I have always found reading to be a relaxing pastime. There is something satisfying about gripping a paperback and turning the pages. ‘Getting lost in a book’ has always been a naff cliche to me, but I do understand the sentiment.

I don’t remember learning to read. I don’t remember a time when I was unable to read. 
Joe is unable to read. I do feel sorry for him when I see him looking longingly at a book. I do wonder what doors would be opened for Joe if he could read. 
Oliver also cannot read, which is not entirely surprising given that he is only six weeks old. He has started looking at things and engaging with them so he is making good progress. Oliver has just started smiling but his favourite interactions are moans and cries.
My wife and I have started the ‘bedtime routine’ with Oliver. Apparently it is a good idea to do this so who am I to argue?
Joe being Joe, he thoroughly enjoyed tagging onto Oliver’s bedtime routine which involves a bath, a story, a feed and finally a sleep (hopefully).

This picture was taken of Joe and Oliver this morning. Joe knows where he stands with a routine, plenty of children do. As I was getting ready this morning I found Joe attempting to read Oliver’s bedtime story to him. Even though Joe could not read to Oliver, it did not matter as he made up his own story which involved a lion and a unicorn fighting for a crown…
Joe is kind to Oliver and is keen to make him smile. We do have to remind him that Oliver is only a little baby and therefore he is not able to go blundering in when he wants to play with him. However, the fact he has started to go beyond superficial interactions to real engagement like this morning is wonderful.
As I have written before, Joe is very good at Makaton signing. What Joe lacks in reading he more than makes up for in signing. Communication for Joe is difficult so he enjoys using gestures. When we watch things that require concentration Joe likes to request a massage. I am not sure what the sign for ‘massage’ is but I am fairly sure it is not grabbing my hands and putting them firmly on his shoulders.
As you can imagine my newborn son goes through quite a lot of nappies in a day. Oliver has a tendency to make a noise for a number of seconds. The noise lasts long enough for Joe, my wife and I to have time to make eye contact and anticipate the carnage that awaits. I admire Joe’s commitment to being ‘Uncle Joey’ as he is keen to get stuck into the nappies; he even rolls his sleeves up.
Sometimes a knowing ‘look’ is all the communication that is needed to share our thoughts. Joe is starting to realise that communication doesn’t always have to be verbal.
Joe has so much to give the world but it relies on people listening to him. The word ‘listen’ implies the communication has come through talk. Perhaps I should rephrase it and say that ‘Joe has so much to give the world if only people would receive it’. 
If I feel this about Joe there must be thousands of others in the same boat that we need to open our minds to.
On the way home Joe played a game that had probably come from school. It involved giving each other compliments. I felt myself getting emotional when Joe told me I was the nicest man in the world. My pleasure was short lived as he decided I was instead the nicest man in the village I live in. In the blink of an eye I had gone from being the nicest man in seven billion to the nicest man in just over one thousand people…


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