Bite Me

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.

Who can direct me to the YouTube video that teaches kids to be passionate without all the anti-social ancillary behaviors?

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13 thoughts on “Bite Me

  1. I totally get what you are saying. When my son explodes with emotion like that it’s beyond endearing.

    You shouldn’t encourage her to repress the feeling, or make her feel bad about it in any way. I really never say no to my kids (unless its dangerous), I always try to redirect. Teach her the crazy dance where you shake your whole body – head rocking, fists pounding, feet stomping. If that doesn’t work, maybe biting a pillow (not a person) or screaming into the pillow. It would be a shame to do anything to damper that passion, instead you need to find something else she can do with that emotion.

    It helps that she is insanely adorable! Great pic!

      • Please, my son is a pansy. His overwhelming emotion is when he loves your argyle shirt so much he has to hug the crap out of you. I am looking for socially acceptable ways to toughen the kid up.

  2. But the Charlie Bit My Finger video is funny! Maybe you could make a video with Sadie, post it on YouTube, have it go viral, and then get her a sitcom deal. Child stars can bite. No one minds. Everyone loves a child star. But, they don’t always turn out so well. Hmmm…

  3. Love the YouTube idea! I love your take on Sadie’s biting – what a loving, enlightened reframe. I’ve been having some biting urges lately myself. Will you reframe for me? Lovingly, of course. And, god, could she be cuter? What a great pic!

  4. If it happens again, put your wine glass on the counter. Take your lit cigarette and touch it lightly to her mouth. She will not do it again.

  5. I love this post, but I feel like you’ve left a big part of it out. I feel like we need to know the circumstances surrounding Sadie being naked standing on the table and how your ass came to be in the vicinity of her incisors. Surely these hilarious circumstances warrant a blog post of their own?

    • I could write a damn book on that incident alone. I am thinking of penning “naked toddlers for dummies” and the sequel, “naked toddlers who will draw blood with teeth for dummies.”

  6. Pingback: Jig is Up: Stereotyping Or Keeping Kids Safe (What To Do About That Fear In My Gut) | Outlaw Mama

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