Her wide open mouth moves nearer and nearer. She looks me in the eye as she approaches to see if I’m going to react and when I don’t she places her sweet little mouth on my skin.
“No biting!” I caution, and for a micro instant she hesitates, and then I feel the slightest hint of pressure.
“Little L! No biting!” I reiterate and the pressure increases. She’s not quite biting yet. It could still be construed as the beginnings of an intense kiss, but I know better. Just as I make a move to release her mouth (Always a dicey move because all she’ll do is transfer her focus to my finger, meaning I still get bitten one way or another.) she increases the pressure devilishly so that now she is actively biting me.
I feel her sharp baby teeth dig into the skin and I wait for the inevitable moment when they will break through the skin. Oddly, the pain always catches me by surprise, like my sweet little baby shouldn’t have the power to cause tears to jump to my eyes.
She can feel me struggling, but she doesn’t stop. It’s like she can’t resist the urge to sink her teeth into soft flesh. And the big problem is that I understand it all too well. See, I was a biter too, and to this day I still remember the intense physical satisfaction derived from having my mouth close in on someone’s unsuspecting bare shoulder and feeling my teeth sink into that soft pliable flesh. Ahem.
My mother still tells the tale of the little friend I bit so hard during an afternoon play-date. I’m pretty sure we were never invited again. I don’t think I’ll ever forget biting her, or the lack of remorse I felt that day.
“No biting!” I say a bit more sharply as I pull Little L off my cheek. As she starts to cry and struggles to get back onto my lap, for comfort or to have another go at my face, I’m not sure, I stand up to go assess the damage. I stare in awe in the mirror and marvel at the perfect circle of tiny teeth marks embedded in my cheek.
She got me good. I wonder if it felt as good as I remember.