My Toddler Bites: A Parent Confession and Apology
At child care pick-up a few days ago, my husband received the dreaded incidence report. We are used to these. We get at least one a week about the multiple bumps and bruises from our accident-prone toddler. But this one was different. This one stated that my toddler son bit another child.
This did not surprise me, but it broke my heart. I know that biting is a normal toddler behavior and often a way for toddlers to express themselves, to react to a frustration, a result of teething or even simply a way to explore their world. And Owen is going through all of these right now — teething, easily frustrated and showing his feelings through actions. But I can’t help but feel that here is my sweet little baby and he hurt another child.
As a mom, I’d much rather get the report that Owen was bit by another child. This I can rationalize and chalk up to the typical toddler behaviors described above. Being on the other side of the biting incident stresses me out. And the fact that I am an outsider to it is frustrating. If we were at a play date, I would be taking an active role in redirecting the biting behavior, apologize to the parent and even share a laugh over the craziness of this toddler phase.
I wish I could apologize to the parents. I wish I could show them how we are working on this behavior and watching for signs of it turning into a bigger biting problem. I wish we could share a laugh together about toddlerhood. Then, I could stop stressing out inside about the biting incidence and treat it as it is — normal toddler behavior.
Because I can’t do it in person (the incidence report doesn’t share this information), I am globally apologizing to all those parents whose toddler was bitten by another child. Know that we feel terribly that our child caused your child pain. Know that the teachers are doing their best to prevent this and working with us to curb this behavior. And know that my child is really sweet — at most times.