It was cute when the baby gummed you, a strange sensation when there is no teeth. Then the teeth came, at first there was only five little teeth. Over the last few months, he has gained almost a full set of teeth. And we went from a baby gumming us to a toddler biting us. Real bites leaving real bruises. We filled out our first incident report on only his second day at daycare. I knew this would happen. He bit another child. As a new mother, what to do? There is the top secret method to breaking a biting child. I have yet to seen this method written about and every parent I talk to will swear this is how you stop biting. No one openly writes about it. It is by word of mouth from other seasoned mothers and fathers.
They say to bite him back. You are reading this right. Bite your child until you do harm and make them understand what they are doing. One told me I may even have to draw blood. I can’t do it. I can’t bite my baby. Even when I shriek in pain, I can’t make him feel the pain he is inflicting on others. Usually after we yell “that hurts! Don’t BITE!” The toddler laughs a maniacal laugh to let us know he won the game we didn’t even know we were playing. It is a game to him. He acts out a behavior and gets a response. The response is often loud and pain filled. But the other night I played his game and I didn’t mean to.
Before the baby, my husband and I got a dog. A large German Shepherd who was a puppy. This was my husband’s first dog. We named him Apollo and he was fighter as well as a biter. The biting was the straw which broke our family’s back. We tried training him to not bite to no avail. He was found a proper home with a man who not only loved him but had the time to work with his biting problem. Our method of training was to say “no bite” in our strongest tone. I thought maybe this technique could work with the toddler.
We were playing and he bit my belly hard. I stood the little blonde haired boy up and said “we don’t bite. Say sorry. Désolé.” (Désolé means sorry in French, I have always spoken the little French I know to him since he was born.) Then I showed him my teeth and chomped them while saying “no bite.” As I chomped down he stuck his finger in my mouth. And it hurt. I have big chompers and he has little toddler fingers. The stars, moon, and sky crashed in on my heart. I immediately said “I’m sorry. Désolé. Mommy didn’t mean to bite.” At this point, my cute bundle was reaching fever high pitched screams. All I could do was say sorry over and over and over again. I felt like an awful Mommy.
Guess what? He still bites.
First time mom lost in the parenting world yet again. I do warn people. At the park and even on the first day at daycare, I’m am upfront that my child is a biter. I was never so relieved as one day when I was at the play place inside our mall and I had the hawk eye on my child as he cautiously played with other children. I am pretty sure he was playing with another new mom’s child. Because she was standing really close to me with her own mommy radar eyes on her child. I said a quiet warning to her “my child bites.” She replied back with “yea, mine does too.” And we both breathed a huge sigh of relief. And I think we secretly hoped on the inside they would bite each other and learn their lessons that biting hurts.