I have written this week about how much more alert and cheeky Joshua has become, well sometimes that cheekiness spills over into naughty, so it is not all good. Yesterday our lively son was very hard work as we waited for our lunch to arrive at a cafe : he simply could not wait or sit still and unfortunately their service was very slow. He kept grabbing my sunglasses off my face – a trick which he finds hilarious, but when they are my only pair of prescription glasses and his fingernails have grown sharp, I do not share his sense of humour. Then he moved onto grabbing condiments off the table and throwing them and then he would not sit down; while waiting for our lunch to arrive I walked him around the adjacent park/crazy golf course four times, once with him pushing his own wheelchair and once more with me pushing him in his chair, until finally I saw the food arrive. Joshua was like a changed person once his fish and chips arrived, he sat quietly and fed himself, happily as he finally had what he wanted.
Whenever I am exasperated by Joshua’s more challenging behaviour and I describe him as being ‘naughty’, I have a friend who explains that he is just ‘communicating’ rather than being bad. I know that in this case it was true – but she is not always right! He was clearly commincating that he could not wait for his meal to arrive and as we were sitting outside, overlooking a park, he was confused as to why we were sitting around looking at the park rather than playing in it. I often take my ipad with me for when only a Shrek distraction will do. He watched me take my ipad from my handbag, only to find that the battery was flat, so he wanted Shrek but was thwarted, making him crosser.
Although these behaviours are mild in comparison with those that some that Joshua’s peers at school exhibit, they did mean that our lunch out was not as relaxing or enjoyable as it might have been. But I do understand why he was behaving in this way – I was frustrated by the wait for my simple sandwich too – and I appreciate that we need to take the rough with the smooth, as there cannot just be positive outcomes from Joshua’s increased awareness and liveliness and we maybe need to learn to avoid busy restaurants in future, so as not to put ourselves in these situations whereever possible.