I wrote recently about how demanding Joshua was when I had visitors who took my attention off him for a short while, but yesterday during our weekly visit to Tesco, Joshua pushed his behaviour further. He had been excited to get his boots on and go out and had shouted ‘thank you’ when we got to the supermarket, as he usually enjoys these shopping trips. We had pushed a trolley in from the car park but almost as soon as we were through the entrance, he began to misbehave. As we negotiated the trolley down the busy fruit and vegetable aisle, he was pulling it against the direction we were going and I was anxious that he was going to crash into someone. We were only on that first aisle when he kicked me with his big boots, right on my ankle bone and made me wince with pain. By the second aisle he was smacking me hard on the chest, so that I had a red mark and it stung. I stopped the trolley and told him firmly to stop hurting me, but he smiled his cheeky smile as though it was all a fun game, and gave me a big hug as though to apologise. So we continued on with our shopping list, which was longer than usual, so that might have been the problem.
He continued to misbehave and to smack me as we moved through the store, so much so that I was very grateful to get to the checkout and I vowed not to bring him for a while as it had proved to be both painful and very hard work He sat nicely on the seats at the ends of the till while I unpacked the trolley and re-packed my bags. For a moment I thought how much I was looking forward to next respite weekend without him and then I immediately felt bad for thinking that way, as I know I will miss him. Just before I was finished bag packing and before I had paid, he jumped up from the seats, started to come towards me, then decided it would be more fun to run away, towards the exit. So I put down my shopping and dashed after him, bringing him back to our till, where the kind lady behind me was loading my remaining shopping into my trolley. She explained that she was the daughter in law of our neighbour and she could see that I had my hands full that morning. I was quick to tell her that he was not always this bad, that he usually enjoyed our weekend shopping trips, and she kindly replied that ‘we all have bad days’, so it did not feel as though she was judging either of us.
A meek, helpful Joshua helped me to push the full trolley outside to the car and he obliged beautifully getting into his seat and waiting while I loaded the bags into the boot.We both had a quiet sit and contemplation, before I drove us home again. Once home, I took Joshua’s boots off and he went into his den for some quiet time, while I unpacked the shopping. He resorted to his relaxation which was to enjoy his music DVD and I resorted to mine, so I went into the garden to pick some apples and blackberries, and I set about making a crumble to reset my equilibrium.