Here’s the thing about Sadie’s adorable habit of biting: while it hurts like something out of the Hunger Games and drives me to the freezer to get frozen peas to put on my ass (the situs of her last chomp), I sort of get where she’s coming from.
She doesn’t bite out of anger or frustration. Actually, she’s been really ecstatic the past two times she hauled off and bit someone. It looks to me like she gets overwhelmed with emotions– excitement and joy– and doesn’t know what to do with the feelings. Taking a bite looks like Sadie’s way of expressing and discharging her passion.
I understand it’s my job to teach her not to bite other people. I know better than anyone how much pain she can inflict with those tiny-but-oh-so-sharp pearly whites. But the truth is I like that part of her– not the violent, psychopathic– but the passionate parts of her that allow her to be overtaken by raw emotion.
Parenting a 2-year-old with a lip gloss fetish and killer incisors is hard, but she’s so damn alive. She’s so loud. She’s so in touch with desire. She’s so sure of herself. She’s completely unafraid to speak up for herself. Loudly. While standing naked on the kitchen table.
It’s not lost on me that I have spent a decade in therapy trying to get back to that spirit inside of me (minus the biting and the nudity on the kitchen table– I prefer the dining room table).
So far my efforts to rechannel Sadie’s passions have not worked. I showed her the “Charlie Bit My Finger” YouTube video and let her relive the pain of Charlie’s brother over and over. Unfortunately, she seems to think it’s funny and now asks to see it.
I definitely do not want her to hurt others, especially since we opted not to purchase tuition insurance for the preschool that may not appreciate her passion as much as I do. I may have had some nightmares about her getting expelled for this little biting thing.