Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…..

For so long, Joshua has been unable to express what he wants so it always gives me a thrill when he indicates what he wants, especially if I am able to deliver it and yesterday was a prime example of this:

He had a lazy morning, as he often needs to do after a daycare day, so he pottered around in his pyjamas while I did my household chores. He switched between ‘Music’ in the lounge, ‘Nemo’ in den and ‘Giant’ in his bedroom and I obliged with every request , even though he did not settle for long at any of them. So I thought he was still in den when I finished hoovering upstairs, but came down to find the room empty. He was nowhere to be found inside the house and then I tracked him down, he was sitting in the car on the drive. Now usually when you want him to get in the car, he sits in himself but he waits for me to swing his legs around and close the car door. But because he wanted to go out, he had got himself in fully and closed the door, so all that he needed was a seatbelt on.. oh, and to get dressed!

I brought his clothes downstairs to dress him and we were soon off out to a seaside town just 25 minutes away. We went in our 2 seater sports car, with the roof down, which he loves. It was a perfect driving day with bright blue skies and warm air blowing through our hair. So the drive there itself was a treat. We easily found a disabled parking bay in town and, although I had his wheelchair in the boot, I decided we should walk. We went first to the one shop that I needed to go to and then the rest of the trip was Joshua’s to control.

He stopped outside the chip shop where we had eaten lunch last time we were there, only now it was summer, they had orange plastic chairs outside, where he plonked himself down. I went inside to order and got him scampi and chips as he loves it and it is easier to eat as finger food then fish, as he can pop the whole thing in. The menu said that he would get 8 pieces of scampi, but when it arrived, he had nearer 20 and some bonus chips! He tucked in but the first scampi was too hot so he threw it on the ground, where a grateful seagull swooped in and picked it up. But none of the rest of them suffered that fate, he devoured the rest. When he had finished, we walked towards the seafront where I thought he would enjoy people-watching and seeing the sea. But he was much less passive than that…

We passed the amusements/fun fair on the prom and he stopped right beside the dodgems, pointing at the ride. There was nobody else there, as it was early afternoon on a weekday, but he still recognised what they were from his holidays and was adamant that he wanted to have a go. I saw that we needed to buy 7 tokens for a ride and it was a short walk to the kiosk to buy the tokens, so I persuaded him, very reluctantly, to move his planted feet towards the kiosk and away from the dodgems. Armed with £3.50 worth of tokens, he ran back to the ride and we began the tricky task of getting up the steep steps and then climbing into the tiny car, with his long legs. I managed to get him to step down into the car with his good leg, then I lifted his right leg in behind it. But he was spread out on the small seat, leaving no room for my bottom so I had to squeeze myself in and nudge him along. It must have looked funny to watch us get in. Eventually we were ready and off we went, round and round, with Joshua beaming with delight. As we were there alone, I started to do figures of 8 and he giggled at any swift changes of direction. he knew what he wanted to do and he loved it!

The fairground ride owner took our photograph and then he helped us out of the tiny car and then down the steep steps. It was a fabulous experience and I am so glad that I listened to Joshua, it was well worth all the awkward climbing in and out. Then we walked back to the car, he needed several sit downs en route, as it was hot and he was flagging by now. He indicated that he would like to climb into several closer cars but I persevered, and when he saw ours up ahead, he found the energy to rush towards it. In any other car, he would have slept on the drive home, but he loves the convertible so much that he saved his nap for when we got home.

We were only out for about three hours on total but it was what they call in Yorkshire ‘A Grand day out’ and he had done everything that he wanted to do – eat scampi and chips, then ride the dodgems! Today he should get to swim again with daycare and tonight he is having a sleepover with my friend and her family, so it will be an exciting few days.

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