Do as I do, not as I say

Joshua has made us laugh a lot this holiday by showing his spirit, determination and expressing what he wants very clearly. He did so again yesterday and on both occasions, he got his own way :

We had wandered around exploring a seaside town , with Joshua in his wheelchair, yesterday afternoon. After a while, as it had got warmer, we stopped at the beach and all had a snooze in the sun on our picnic rug. Joshua had obliged – unusually – and he had used my tummy as a pillow and I am not sure how long we lay that way. Siestas are one of the joys of holidays for me, as there is no reason why you cannot have a sleep whenever you want – that is more problematic at work!

We all woke up around the same time and Joshua sat up, looked around and decided that he had had enough beach-time. He struggled but managed to stand up and then he marched purposefully, quickly and expertly – as walking on stony beaches is not easy for any of us – to his wheelchair, which was waiting on the prom and he climbed in. There could be no less subtle message to tell us that he was ready to leave. We laughed at him and obediently packed up the rug and followed him.

I then needed a cup of tea before we headed home, as I had not had one for hours, so we found stall selling hot drinks and sat at a table, listening to live music. Soon after we arrived, we saw Joshua casually reach behind him with his long left arm, to stretch out and try to steal a chip from a young girl who had sat down with her takeaway. I shouted no to him and pulled his arm back while my husband rushed off to buy some chips for him, as it was 7pm by then and well past his teatime. He grinned as his box of chips arrived and proceeded to devour them, while we finished our cups of tea.

Joshua has a long list of key useful words nowadays, but he is not up to sentences like ‘could I have some chips please mum?’ so this stealing was a really effective, non-verbal way of asking for what he wanted. Given the rate at which he consumed them, he was really hungry too. While I do not condone stealing of course, I admire Joshua’s ingenuity in showing us that he was hungry and I adore his cheeky smile when he knows that he is doing something naughty.


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