Now that Joshua is walking everywhere, he is able to express where he does and does not want to go, which is more challenging for sure. He has never been keen on looking round shops, though a quick visit to Tesco is always a fun part of our Saturday routine. Yesterday afternoon, my husband announced that he wanted to go to a mobile phone shop and my heart sank, as I knew it was not Joshua’s kind of outing. He was dozing on the settee when we were ready to leave, so that did not bode well and he nodded off again in the car en route, so he was certainly sleepy.
He woke when we arrived and was happy enough to walk between us, hand in hand. There was a comfortable settee for him to sit on in the mobile phone shop, but he only stayed there for a minute or so, he began to try to distract the staff who were talking to us – flashing his bare stomach, holding his hand over my mouth to stop me from talking and finally kicking my shins. So I relented and agreed to walk him around the pedestrianised town centre, leaving my husband behind. Joshua strode out happily, seeming to know where he wanted to go and then he dragged me into a Costa! There was a large queue and service seemed to be slow, so I sat him down at a table for four and took my place in he queue, where I watched him like a hawk. He sat beuatifully for about 2 minutes, sitting up tall, waving at people and smiling but then he was bored…
He spotted me in the queue so he rushed over to hug me and I told him to go and sit back down. To my surprise, he walked back towards our chosen table, but got distracted en route and began to stroke a lady’s hair in the adjacent table. I rushed over , apologised and sat him down again and took my place once more. He got up almost immediately and this time spotted a young girl’s ponytail and made a beeline for it, so I ran and caught him and brought him to a table next to the queue and I opened the orange juice that I had selected for him, hoping that would encourage him to sit still. By this time he had quite an audience and one customer helpfully told me that he was fed up of waiting and I agreed ‘we all are!’
Eventually I got to the front of the queue and placed my order of two teas and a slice of chocolate cake. A man who’s job it was to clear tables, kindly offered to bring my order over on a tray, while I settled Joshua down for the millionth time. Once we were seated together,and aided by a chunk of cake, Joshua sat well and tucked in and I savoured my tea and got my breath back from all the chasing. During all of this time, my husband was still in the phone shop sorting paperwork. Once Joshua had eaten his cake and drained his juice, he stood up, ready to leave so that was my cue to drink up and get moving, as the chase was on again!
We found my husband still in the phone shop and he was ready to browse in other shops, while Joshua and I on the other hand, had had enough and were ready to head home. While I love the independent, mobile Joshua, I have to admit that shopping with him safely contained in his wheelchair was a much more relaxing shopping trip. He now votes very much with his feet and his big, black NHS boots.