THE waiter turned from the counter towards the kitchen and gestured to the staff there, calling excitedly ‘he’s here, he’s here’.
His tone of voice made it sound like he was heralding the arrival of a celebrity to the coffee shop. My mother looked around confused, it was fairly quiet, with only a few people inside, reading newspapers or chatting.
The waiter took her order and she sat down with Teilo in the same seats by the window that they frequent every Tuesday morning.
My mother soon noticed three kitchen staff move from their usual working area and assemble in the lounge area, shooting glances and pointing at my son, as if they were sharing some joke at his expense. The waiter then approached, smiling broadly at him.
He gazed excitedly at Teilo who was sat in a high chair and said: “I know who you are, don’t I? You’re the little boy with the funny laugh.”
The waiter then told my mother how he had been entertained for the duration of their visit the previous week by Teilo’s distinctive laugh and it had become a talking point in the coffee shop. Staff then crowded around smiling and urging him to do entertain them.
He duly obliged, tensing his body and gave an outburst of the ‘funny laugh’, that I can best describe as similar to the sinister cackle of a vampire or ghoul from a horror film, the type you hear as they prepare to attack or dismember a poor victim.
Teilo now has a variety of means of making his presence known. While the ‘funny laugh’ is a frequently-used favourite while in public, there are others.
For example on a recent visit to the doctor’s surgery, he danced in the middle of the waiting area waving his blanket around as if he was a performer.
He is now keen to leave his mark on the world in whatever way he can. Unfortunately, not all his methods are quite so endearing.
For example, he spotted me writing something recently and had a tantrum until I relented and let him scribble with a pen on a piece of paper. As he seemed to enjoy this, we decided to buy him some crayons.
But instead of drawing in a colouring book, he has been working on his interior decoration skills by painting our walls shades of purple, black and brown.
However, even this is preferable to another of his favourite recent pursuits, one which leaves me holding my breath in panic. This is picking up toy wooden bricks and lobbing them at the television.