recognition in her face.  I asked her "What is the doll's name?" and she actually said "It's name is Til...." and then looked away.  I jumped on it---"Her name is Tilly?  Hi, Tilly!  Are you Janey's doll?  Let's play with Tilly!"  Janey humored me with a smile, and I had Tilly kiss her, I brushed Tilly's hair, we looked at her fingers and toes and belly button---I had fun.  Janey I don't think really cared, but she didn't actively try to stop me.

I think the dolls are going to stay around for a while.  I think I'm ready for it.  They don't make me as sad as they did for a while.  I know the long, long ago Janey that had an interest in them might not be coming back.  But the Janey I have now---well, if she doesn't want to play with dolls, it is okay.  She has her own things.  She loves to run and jump, she has varied and cool taste in music, she can run YouTube like a pro, and just this morning, when one of her classmates greeted her, she let go of my hand and went to hold her friend's hand, and smiled a huge smile.  Janey is becoming her own person.  Like any child, she is not always exactly the child I pictured.  I am not blinded to the reality that she is in many ways severely disabled, that she is not like other children in some very big ways, that her life will be affected hugely by her limitations.  But with all that being said, she is perfect at being Janey, and I love the Janey she is.

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