Monday, June 6, 2016

Joshua and the Mouth Noises

Traveling with Joshua is...interesting.

It's not just have to be prepared.

We have been so fortunate. We have raised 4 great travelers. Even when they were little, our kids did great on trips.

Generally speaking.

Now that cars are so fancy, it's made things really nice for traveling. We have a Honda Pilot, and it has a dvd player in it. I don't know if all Pilots have that feature, or if you have to order it. We typically buy used cars. Jim just went to the dealership one day, and said, "this is what I want...this is how much I am willing to spend." And there ya go.

If it's just the 3 of us, or if Clark is here, Joshua will ride in one of the middle seats. But if we have 5...he will head to the "way-back." He likes it back there. He travels everywhere with a backpack full of the things he needs to make himself comfortable: phone, ipad, notebook, pen, Bible, books, extra hankies, breath spray, chapstick, bug spray, glasses cleaner, sunscreen...and a cap.

Not even kidding.

But, once he gets everything all set up the way he wants it, he is SET.

Last weekend, Logan and Morgan were home on his break from grad school. He really wanted to go see my Dad. My Dad has Parkinson's. So last Saturday, we piled in my, Jim, Joshua, Logan, and Morgan...and headed up to Tulsa. We left early, because we planned to stop for breakfast at a Chick-Fil-A 45 minutes up the Interstate.

Joshua's favorite thing about any trip, especially any EARLY MORNING trip, is stopping for breakfast at Chick.

He loves him some Chick.

So, we got our food in the drive-thru, and everyone got settled...and then we were on our way.

Joshua makes some interesting noises with his mouth. He can't help it...he just does. Big, hairy tongue...little, tiny mouth.

Actually, "they" told us early on that his tongue was NOT over-sized...his mouth is smaller. And, that individuals with Down Syndrome typically have super-low muscle tone, which is what contributes to the tongue protrusion and speech/swallow difficulties noticed in many of our FRIENDS who have DS.

Joshua makes some chewing noises during his meals that makes this no-TV-during-dinner Mom...want to turn on a battle scene from Star Wars. It can kinda make us nuts during a quiet meal.

Jim and I have a running joke that we say. We'll look at each other, and say something like, "chicken and dressing...another thing that doesn't need to be chewed." Sometimes, when Joshua eats, it doesn't look like he chews at ALL. And then other things have to man-handled by his teeth and tongue...and that makes things interesting.

The worst are the smooth, creamy things: mashed potatoes, eggs, pudding,'s like, "mealk, mealk, mealk...gulp."

Holly has diagnosed herself as having "misophonia," which is where negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds." Specifically for her...for all of's chewing sounds. Gum-smacking, crunching chips, breathing, slurping, etc. They say it's not a "real" disorder, but there are memes about it, so that makes it official, right?

Like, "the way you're chewing makes me want to throw up for the rest of my life."

Or, "every sound that comes out of your mouth makes me want to high-five your face with an ironing board."

You know...sweet things like that.

Holly is fixin' to have a baby, so...this problem will probably rectify itself.

AFTER Joshua eats, he will (unconsciously) run his tongue around his mouth, over his teeth, like most of us typically do. You know, when we are trying to make sure we don't have any food in our teeth. Well, with Joshua's lizard tongue, and all of that would make the Pope gag.

I'm dramatizing things...a LITTLE. It doesn't typically bother me very much, because THIS IS MY LIFE. But with Logan in the middle seat, and Joshua sitting directly behind was the perfect storm. And Logan didn't say anything to Joshua. Like I said, Joshua is completely unaware of this...and he can't help most of it. You can't help how your body is physically made. You can change some things, and learn techniques to cope and manage...but you can't change bone structure and things like that.

But Logan leaned up to our seats and said, "what kind of unholy HELL have we unleashed in the backseat?" And Jim and I DIED laughing.

I said, "ask him if he wants to watch a movie. It helps." Logan asked him what movies he brought. Joshua said, "uhhh...Power Rangers, Star Wars, Frozen, Harry Potter..." Logan said, "MORGAN likes Frozen...let's watch that!" Joshua's face lit up! He said, "okay! We'll watch Frozen!" He loves Morgan so much...he would watch anything she liked!

We only have 2 sets of head-phones...the kind that came with our vehicle. And no one else had any extra ear-buds. But, Joshua refused to use the head-phones. He said he wanted Logan and Morgan to use them, and that he would "just watch" from the backseat.

Joshua still made the "mouth noises," but with their head-phones on, Logan and Morgan couldn't hear him...and we all made it to our destination AND BACK without incident!

"A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11

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