Poppy was supporting me at work today and we were on a bus together this afternoon. I was in my wheelchair in the allocated space, and opposite me, in his pushchair, was a little boy about 18 months old.
He had an amazingly joyful laugh. I know this because every time I banged my chest he laughed hysterically. Poppy and I found this very funny and it set us off too.
He didn’t laugh at my vocal tics at all, but he clearly loved my movements. To start with I could tell lots of other people on the bus found his laughter a bit awkward, but as it carried on and I laughed too everybody relaxed.
By the time he got off, the whole bus was smiling. Everyone ‘Ahhhed’ when, waving enthusiastically, he said goodbye as his dad wheeled him off the bus.
He’s not the first toddler to enjoy my tics and I hope he’s not the last. I loved seeing how his delight and unselfconsciousness spread out and touched everyone around him.