Plain and simple, the child biting stage sucks.
I can say this with confidence as I have now been the parent of both the biter and the one being bitten, and I’ve recently decided that one feels far worse for a parent than the other.
And shocker, it’s not the kid being bitten.
See when Charlie was about 1, he came home from daycare with the dreaded accident report that he had been bitten. Like most new moms, I was horrified. But after the requisite freak out overreaction “Call the police! My son’s being attacked!” I came to my senses. Kids bite, it’s normal and common, and Charlie was fine. To this day, I ask him if he remembers the incident (or rather incidents, it happened a few times), and he has no recollection.
Fast-forward to three weeks ago when I received a phone call that we had another biting incident. But this time, my daughter Lucy was the predator.
My sweet, happy, smiley Lucy was biting someone in her class. And not once, but 4 times in 10 days, warranting a call from the director about “action steps.”
Once again, I was horrified, and I have to tell you, this time felt worse. Far worse. And I think it’s because this time I took it personally. Was this a reflection of my parenting? Was Lucy becoming a psychopath? Was this the beginning of a lifetime of violence? Yes, I knew these were crazy places to go, but moms tend to spiral when it comes to their kids, and I was dizzy with the hypothetical future.
After I calmed down and had one (fine, two) glasses of wine, I remembered how normal this is. According to Google, her teachers, and everyone at work who sits within a 20-foot radius of my office, biting often happens when your child is teething (check!) and does not yet have the full vocabulary to express herself (check!).
We’ve had about two weeks now bite-free. Not going to lie, I have a bit of anxiety every time my cell phone rings, thinking I’m getting a call that Lucy has struck again. And I may make you sign a waiver that states you understand the possible consequences of a playdate with my child, but other than that, I think we’re managing pretty well.
And if you happen to be the parent of the child my daughter is biting, I’m sorry, but you must have a very sweet-tasting baby.