Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Christmas and Beyond Report

We're in that strange week, the one between Christmas and New Years.  Tony has the week off---he usually takes this week off, and the boys are both home, and it feels like an in-between time, a neither here nor there time.  That isn't always easy for Janey or kids like her.  So, how it is going?

Attempting to interest Janey in a present.  The cat is about as interested as she is.
Not badly, really.  Compared to other years, it's going quite well.  Christmas itself was a nice day.  It was nice in that Janey didn't cry, didn't melt down, didn't have any fits.  She also didn't really participate in anything Christmasy, but we can handle that.  She wouldn't take things out of her stocking, wouldn't open the few presents we had for her, and wasn't interested in them once we opened them.  I think we were all okay with that, though.  The boys liked their presents and we all had a good day.  I wish it was more of a special day for Janey, but that's not a huge deal.

This week, Janey is also doing fairly well.  She's going for many, many rides in the car, her preferred form of entertainment, and she's doing a lot of cruising YouTube Kids.  She's been somewhat tired out, and has been napping some, which is not her usual routine.  Overall, she's been mellow, and somewhat withdrawn.  Her talking has been at a low point for a while now, and that isn't changing.  She isn't saying much beyond the routine phrases asking for a car ride, soup (boiled kale) or salami, or help putting on a particular TV show.

I wonder sometimes if we are settling into the next phase of life with Janey.  It's a lot easier in many ways than it used to be.  The worst of Janey's rage and intensity seem to be gone for now.  However, along with that, she seems slowed down.  She isn't learning new things, or saying new things, or making leaps forward.  Progress with Janey was always slow, and often ebbed and flowed, but this feels different.

Janey with her brothers and our friend at our annual Christmas get-together
Maybe I need to think about this differently.  We can do a bit more with Janey now than we used to be able to, and this could be an opportunity for her to experience new things.  For example, our traditional Christmas Eve at our friend's house was cancelled due to their illness, so we went instead on Sunday afternoon.  Usually, Janey falls asleep early in the evening, but since this was afternoon, she was awake the whole time we were there, for about four hours.  At times, it would have been inconceivable to think of spending that long someplace other than home as a family, but although we did need to take Janey for a little car ride and a few walks, she handled being there all that time without meltdowns or screaming.

Things could change on a dime.  Janey could go back to the tougher times, or stay calmer but get more responsive and talkative.  For now, though, I've been thinking a lot about times people told me it would get easier.  I doubted they were right.  I didn't think it ever would.  But for now, it has, and I hope I can say to others that might be having very hard times right now---it truly does get easier.  I can say that from the perspective of someone who knows absolutely how tough the tough times can be.  Hold on.  Hang in there.

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