CHOMP! I heard it all too clearly, right before my 1-year old son burst out in heart-wrenching sobs. Oh no, I thought, immediately turning my attention back to the floor, where my children were happily playing together just moments earlier, that didn’t sound good at all.
Upon inspecting the situation, it became apparent that my 3-year old daughter had rather aggressively bitten the hand of her little brother. My heart sank instantly, as she is normally such a doting older sister. But I saw how angry and upset she was upon committing the act, and couldn’t understand why it had happened. In reaction, I quickly snatched her up, carried her to her bedroom, and told her to stay in bed until she calmed down; of course this gave me time to calm down also, while I contemplated how to most effectively and appropriately handle the situation. After comforting my son, and reflecting on what had happened, I approached my daughter for conservation. She could tell that I was close to tears as I explained to her how much she had hurt her brother. Following our talk, she reverted back to her usual sweet self by giving her brother a hug and apologizing for her actions.
Because my daughter is normally very protective of her brother, I was very surprised that the biting had happened, and deeply hoped that it would be a one-time event. Unfortunately though, it would appear that we had a little biter on our hands, as the next day, while my kids were with a babysitter, it happened again. My daughter knew right away that she was in trouble, because she heard the sitter tell me about her bad behavior. My daughter reacted to this by acting out as we prepared to return home, and continued with the tantrum on the short walk to the car, and while I buckled both kids into their car seats. Under no circumstances was I going to allow her to incite a reaction out of me though. I kept chanting to myself, “breathe through your nose,” until I was able to get into my own seat, and deal with her in a calmer manner. I told her that this was unacceptable behavior, and if she ever bit anyone again I would take ALL of her dresses away! Apparently the threat of living life in pants worked, because we have not yet had a third episode, and are hoping we never will!
As a stay-at-home mom, my children are my sole focus from morning until bedtime. Lately though, I have been concentrating a lot on my new work-from-home job as a member of the Great (Lakes Bay) Moms team. Perhaps my kids were starting to get a sense that my attention has been divided, and that, without realizing it, I had become less attentive to them and their needs. Following our second experience with “the biter,” I decided to spend the rest of the day on the floor playing, giving out hugs and kisses, and telling both of my kids how much I love them. So far, so good! But as always, tomorrow is another day and My Sweet Girl – The Biter may reemerge!