Georgia and I had our pictures done in the photo booth at the mall today. Real Old Tyme-y like (except, the prints were digital--boo!) (As you can see, we're both growing our bangs out.)
Just before we did the photos, this woman and her two grubby kids came up to us and got all up in Georgia's business. It's amazing just how many people talk to us (well, Georgia) now that she's around. It's downright unfathomable how many people think it's ok to paw her with their grubby mitts, but that's a whole nother story. Anyhow, this particular woman proceeded to be simply amazed by how Georgia was sticking her "little tongue out" and kept saying to her two little grubs "Look at her tongue! Look how she sticks out her tongue." To which the older of the grubworms (a man-boy) asked me "Is that how she's telling off the world?" Meanwhile, Georgia looks from me to the grub-paws blankly as if to say "Are you going to tell them to lay off or shall I?"
To be fair, I really don't think THIS particular grub colony meant anything by it. I think they actually just thought she was cute. But the thing is, Georgia has been doing some tongue-thrusting on and off, she seems to have weeks where she does it a lot and weeks where she hardly does it at all. And the truth is, I am rather self-conscious of it. I make jokes like "Are you catching flies, Georgia?" but of all the things that people make fun of about people with DS, this has got to be the one thing I am most worried will be an issue. I am worried of how Georgia will be perceived if she is a tongue-thruster and it all stems from the old (and sadly sometimes not so old) descriptions of people with DS as drooling idiots. I HATE that. I DESPISE that. And because Georgia does seem to have a particularly small mouth, I am worried that if she has the tongue problem she is going to be made fun of or immediately written off.
And speaking of small parts. Yesterday, I mentioned to the OT how people tend to think Georgia is much younger than she is and I think it is because she has a very small head. She agreed that may be why and then asked, "Have any of her doctors had any concerns about the size of her head?" I explained that they haven't, but now of course I am wondering, "Should they have concerns? Were they so concerned with her heart that they failed to notice her incredibly small head? And if so, just what exactly does a small head mean?" The list of worries goes on. Can one's head just NOT grow? I mean, it's bigger than it was when she was born, that is for sure and proven (her old hats don't fit her anymore). But this whole thing about the heads (and arms and legs) of people with DS being smaller. Is it an issue? Can it cause problems? I mean, I know Georgia can't wear a lot of hats because they are too big, and sitting is harder for her because she can't reach the floor to prop with her hands, but medically? Can something medically be wrong or happen if her head stays small? I think she looks fairly proportionate now, but will it all of a sudden become REALLY obvious that she has small parts?
So tell me. About your kids tongues and heads and all those parts. Did your kids or DO they thrust their tongues much? What, if anything, do you to do encourage them to stop? Did/does it seem to help? I don't want to be nuts and say things like "Don't stick your tongue out," because that seems so negative. But what can I do?
And do any of your kids seem to have small heads? Should I ask my doctor something about it? I know that probably sounds insane, but I don't want to miss anything.
Breathe in. Breathe out.Breathe in. Breathe out.Breathe in. Breathe out.Breathe in. Breathe out....
Oh. And while I am at it. Her cheeks are flushed. Have been for about 5 days. I think it's teeth stuff. But I just figured everyone should know about it. Because apparently that's what I do.