Weekend Ways

After a busy week dashing around for me and my husband only arrived home from his travels after midnight, we were both ready for a Saturday when we pottered about the house doing chores, but nothing too ambitious. But Joshua had other ideas and he communicated them very effectively. Mid-morning he had had enough at home and he passed me his splint, indicating that he was ready to go out. I told him that we would go to Tesco soon, so he upped his game. He went upstairs and began slamming the landing door really hard, so that I came running, to stop him from making such a noise and prevent him from breaking the door. So I took the hint and put his splints and boots on.

We had an exciting morning out : we delivered some shortbread to a friend and Joshua waved from the car. Then we parked up in town and we walked to the chemist to collect his prescription. They were still preparing it and so he found a broom while we waited, and began to sweep their floor for them; he did such a good job, apart from waving the brush around his head and potentially tripping their customers up, that they offered him a Saturday job of sweeping and greeting customers at the door! Then we went to a cafe for brunch, where we sat in a booth where he ate toast and drank orange juice, while I had a mug of tea, and we watched the world go by. He seemed satisfied by his outing but the real highlight was pushing the trolley around Tesco!, he got excited as we approached the store. He did a bit of kicking of my ankles and the trolley, but nothing excessive and nothing targeted at other customers, thankfully.

When we had got everything on our list, we headed for the tills where a small boy wearing an epilepsy helmet just like Joshua’s was sitting waiting for his parents. Joshua spotted him and gave him a big friendly wave, which made me smile – it was as though he recognised a fellow member of his ‘gang’! He sat  beautifully, cross legged, while I packed up our two bags of groceries and only jumped up when I told him that I was ready, which is rare. When we got home, he was content to sit in den watching a film while I made a stew, as he had been satisfied by his trip out, so he did not demand terribly exciting distractions to make him happy.

But at around 4pm the door slamming began again and again, he brought me his splint. My husband was in the bath, trying to soak away his jetlag, so we took the dogs to the park so that everyone could have a run about and burn off some energy. The park was muddy but the dogs loved it and Joshua enjoyed throwing sticks for them to fetch and chew. We walked right around the perimeter to ensure that he was worn out and on our way back to the car, the wind was blowing full in his face,with some drizzle, and it really made him giggle.

Joshua cannot always get his own way at weekends, as sometimes there are plans or jobs that need to get done, but as we had a fluid day, I was able to listen to him communicating and to respond.

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A Friendly Day

I had 5 hours all to myself yesterday, which is rare and I made the most of it. As soon as I had waved Joshua off in the car with his Direct Payments worker, I grabbed my coat and went out. I went shopping to our nearest market town, where I was able to wander in and out of shops of my choice, freely. I collected some DVDs that I had had transferred off VHS videos – our wedding tape from 1995 and lots of footage of baby Joshua. I have not yet dared to look, as  I am expecting some of them to be emotional as neither of our fathers are alive anymore and little fat toddler Joshua, with his young, hopeful parents, will be quite a sight too. I try not to wallow in the past too much, rather to look forwards but there are times when I need to wallow and I wanted these images to be digitally preserved.

We often take Joshua to this market town at weekends so it felt odd to be there without him or his dad. I even found myself drawn to the impressive buskers, thinking how much Joshua would enjoy their music. I deliberately went into shops that he would not tolerate or that were not accessible, just because I could.

After browsing, I then went to my friend’s boutique where we had a perfect combination of each up dating each other on events in our lives and of me trying on clothes. We gossiped and we giggled and I had a lovely afternoon. sharing with someone who understands our struggles due to her having an autistic son. The last time I went to her shop, I had Joshua in tow and we lasted ten minutes as he was throwing cushions and pulling clothes off the racks, so this was a much more fun, relaxing experience.

The time flew by in her shop, so much so that I was only home ten minutes before Joshua arrived back from his outing. He had been out in sea air and so, soon after arriving home, he enjoyed an apple then we snuggled on the settee, while tea was cooking. A couple of hours later, friends arrived for an evening meal. Joshua said hello then retreated to the Den, but he did keep coming out to see what he was missing and he joined us, with encouragement, for homemade lasagne.

So I spent my Saturday with good friends, both with and without Joshua and I really felt as though I made the most of my DP weekend break too. I had got Joshua ready , with his boots on, early and he spent the ten minutes waiting time, at the front door, kicking it, ready to go out – which he has never done at home before. I tried distracting him but he was very clearly communicating what he wanted and when she arrived, he dashed out of the door towards the car, giggling. So that arrangement is clearly working for him now, no more shyness with her, which is lovely to see. Today I plan to visit another friend for lunch, so we will see how cooperative he is there, although we have not yet decided where we will eat, but she has already suggested ‘Donalds’ to make Joshua happy! Lets see how it goes, I am hoping that we can go somewhere nicer but it is good to know that we have it as a back-up plan to employ if necessary. So bring on friendly day, part 2…….