I love to hear and see Joshua laugh, a proper belly laugh and he highly amused himself yesterday morning. We were up and dressed in good time yesterday, despite me having to tug the duvet out of his grasp as he had pulled it up over his head and that was the first giggle of the day. I feign anger and shout ‘quick, quick, quick’ at him and he roars laughing as we have a tug of war with his duvet.
We stood in the kitchen from 8.10 looking out of the window for the taxi and then he became bored, so he went outside to wait, and started impatiently kicking the gate, so I knew it was going to be a fun day.I opened the small gate when the taxi arrived and he dashed through it. While I was greeting the driver and escort, Joshua had pulled the front passenger door open. In one swift motion he leapt into the car, swung his legs in and slammed the door shut, then he sat laughing and grinning at us. We three laughed with him, amazed at his speed and dexterity, as usually he makes a meal of getting into the car and waits to have his feet lifted in for him. The PA opened the door to get him out, but he grabbed the door and pulled it closed again then started giggling again. He was really enjoying this game. So I opened the door and swung his feet round and helped him out and then into the back seat, after he had had his fun. I asked the escort to warn school that he was in a mischievous mood. Even as the taxi reversed off the drive, I could see his shoulders going up and down with laughter. What a great, happy start to my day off – it kept me smiling all day long whenever I thought of his cheeky maneouvre.
I love to laugh and I love to see and join Joshua in his fun and games. It is a key part of someone’s personality, what makes them laugh. Joshua has a physical sense of humour, rather slapstick. He is highly amused by bodily functions such as sneezes, burps and wind. He finds it hilarious to stick his foot out when I am walking passed him, to try to trip me up. I am not an expert in child development but I imagine that children’s sense of humour typically evolves as they get older; Joshua’s sense of humour is probably in line with his cognitive age, that of a toddler. But so long as he laughs, I do not mind at all . Whatever amuses him does not matter, but laughter is a real gift and should be celebrated and encouraged.
When I got home from work yesterday, Yorkshire Grandma told me a tale of Joshua behaving like a stroppy teenager, which is unusual as normally she defends him to the hilt, always describing him as her angel. Apparently he had had an accident and wet the armchair that he prefers to sit in – ‘Daddy’s chair’ – and so she had changed him and removed the covers for washing. Joshua had then wanted to sit back down but she would not let him as there was no cushion, he would have flopped down onto the hard chair base.
There was then a battle of wills as she tried to maneouvre him to the settee, while he stubbornly insisted on the bare armchair. He was not impressed by her and waved his finger in her face and told her to ‘Go, go, go!’ She explained that she could not leave until mummy got home and insisted that he move to the settee. He gave in and flopped on there, with a groan. He curled up in a huffy ball and she tried to make him more comfortable by placing cushions under his head but he wriggled off them twice in protest.
So when I got home, they were sitting apart and he was still sulking. Yorkshire Grandma told me the story and as she gave me every detail, Joshua looked at me with a cheeky grin, waiting for my reaction. So I faked a shocked response and squeezed in next to him, telling him off. Within seconds, he was beaming and snuggling into me. I love that he understood what tale was being relayed, he knew we were talking about him and his smile told me that he enjoyed being the main news of the day.
It may be hard to believe how much of a sense of humour it is possible to have when you are virtually non-verbal but Joshua has a really cheeky sense of humour, which we think he inherited from his Great Grandad Fred. Joshua’s eyes twinkle, he has a great smile and he can really belly laugh too. It was when we first got back from Great Ormond Street and he was recovering from brain surgery, that he first started to stick his leg out deliberately to trip me up as I walked passed him and then he would snigger. He has a toddler’s sense of humour where rude noises are hilarious and he enjoys being told of in an exaggerated fashion too.He finds it amusing at school too, when he deliberately throws the ball to the wrong child, not the one who has been nominated.
A sense of humour is quite a sophisticated thought process, even if he is amused by childish things, and I am delighted that he is able to express it, and share it, in so many non-verbal ways.