I keep being asked what Joshua would like for Christmas and it is really hard to give ideas as he has pretty narrow interests, so he tends to receive a lot of clothes. Joshua cannot abide opening presents so I try to reassure people that he does not need any gifts, that he has all that he needs, but they are not happy with that response. Joshua adores music and so I hit lucky with a great second hand guitar in a charity shop window lately and as he has found it and been playing it already, so I know that it is a success. But he can only master one handed instruments and the notes need to be there already, as he will not blow to create a sound for instance, so he regularly plays with his keyboard that he was given a couple of years ago and he bashes the keys of our piano most days too. But I am not sure what other instruments are left that he would enjoy.
He enjoys watching films on my ipad or on the DVD in his bedroom or in his den, but it is really hard to get him away from his familiar favourites : he likes Shrek 2, and he will not tolerate Shrek 1 or 3 – which was on BBC yesterday – for any length of time as although the characters are familiar, the story is not right. Similarly the Lion King and Madagascar sequels have been rejected by Joshua. He knows what he likes and likes what he knows. He has been bought several new DVDs over the years, in case something catches his eye, but I usually end up giving them away once he has rejected them.
Pre-surgery Joshua used to love flicking through books; he had enough movement in his right hand to hold a book while his active left hand would turn the pages and he developed a large library of books, so they were always a good present idea. But sadly while he occasionally looks at them nowadays, his right hand is now fixed and cannot hold a book, so they are not as easy to access. He will lay them on his knee and turn the page for a while, but they certainly hold less appeal than they once did. They are much better now for throwing on the floor, as they both make a mess and a loud noise as they hit the carpet. In the spring I was so fed up replacing his book collection in his bedroom back onto his bookshelf that we had a cull. I looked through all of is many books and ones that were now too babyish for him or that were gifts and were too old for him, I selected out and I replaced just the ones that he picked out to look at , the books that I enjoyed reading to him at bedtime – rhyming Hairy Maclary and Julia Donaldson books were going nowhere – and any that had sentimental value. The rest filled two big bags for life and I took them into school, to donate our unwanted books to their library. I heard that a class loved discovering Joshua’s unwanted books and that they spent days unlocking thier treasures. I would much rather that some other children enjoyed his books, than continually picking them up off the floor.
He is not easy to buy for and that is why I have started to buy him experiences rather than stuff : last Christmas he got tickets to go and see Matilda, which we loved this October. This year we are going to see Shrek the Musical with our same musical- theatre buddies. He tends to nod off for part of the show, but I am confident that what he has seen this year already, he has enjoyed – most of the party at Madagascar the Musical nodded off at some point!
So lets just wait and see what Santa brings him and lets hope that it does not involve too much unwrapping!