We Don’t Bite Our Friends…

1 Mar

My family sat a row behind another mom, dad and son towards the back of our church for months. It’s the easiest escape with a screaming toddler to sit in the back.

Over the course of several weeks we got to know Tommy and his parents a little. This was about a year ago, so Reid was about 1 1/2. Tommy had just turned 2 years old.

The boys would often share toys and snacks over the chairs. My wife and I would chat with Tommy’s parents for a minute or two after mass and the boys seemed to get along.

On the way to church one Sunday my wife excitedly told me she wanted to suggest we have a play date with Tommy. That Sunday must have been particularly crowded at mass, because we sat on opposite ends of the same row as Tommy’s family.

I’m a tad of a helicopter dad. It’s unusual that I let Reid out of arms reach from me. But that week I was feeling brave, and it seemed inevitable that the two boys would be drawn together like toddler magnets.

Reid made his way to Tommy and his parents during mass, passing a half dozen other people sitting between us and Tommy.

The rest is a blur. Tommy’s mom swooped him up with him screaming and ran out of the church. Reid was crying but unscathed. My wife and I reeled Reid back in, trying to figure out what happened. Literally through a game of telephone in the middle of mass, we found out Reid bit Tommy. On the face.

My wife checked on Tommy. He was bleeding and needed ice to keep the swelling down. They were calling their pediatrician.

There are few things in parenting young kids that can make you more mortified by your child. I’d much rather have the child who was bitten than the child doing the biting.

We thought Reid was Hannibal Lecter.

Preschool-aged children will sometimes bite out of aggression. At 1 1/2, I’m confident Reid was overly excited to see his friend. Kisses turned into a bite and it seems to have gone along with teething.

It’s a teachable moment for Reid that our actions can hurt others. It’s a teachable moment for me that I need to let Reid out of arms reach. Sometimes I’ll be mortified by what ensues. Other times I’ll be proud.

Still, that play date never happened. We changed where we sit at mass after that incident.

Has your kid had a problem with biting?

Sites on Biting:

2 Responses to “We Don’t Bite Our Friends…”

  1. Kris-Ann Race March 9, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Yes, yes and more yes. Ben was the biter in child care for almost a year…we actually just got an incident report this week and he’s 2 1/2! Max bit for a long time out of excitement. Kisses did turn into bites. We tried ignoring and time out…neither really worked. Eventually, it just stopped. Hang in there!

  2. Kris-Ann Race March 9, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    BTW, love the Yo Gabba Gabba reference in your title. We sang that song many a time in our house.

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