There is nothing sweeter than a kiss from my daughter. Her little upturned face, and puckered lips. The way she closes her eyes just slightly, so she can still see her target. The smacking noise she makes as her lips mine. It fills my heart with joy every time. Of course, as of late, that joy has been tempered, and the sweetness has been a little less sugary, due to the fact that often the kiss is followed by her teeth clamping down on my lip. Or, sometimes she will skip the kiss altogether, and instead bite my cheek.
Yep. I'm raising a shark.
I have to admit, we are partially to blame for Meg's propensity to lead with her teeth. When she first started doing it she only had two teeth. Two tiny, adorable, rice grain size teeth. She would bite and we would scream "ow, ow, ow" and laugh. We all thought it was especially funny when Meg would bite her cousin Luke, giving everyone a huge grin as she did it. We figured she bit him the most because she loves him the most. He said it was "cute" and started calling her "Ms. Bitey."
There's a reason he's holding her mouth...
Now though, with eight teeth and a jaw that could crush cans, it isn't so cute. She bit Luke so hard on the cheek the other day she left a mark. I've already told you about the new dangers involved with kissing. And today, her babysitter told me Meg spent the entire day walking around with her teeth bared, ready to bite anyone who got in her way. She didn't get anyone, but she meant business.
This afternoon and evening Ryan and I spent researching a plan of attack. We figure if she injures a family member that's one thing, but someone who doesn't love her unconditionally is another. We decided that we will tell her firmly "no," when she bites, extract her teeth, tell her she is causing pain, and leave it at that. Too much more attention could encourage the behavior. No more laughing. No biting her back.
While this plan sounds great, I have to be honest, I am not thrilled about it. It isn't that I want Meg to keep biting people, I don't. I just don't want to do anything but absolutely adore my child and tell her everything she does is the most wonderful, and clever, and funniest ever. I don't want to tell her she shouldn't be doing something -- even though she shouldn't be doing it. Don't get me wrong, I tell her not to do things all the time: to stay away from the stove and the stairs, or to not drink white zinfandel. This feels different though, because I am telling her to change something about herself. I know it has to be done though. As Ryan says "you are the person you don't want to be now, so she will be the person we want her to be later." Damn him and his logic.
Sigh. Parenting is hard.
Well, I guess it will make the kisses better. I'll just focus on that.