One of the many mysteries of parenthood

standard November 7, 2008 2 responses

This morning my darling children decided to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5am. Now, I don’t know about your household, but ’round these parts, we don’t get up until 7ish. So, at 5am, after a fitful, not so restful night, you can imagine that I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be up.

I sent C back to her bed in a hurry and I retired to the couch with Little L. Now, on most mornings when Little L and I don’t exactly see eye to eye about whether or not we should be up, I can cuddle with her on the couch under a big comforter and she’ll usually go back to sleep. Sometimes it takes a bit of persuasion, but it’s usually a guaranteed thirty or forty more winks.

This morning she was having none of it. She’d been up and her beloved big sister had been up, ergo, it was clearly time for everyone to be up. I lay with her on the couch, pinning her tight against me, hand holding her pacifier in her mouth, for a long, long time. Usually if I hold her like that she goes back to sleep in minutes and we enjoy a long lazy sleepy snuggle. This morning she fought me and struggled. She stuck her fingers in my eyes and she even tried to see if she could get away with biting my arm.

Which is when I realized that I had somehow misplaced the pacifier.

OK. So here’s what I don’t get. If I am lying on the couch on my side, and my rather small daughter is lying next to me, and there is nothing else on the couch other than the comforter, and I have been lying quite still and holding the baby in place, how is it possible that I lost the pacifier? I looked everywhere the pacifier could have been; under the cushion, under the baby, under me, on the comforter, everywhere. Needless to say I didn’t find it.

Since Little L doesn’t sleep without the pacifier and by then I’d been fighting with her for over an hour and a half, I finally admitted defeat and let her get up. Once we were off the couch I did another thorough pacifier search, but I never found the little sucker.

I found it tonight. A foot away from the end of the couch. Seriously. Can you please explain that?

A biter like her mother

standard October 27, 2008 4 responses

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.