Family Fun

Joshua had a great day yesterday and kept on saying ‘Thanks you’ most of the evening, I think indicating that he had had fun : when he woke up and came downstairs, he found his two young cosuins already in the snug playing with Kevin the puppy and so he joined in, sitting on the floor throwing the ball or a squaeky pig for him. After breakast we went out into town, Joshua and I went to the supermarket for forgotten bits and pieces, while his cousins went to the swings in the park with his Aunt. There was an autumnal nip in the air so we all needed warming up in a cafe, where the youngsters all tucked into something chocolately in a comfy booth, which delighted Joshua.

When we got home, a bit later than planned, he found his two Grannies had arrived too and his face lit up again. We had some sandwiches for lunch and then set off, in two cars, for a half hour drive to the theatre. There were eight of us and we met up with six friends at the theatre. Joshua was already surrounded by 7 family members, so he was pretty contented, but his face lit up even more, with pure joy, when he saw some good friends arrive too. He high-5’d everyone and beamed, looking from familiar face to familiar face, this was a treat and a half!

I had booked seats to see ‘Madagascar the Musical’ which is one of the three films that he enjoys watching most days – we even saw it twice at the cinema in 2005 when it was released! So when the show began, with his familiar music and characters, his eyes and mouth were both wide open in disbelief, this was amazing and turning into quite a day. Joshua alternated between loving it and having a nap as it was too hard to focus so long I think, but he sat still throughout the performance. He refused interval ice cream but he loved looking around the familiar faces surrounding him.

We walked back along the seafront back to the car park and squeezed back into the car. We finished off the exciting day with a family visit to a favourite fish & chip cafe for tea, where Joshua enjoyed his meal, while stroking his cousin’s long hair next to him. He could not have been happier, although she was not so keen!

This was, by anyone’s standards, a day of treats and a day when Joshua’s face and expressions regularly showed how happy he was. This outing was one of my plans that worked out even better than I had hoped, and that does not always happen, but I dont think anyone can have enjoyed it more than Joshua.

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The Fundementals of Caring

Joshua did not sleep last night – Thursday has become his favourite night for that lark these days! – and so I found myself up and in the snug at 2.45am, when he had wriggled out of the top of the bed and got himself stuck. I told him that he needed a good nights’s sleep ready for his outing to the zoo today, but he took no notice at all. I gave him cerealĀ  and then I decided to make a cake and watch Netflix, so as to make good use of my time in the wee small hours.

I watched a film called ‘ The Fundementals of Caring’ about a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy and his new carer. I learnt that the fundementals are ALOHA – Ask Listen Observe Help then Ask again. But that only works if the person that you are caring for is verbal – I am really only left with OH! At 3am all Joshua had to say, repeatedly was ‘Monkey’ followed by a new word ‘Wonky’! I agreed with him that he was a wonky monkey, but that did not get us very far.

In the film, the teenaged boy with Muscular Dystrophy, rarely left his home due to his reliance on medical equipment and he only ever ate waffles and sausage, for every meal. But the new carer took him out on a road trip so that he could make the most of his limited lifespan. It did seem that his mother was protecting him so intensely, through an understandable fear for his safety, that he was a prisoner in his own home. But his carer showed him some of the sights that he had been reading about.

Joshua is not house- bound in the holidays and he has been to some great places in his 15 years, including several holidays overseas. While he enjoys a ride out in the car, likes to meet up with other people, Joshua is a real home-bird. His face lights up as he says with a grinĀ  ” Back home!”, so much so you can wonder why bother taking him on road trips. But they enrich his life, offer him new experiences, even if he sometimes chooses to close his eyes and ignore them.

He is likely to be tired today for the class trip to the Wildlife Park, and his gold complexion may well be dimmed, but that cannot be helped, he will have to grab 40 winks on the bus ride there and back.