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.

A Toddler’s Halloween

standard October 6, 2008 10 responses

The days grow shorter and colder and all of a sudden pumpkins and ghouls pop up everywhere. People start to ask each other what they want to be for Halloween and start storing up bright bags filled with fun size candy bars. You and I know what it’s all about, we’ve done Halloween a few, OK fine, many times. But for toddlers who are already constantly trying to make heads or tails of the madness that is the grown-up world, Halloween is just a little more craziness that just makes no sense.

364 days a year they aren’t allowed to talk to strangers, but one night a year they get to speak to every grown-up they meet. Every other day they are absolutely not allowed to take candy from strangers, but one night a year they not only get to take candy, but they’re supposed to ask for it. And even stranger, one night a year, instead of getting tucked up safe and sound in their snug little beds, we dress them up in itchy uncomfortable costumes and we parade them out in the streets past their bed times to go collect candy that they probably won’t get to eat anyway.

Crazy much?

I learned my lesson two years ago. Halloween is not fun for a toddler who craves order and normalcy. We took C out trick-or-treating because we thought it would be fun and we paid the price for days. She refused to go to sleep on her own and had horrible nightmares that woke her up at all times of the night. The following year we were much more cautious and this year, even though all she talks about is dressing up and going out to trick-or-treat, we’re still going to be careful.

Little L is at the same age as C was when she had her terrible reaction, and frankly, I think C is all talk. When push comes to shove, or rather trick comes to treat, I don’t think she’s going to be as brave as she thinks and I don’t think I can relive the post-Halloween nightmare week. So we’re going to dress up our little chicken and tiny clown and before dark we’re going to go knock on a couple neighbor’s doors, then we’ll come home and wait for the ghouls, cats, witches, transformers, and all other little changelings to come out of the dark to ring the bell and sing out TRICK-OR-TREAT as they wait with eager faces for us to fill their smiling pumpkin buckets. After that, hopefully the world will change back to normal, or what passes for normal to a toddler at least.