Best Foot Forward

You may recall last summer our chaotic appointment with the podiatrist, when Joshua ran amok  in the health centre waiting room, kicking and reaching for the receptionist’s telephone and generally running me ragged, while we waited for our appointment. Well his next three monthly appointment was yesterday, so I collected him at lunchtime from school and he was delighted to see me and gave me a big hug and a grin when I appeared. We drove to the health centre and the car park was grid locked as the car in front just stopped at the entrance, sitting waiting for a space to come free. I sat behind him for 5 minutes as I watched our appointment approach, then I jumped out to check if there were any disabled spaces free and there were two of them. So I politely asked the obstructive driver if he would move forward so that I could park, which he did to everyone’s relief as his selfish behaviour had created a backlog  onto the main road.

We checked in at reception as we were now exactly on time and Joshua gave the desk a gentle kick. But I lead him to the seating area where he sat down beautifully and crossed his legs, indicating that he was staying rather than roaming. I only needed to occupy him for a short while before the podiatrist called out his name and we walked through to his clinic. I removed Joshua’s boots, splints and socks while we made small talk and then Joshua relaxed into the big therapy chair which was raised up to eye level, so that the podiatrist did not have to bend. Joshua looked so relaxed even as the chair moved up and he happily allowed him to cut his toe nails and file the hard dead skin of his callouses  – that form as his foot deformity means that he walks on the soft side of his right foot rather than his heal and balls of his feet. Joshua looked as though he enjoyed his pedicure and he was certainly in no hurry to climb off the chair. But he did when asked and waved goodbye nicely to the podiatrist, so all in all it was a very successful appointment.

As we got back in the car I said the magic words to make his day, as he had not eaten his packed lunch , so I offered him Donalds as he had been such a good patient. His face lit up and he tapped his heart – but I am still not sure if he was saying that he loved me or the idea of Donalds! He was so excited as we drove into the car park and ran into the restaurant and he did not even complain about the long wait for his meal – he just sat patiently,  looking expectantly towards the kitchen. He ate and drank all but a few chips and waved at everyone, staff and customers alike, so it was a very happy reunion and a fitting reward for his smooth appointment.

 

Reunited and it feels so good

I had planned to get Joshua up ‘early’ yesterday so that we could go out to the shops and maybe even eat our lunch out, but once again he was reluctant to get moving and he snuggled back down after his porridge. Then at just before 11am, my husband rang to say that he was setting off to join us for the weekend! So all plans, such as they were in my head, were off and Joshua was off the hook, he had another two hour window in which to prepare for his Daddy’s homecoming.And he prepared by catching some more beauty sleep!

He was dozing on the settee when his Dad arrived and he was treated to a very whiskery kiss and hug, which of course he pulled a face at, being a teenager.We all went out as a family to our nearest town, to share the shopping and enjoy a late lunch in a cafe. The weather had turned wild, so Joshua did not enjoy the wind and rain in his face and after a brief , muddy dog walk, we returned to the sanctuary of our cottage, where the fire was still lit.

Joshua certainly does not understand that his Grandad has died but he did realise that his Dad had been missing for over a week, and he was treated to some grins, hugs and points accompanied with ‘You’re Daddy’. He had missed his Dad and kept checking that he was really here. When Joshua was younger, my husband had a job which involved a lot of overseas travel and he would always bring him back a t shirt from the airport, some Dutch jelly sweets or some fancy silk pyjamas from Asia. Joshua would blank him for ages on his return, somehow sulking that he had deserted him. So perhaps he has got more used to his absences now that he is older but I was glad that when he had been away on such a painful mission, that Joshua rewarded his return with attention, rather than the silent treatment, as even though it is unintentional, to be blanked still feels hurtful. It was not an excited reunion, but an understated appreciation.

There are still more funeral arrangements to make next week and so my husband will return to his parents’house on Monday, but we are grateful to have him back for the weekend, so that our small family unit is complete again.