If there’s one thing you don’t want your baby to be known as, it’s The Biter. There’s always one in daycare or pre-school or a playgroup, isn’t there? When my daughter was in pre-school there was a boy who was a biter. Whenever my daughter mentions his name, to this day, I’ll say, ‘Oh, The Biter?’ And it’s been eight years!
Let’s face it. If your child is a biter, all the other parents know that your kid is a biter, probably because your kid is coming home from day care with bite marks and you will find out who the kid and their parents are.
And, now, I’m the one who has The Biter. FML. I have proof of this in the form of a photo of baby teeth marks that had remained on my cheek for three days after my own son bit me. So far, my baby has bitten almost everyone in my house.
One night, he was like a pit bull and not only bit my stepdaughter’s finger hard, he refused to let go of her finger. She, too, had teeth marks for the next couple of days on her finger and talk about the mayhem when you see your baby biting your stepdaughter who is crying in pain and parents trying to unlock their baby’s clamped teeth from their other child’s finger. Who knew that when a baby bites and clamps hard, it’s really almost impossible to get them to let go!
The Biter also attacked my daughter. He bit her on her chin, which also left a mark. Biting babies really, really hurt. They are brutal. The Biter does not just take a nibble. He bites, like he’s attacking a well-done steak. So, of course, we couldn’t let this go on. We were running out of Polysporn and Band-Aids and also, it’s just plain wrong to bite.
So, every time, my son looks like, or does, bite someone, we have to yell at him, “NO. NO. NO!” It’s so strange how babies can be so different from one another. My daughter never bit, so I was not prepared to have a Biter come out of me and that I’d be answering questions with, “Yeah, my baby bit me. Yeah, at least his teeth marks are straight.” But, alas, I do. And because he’s not so smart – “No, that is a dog food bowl! That kibble is not for you!” – I don’t think he’ll understand if I tell him, “Just because you have mouthful of teeth now does not mean you can bite humans!”
I did some research into this biting thing, which is quite common. One site suggested that when a child bites you, you need to keep your feelings in check, for example, by counting to ten and taking a deep breath. Hello? Have you ever had a child bite you? There’s no time to keep your feelings in check! It’s so shocking and hurts so much that what happens because it’s so shockingly painful like a motherfucker, you’ll end up screaming or crying or both while yelling, “That hurt like a motherfucker! What the hell just happened?” Only then, after you get over the shock, maybe, will you be able to count to ten, after checking to see if The Biter broke skin.
Admittedly, my first reaction when he bit me out of the blue was to slap him, which I did not. My initial reaction was not to go into a yoga pose, that’s for sure.
Apparently, children bite to cope with a challenge or to fulfill a need, like frustration, or personal space. Apparently there’s no evidence either that biting your child back will reduce their biting. Okay. I’m not sure what ‘expert’ came up with this, but I can’t picture one mother biting their 15 month old back after they bite you. Who would even think of doing that? We do know who the adult is in the relationship is, right?
I would certainly never bite my son, even though he looks delicious. I noticed that he usually bites when he gets overly excited, like if his sisters are wrestling with him. He just gets caught up in the excitement, as well as his mouth, and that’s when the teeth get into the action and lock onto someone else’s body part. Others, like my mother-in-law, thinks that my son may bite because he’ not getting enough attention, which only a loving nana would say. He has at least six people paying attention to him at all times.
He gets more attention and protection than the children of presidents. My son’s biting has stopped…for at least three weeks now, which is promising. I so do not want my kid to be known as The Biter when he enters pre-school. It’s a nickname that could stick for the rest of his life. And I prefer Holt the Bolt.
(Image: getty images)