Last Friday was a very tough day. Janey got home from summer school about 3. She had had some tough times all week after school. I spent a lot of the day Friday while she was at school trying to think of strategies to help the couple hours between when she gets home and when Daddy gets home be happier ones for her. I planned out a list of things we could do, depending on what she wanted---lots of snuggling, watching videos together, having a shower, playing outside, eating, reading---whatever she wanted. I planned to be totally at her disposal, or to just let her rest, if that is what she wanted. I was determined it would be a good afternoon. Well, she got off the bus crying, and things deteriorated from there. She wanted to do nothing I had planned. She wanted to scream. Between screams, she wanted to SAY she wanted something, like a drink, a snuggle, a shower, time outside, and then as soon as I tried to do that thing with her, she wanted to scream some more, and bite her arm, and fling herself down on her bed, and be hysterical. I was tired out of my mind after half an hour or so. In frustration, I finally yelled out "I can't take this any more!" That stopped her cold---she seemed interested in the phrase, one I don't think I've ever said to her before. I really don't like saying things like that to her, ever. She took it up herself, and started adding it into her screams---a good long scream, and then "I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANY MORE!" Which I bet she couldn't. I finally just kind of gave up---I let her scream it out, while of course keeping a close eye on her to make sure she didn't hurt herself or try to leave the house or anything. Tony got home, and she instantly dried her tears and hugged him. I felt about 2 feet tall.
So....I wasn't much looking forward to how the day would go Saturday. However, somehow, by some twist of fate or miracle, both Saturday and Sunday were amazing. It was probably the best weekend we've ever had with Janey. Ever. She was extremely happy, extremely engaged, full of hugs, saying all kinds of cool and relevant things, a joy beyond words. I have no idea why, any more than I have any idea why Friday afternoon was so awful. I've been trying very hard lately to live in the moment--to not spend the bad moments projecting into the future, to not spend the good moments worrying they won't last---to just accept each moment as it comes. I've got a long way to go with that, and I am sure I did spend too much of the weekend trying to record in my mind just what circumstances had led to things being so good. However, I don't think it was anything in particular. It was as random as any mood of Janey's. But it was wonderful. We drove her brother to work both days, and she piped up in the car with comments here and there "Maybe we are lost!" "Pepperoni Pizza!", and with songs and just happy, non-manic laughter. We got her some pizza, and she sang "Staying Alive" to the cashier and charmed her. We went into the Target and tried on hats and glasses and necklaces. We went to the arboretum near us and looked at trees. We snuggled a lot, watched some TV, ate a lot, all the glow of her wonderful mood. At one point, in the car, Tony and I said to each other that when she is in that kind of mood, there is no child on earth more wonderful. I remarked that if she was ALWAYS in that good a mood, we probably would be used to it. It wouldn't seem as wondrous. And we both got teary-eyed, thinking of that.
So...Monday was okay. Not as happy a day, but okay. And then today---after school, it was another Friday. So much screaming and crying and arm biting. It was hot, and I offered to fill the wading pool. Janey wanted to, but as soon as we got back there, the ear-shattering screaming started. For a few minutes, I still tried to fill the pool. But I couldn't for long. Her screaming is loud enough to be heard a block away. It sounds like she's being tortured. I turned off the water and took her in, where she continued to scream pretty much until Daddy got home, and this time, even Daddy couldn't fit it. She screamed off and on all evening.
Now she is asleep, and I am weary but unable to sleep. I wish so much I understood my little girl better. I wish I could figure out how to give her more happy days. Seeing how very, very happy she can be, it sometimes makes it almost harder, because I feel like there must be a key someplace. There must be a way to pry open the door to the happiness that seems to snap shut suddenly and randomly. But I don't know how. And she can't tell me.