Taking a bite out of my child
It's never a good thing when the number flashing up on your cell phone is the day care center. That was true recently. At first, all I heard was the word "bite." Did my curious son disturb a fire ant mound? It took his teacher saying it a couple of times before I figured it out: The bite came from another kid.
They were apparently arguing over a toy, she said. The bite was through his shirt and he was more upset about being forced to sit still for an ice pack than about being chomped on.
Still, I worried. Did he start it? I asked. Did he cry? Did it break the skin? Would it make him not want to go to school anymore? What would happen to the little biter?
They don't know for sure who started what, but they know my son is not the aggressive type. (He only hits at mom and dad when we try to make him brush his teeth.) Yes, he cried a little. No, it didn't really break the skin, but it left a big honkin' bruise on his side. And yes, they would tell the biter's parents, though they won't tell me who the biter was. I'm told their procedure is to shadow the biter closely and make sure it doesn't turn into a pattern.
I hear that biting is a common thing during the toddler years. Still, all that working mom guilt came flooding back again. If he were able to be at home, it wouldn't have happened. But I guess it's not too soon for him to learn that life is hard and that other people can be selfish and mean. I just hope it doesn't happen again -- or I'll be tempted to take a chunk out of that other kid myself.
-- Lisa Buie, Times mom