This entry is for my son Freddy. He recently read a lot of this blog, and had two main comments---"It's all about autism!" and "It's very depressing!". Well, I am not going to do much about the first one---it's an autism blog, not a diary, and besides, all the topics that fill my high school and college diaries are kind of useless when you've been married a long time----boys I like, boys other girls like, girls I hate because boys I like like them instead of me, boys I used to like but now hate but actually secretly still like----you get the picture. No longer appropriate. But I can try to temper the depressive nature of my writing a little. So here's some good tidbits followed by depressing tidbits, and a promise to end on a good one!
Good----Janey is singing more again. The school reported she learned a new song one day and sang it all day, and she is singing songs she heard a long, long time ago back---"Mr. Lonely", "The Pokemon Theme", "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", "Who Let the Dogs Out?"---she might not have perfect taste, but she has perfect song recall.
Depressing----I am tired of the smell of urine. Janey is wearing underwear most of the time, not because she is trained, but because she only pees 1-2 times a day, and when she does, it soaks through any pull-up type diaper known to man, so underwear is cheaper and more comfortable for her. But every laundry load reeks of urine.
Good---I am feeling grateful for Janey being able to jump, skip, run, climb and overall be quite fit physically. She didn't walk until she was two, and there was a day we didn't know if she'd ever walk. I need to always remember how great it is that she can.
Depressing---Janey doesn't seem to be greeting people or saying hi to them or their names as much as she was at the beginning of the school year. For a while, I didn't have to be her voice when people said "hi". She seems back in her own world a bit more of the time.
Good---Janey eats so well! We went to a Korean buffet, and the server commented on how amazing it was that Janey ate things almost no kids her age will eat---lots of onions, carrots, spicy meat, lettuce, seafood---pretty much everything. She goes crazy at Indian buffets, too. I don't worry about her diet, and that was not the case with her brothers.
Depressing---Progress reports from school about her academics are so nice and cheerful, but the actual accomplishments don't change from year to year---Janey knows the letter A sometimes, can kind of trace circles and write lines, can count but not actually count things, can sometimes tell what her name is if she has two choices and one of them is a name that doesn't start with J---all the same from year to year pretty much, not for lack of good teaching or therapy, but because it just seems very hard for her to learn. I especially don't understand why she has so much trouble drawing or writing. She is good with her hands, goodness knows---she can open anything she wants opened---but she can't seem to write with a pencil well at all.
Good---Janey is happy much more of the time than a year ago. She is a cheerful girl. This week her older brother William is away, so I have to wake her up when I take Freddy to his bus and put her in the car half asleep. She never cries or complains as I bet a lot of kids would---she accepts the change in routine with good nature. Little things delight her, and she just seems to enjoy life much more of the time than she did.
Depressing---sometimes Janey laughs for hours for no reason. That bothers me almost more than the crying. It seems more insane, to be frank. It's like there's a joke she only can hear.
Good---Janey is noticing the cats for about the first time ever, and actually played a little with Polly, pulling a string for her.
Depressing---Janey rarely has any interest in toys, except ones with buttons that make a sound.
And here's the promised good ending....I was away for a night with a friend, and when I got back, Janey hugged me and said "You're my favorite person!" A quote from a Mary Poppins song, but she could have chosen any of hundreds of quotes for that moment, and she chose that one. I will remember that always. Janey, you and your brothers are MY favorite people!