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Monday, September 29, 2014

Randomly selected moments with Janey

Of course I probably can't really be random with my selections, but I thought I'd write about some everyday moments in life with Janey, just to try to capture who she is right now.

1.  We are all taking a ride to get Freddy things he needs for school.  There's a black car coming out of the parking lot near the police station.  We are trying to figure out if it's a police car or a limo.  Janey pipes in "It is a police car!"  We are all surprised and pleased, as it's quite rare for her to join in a conversation like that.

2.  Janey wakes me up in the middle of the night.  She lies down next to me, and I try to go back to sleep.  She says "You want to take a shower?"  I say no, not right now.  She asks a few more times, with the same answer.  Then she says "You want to see the shower curtain?"  I put up a new curtain, the day before, with owls on it.  Pleased that she noticed, I do get up so we can go see it.  She immediately takes over the whole bed.  I've been fooled again by her sneaky nighttime tricks.  I go to sleep in her bed, until she decided to switch beds again.

3.  Janey is watching "The Little Mermaid".  She's been asking for it all weekend, and we've been telling her she can't watch it because she pulled out the tape.  Finally, Tony decides to try to fix it, and is successful.  She is thrilled to see it, until the scene where Ariel's father yells at her.  When that comes on, Janey smashes against the TV with her fist, a recent behavior that she knows will result in the TV being unplugged.  I am watching her as she does it, and I can see in her face she realizes her mistake a second after punching, and she screams in frustration.  The TV is unplugged anyway.

4.  I wake up Saturday morning after having a nice night's sleep.  Janey has been up a while already, having her favorite type of weekend breakfast with Daddy, various greens with olive oil and hot sauce.  When she sees me, she dashes over and gives me a big hug and smile.

5.  We are coming back in the car from being out visiting William.  It's later than Janey usually stays up, about 9 pm.  She has been fairly cheerful, but suddenly and without warning, she lunges at Freddy, who is sitting next to her in the back seat.  She tries to pull his hair.  He grabs her hands to keep her from doing so, and she bites at them.  Freddy manages to keep her from hurting him much, but it's a struggle for the 10 minutes until we get home, completely with her screaming.  We offer to stop, to have me sit in back with her, but Freddy declines.  He's gotten used to such scenes over the years.  I cry in the front seat.

6.  I put on "Olivia", which we have in streaming video from our Amazon account.  Janey hasn't seen it for years, but she is instantly taken with it.  She watches the whole episode, and then deftly navigates the user-unfriendly interface to put on the next episode.  Over the weekend, she watches eight episodes---eight different ones, not the same one obsessively eight times.

7.  I am dressing Janey for school.  She is tired and annoyed, and kicks me in the stomach.  I am too tired, bone tired, to get upset.  I just say "You can't do that.  We have to get dressed".  She becomes instantly cooperative.  She keeps looking at me with a worried look, as if she expects to hear more about the kick.  When I am done dressing her, she kisses me, which she almost never does.

8.  Another morning getting ready for school.  Janey is in another bad mood.  We managed to get dressed, but she is crying and screaming.  She goes over and gets the hairbrush and hands it to me, while saying "Don't brush your own hair!  Don't brush your own hair!", which is what she says when she's upset I'm brushing.  I brush quickly, to get it over with, without counting out twenty brushes, as I usually do.  When I stop, Janey screams and hands me back the brush, yelling "Thirteen!  Fourteen!"  That is right where I left off in my silent counting.  I brush up to twenty, as she screams.

9.  Another middle of the night.  Janey wakes me up and saying "Chinese rice!"  I tell her we don't get takeout in the night.  She considers that a moment, and then says "Pizza!"  I repeat myself.  She is undaunted..."Happy Meal!  Chicken nuggets!  Fries!  Chocolate Milk!  Toy!"

10.  Janey gets off the bus and her Auntie Rose is just arriving at our house.  She hugs her aunt, thrilled to see her.  Auntie Rose goes upstairs to help my brother-in-law in his apartment.  Janey has her snack downstairs with me, and then says "Go see Nana and Grandpa!"  I tell her they are far away right now, although I suspect what she really means.  She thinks a minute and says "Go see Auntie Carrie!"  I tell her Auntie Carrie is even further away, in Colorado.  I ask her "Do you mean Auntie Rose?" and she smiles a huge smile and says "GO SEE AUNTIE ROSE!"  So we do.

Everyday life with Janey is hundreds and thousands of moments like these.


Sabrina Steyling said...

Salad greens with hot sauce for breakfast? She's a girl after my own heart, as I love all things spicy, but for breakfast...she obviously has a cast-iron stomach! :) I have been known to eat cold pizza for breakfast sometimes, though. :)

Unknown said...

I have a 3 year old autistic daughter and a 15 year old autistic stepdaughter. I love reading your blogs and reading about someone with a similar life as mine. Please keep up the awesome work!!

Tachyon said...

Our boy we care for has a thing he does when he gets upset. He thinks that if he is upset and someone says "no" to him that he can finally lash out. So whenever his temper flares, he begins to ask us things like "Do cats go to school?" or "Do penguins wear pajamas?"
We always say "I'm not sure" or "probably". Totally peeves him, because we didn't say "no" which is the only word that he feels allows him to totally flip his crap and bite/hit/head bang.
He still gets mad at us for evading it, but it stops the tantrum.

I love it when things like that come up and the reasoning is clear. Wish I could get more glimpses into the ASD mind than I am offered.