We were in a café yesterday afternoon, just for tea and a scone, and the staff were getting ready to close. So the young, pretty, dark haired waitress was busy around us cleaning down tables and Joshua was mesmerised by her. He could not take his eyes off her and so his gaze followed her around the room. She was rather embarrassed by the attention and while she smiled at him, she did not return his thumbs ups. An elderly lady at an adjacent table was enjoying watching him and when the waitress had retreated to the kitchen, she said to us, smiling :
” It must be so lovely to be that uninhibited!”
In many ways she is right, Joshua has no deception about him and he is not bound by social expectations that state that he should not stare. With him, what you see is what you get – he was enjoying this attractive young girl and was unable to contain his interest and disguise it as something else. Thankfully the extent of his attraction is limited to staring, smiling and thumbs ups – he does not attempt to touch the subjects of these brief crushes, as that would be more difficult to handle.
There is no doubt that Joshua likes a particular ‘type’ of lady : he is interested in both the young, pretty, petite teenagers with long hair and the older, ‘granny -type’ too , who are more likely to reciprocate his interest. During lockdown Joshua missed access to both of these objects of his attention, when he only had me for female company, so he seems to be extra-interested now that he is being ‘let out’ more and so he is making up for lost time.
His lack of inhibition is not always positive however ; one of his flirting behaviours is to lift up his shirt and flash his tummy, as though that will make him irresistible! I try to tuck his short into his waist-band to prevent this flashing but he usually manages to untuck it, with perseverance. Again he does not understand that this is inappropriate behaviour in public and he thinks that it is hilarious; the more I try to dissuade him, the more likely he is to lift his shirt up. Instead I tend to make a joke about it and say out loud ‘ Nobody wants to see you tummy, Joshua!’ but that makes him giggle. To ignore undesirable behaviour is the recommended approach, but we have tried that too. I am just hoping that this is a phase that he will grow out of.