Before I say another word, that stick that you’re beating yourself with, move away from it straight away. Your son bit my son. It wasn’t you. You didn’t do any biting today. And I’m pretty sure you didn’t insight him into violence. I’d like to think you weren’t whispering in his ear, advising him that if my son didn’t give up with Little Tikes police car soon, the best thing to do was bite his finger. You didn’t do that. Actually you did the total opposite, you totally parented the shit out of the situation.
In fact if we’re going to review the parenting here, mine was slightly lacking, not yours. I was sat with my mates drinking coffee. You were watching your son. You were there quick smart and you made him apologise. He was taken off for a while and he came back crying, so I’m pretty sure you weren’t congratulating him on the strength of his jaw. I should have been watching my son more closely, but instead I was moaning to my equally tired mates about how the toddler has disowned sleep. I came when I heard the cry, and you were already there, dealing with it.
I guess your son is 2, at the most he is pushing 3. As much as we would like to imagine they know better, they kind of don’t. There was a sharing violation with the car. In 15 years time, they will probably be having a fracas over a large breasted teenager called Chelsea. Disputes happen all through life. Unless you are Mike Tyson, you learn how to deal with them without resorting to biting! I regularly want to stab Mr Mess Stress and Fancy Dress in the eye with a biro if he dares to disagree with my TV selection, so it must be pretty tough if you’re only 2. He followed his instincts and he bit. If he were a caveboy, that instinct would be keeping him alive. Sadly in our so called civilised world, some people judge and over-react.
Let’s not forget that it could so easily have been my son doing the biting. In many ways you’ve done me a favour. That currently hard done by toddler, has taken chunks out of many an unsuspecting child in this same establishment. When he’s teething, I have to actually follow him round to ensure he doesn’t leave a trail of screaming children in his wake. You allowed me to have the conversation about how much it hurts when you get bitten. Maybe he might finally understand. In many ways it was kind of nice to be the parent of the victim for once, and not the parent of the aggressor (obviously it wasn’t nice to see my son in pain, but if a pom bear enabled him to forget, I doubt the memory will leave a mental scar.) Its soooo much easier to be the parent of the victim.
We learn by making mistakes, by understanding the ramifications of our chosen behaviour. As an adult we might manage to learn that from just one instance. But as a pre-schooler, we might need a few more bollockings. Judging by the amount of times I have to ask a child to put on a shoe, I imagine a pre-schooler has to hear something about 37 times before it makes any kind of indent in their memory. So lets not vilify your little nibbler. He’ll get there.
So please. Forget about it. You dealt with it with aplomb. You were reasonable but firm. You were brilliant to watch. Now get yourself a massive Gin and Tonic, you everyday parenting hero, you deserve it. xxx