Lately I have been meeting Joshua after school on Thursdays and yesterday afternoon was pretty full on and yet he took it all in his stride : I had a meeting at school at 2 pm, with his teacher and the manager of his new adult respite provision, so that she could ask questions about him and learn how he acts in school. She will also visit him at his current short breaks provision later today , so she will then be fully briefed on how he behaves in all three settings. We had our meeting in an office within the 6th form so I was pleasantly surprised not to hear him crashing around and kicking doors, while we spoke. It turned out that he was protesting on the floor in a cookery lesson, so that is why all was quiet! But he was pleased to see me at the end of the school day, he gave out a few hugs and kisses to selected staff and pupils, than began waving goodbye as he rushed me out of the door then slowly walked downstairs, with all of 6th form behind him, having to go at his slow pace – I enjoyed the banter that his peers gave him.
I drove him to our home town, but to his annoyance, not home but straight to the hairdressers where he had a 4 pm appointment for a much-needed trim. The stylist was still busy when we arrived, so he busied himself by sweeping the floor and watching himself on the salon telephone in the many mirrors that surrounded him, so he was pretty happy. He was less happy to be dressed in a gown, which he rejected in favour of getting hairy clothes. I held his hands while he was first of all clippered around the back and then she used scissors on the top of his hair so that it is still floppy but neater than the pineapple-look that he had been sporting. He was delighted with the end result, admiring himself in the mirror and happily posing for a photograph.
Then we rushed home and had a quick pasta tea. He began to get himself comfortable in den on the settee but I had to persuade him out again, down for a 5.30 Doctor’s appointment this time. He was not impressed and put up a fight, but I insisted that we needed to get his itchy stomach looked at. It was lucky that we were the last appointment of the day, as he was grumpy in the waiting room, throwing the magazines on the floor, trying every door that he saw and throwing leaflets off the desk, behind reception. Finally we were called through by a smiling Doctor and he was content to lift his t shirt to show her his spots, then while we talked, he stood up over her, using her telephone. We were in and out quickly but the waiting room was deserted when we left, via the pharmacy, to collect his prescription. That was his final stop off and he had had enough and lay on the floor in the chemist while we waited, waving at other customers.
When we finally got back home, after 6, we went straight to the bath as the small pieces of itchy hair down his clothes were not helping preventing him from scratching, so he enjoyed an early bath and then into his PJs. He was happy to watch Lion King in his bed, satisfied that he was not going to be dragged anywhere else that night. Sometimes he has choices about what he does and does not wish to do, but last night he was dragged from pillar to post in a day of catching up and although he tried to protest, he fell in line pretty well, once he realised that these appointments were non-negotiable.