Monday, October 4, 2010

Bitey

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.

16 comments:

Amanda said...

How much of a savings does a 15-month old kid have?? Luke's disfigurement lawsuit is going to be STEEP!

Lib, do not be so hard on yourself. She will get past this. You will get past this. Luke, not so much.

Hippo Brigade said...

Hold on to your f*ing hat! It's discipline time!! Whoo hoo. Make sure you have extra Zinfandel around because it's about to get funky.
I wish you luck.

lifeisacrapshoot said...

Exactly, just focus on how lovely those kisses will be!

Riot Kitty said...

Ouch! Hope that ends soon.

Cate said...

I will be happy to bite her for you.

WA said...

And so it begins...

But it's always harder to discipline the adorable ones.

Juniper said...

Don't they say that kids NEED boundaries to be happy? she'll probably love you all the more for it.

LL Cool Joe said...

She will grow out of this stage, but she does need to know that it hurts. My eldest was a biter, and when it was within the family it was ok, but then it happened with friends who brought their kids around to play. They do need to know what's nice and what isn't so nice.

It's tough, and it doesn't get any easier!

BugginWord said...

Her future husband thanks you.

Kelly said...

We have a "Time Out Spot" rug, that literally says "Time Out Spot" on it. Too bad the only one that ever uses it is the dog.

Thank goodness Mea never bit, she has vampire teeth. She would have left holes in everyone.

FabuLeslie said...

Good for you for doing the tough thing. I would also suggest putting something like lemon juice or vinegar all over every exposed surface of your body most days of the week, so that when she does bite, she will get a taste of something not so great. Then, when she's over the biting, you can go back to spreading sugar-glitter all over you as usual.

flitryss.com said...

Oh it is SO hard when you get to the point that you have to discipline them. I can't believe I'm going to do this, but here goes. I am going to tell you that Ryan is probably right. And also admit that my mother said something worthwhile, once. "The more tears THEY cry when they are little, the less tears YOU will cry when they are older." Stupid rightness.

Daniel said...

I might have choked on my tasty beverage when I read the part about having to say no to the drinking of white zinfandel. Thank you for the near death experience.

Being a bachelor sans offspring, I have no idea what it's like to raise a child, but I oddly feel your pain being that I have a 5 year old sister, and a potentially soon to be quasi 4 year old soon to be step-ish son thing (long story).

I dig your writing style... keep it up.

Jules said...

Maybe she's hungry. Do you feed her?

Deidra said...

There are other ways to care for an oral fixation! Mints, gum...she'll be just fine. :)

Waiting Lisa said...

I'm glad you are learning these lessons now so I can learn from you :)

No laughing when he starts biting...check.

:)