Once Bitten…

Picture the scene. The stay at home mum is happily making cakes at the kitchen table with help from her giggling children as they each take turns at mixing. Happy smiles come from all as Daddy has managed to get home from work a little earlier than normal today and he is greeted with this display of domestic bliss.

Okay, that’s the dream, here’s the reality. The making cakes bit was true. The hands were washed and dried, sleeves rolled up, aprons tied, in the style of Katy from I Can Cook! I popped next door to double check the quantities needed. Next thing I hear is a piercing scream, and my son comes running in for a cuddle. “Evie BIT me!” and sure enough, we have this:

It’s not a little nip, there’s blood, and bruising and evidence of suckage! I was totally stunned. When my daughter saw my face, she burst into tears and pretty much took herself to the sorry step. Cue two screaming children, neglected cake making ingredients strewn all over the table, and a gbh assault on a 2 year old. Yes that’s when my husband walked in from work, an hour earlier than usual – welcome to my world!

I know every mum in the world thinks their offspring are the most wonderful children to ever grace the human race. I’m no different, but I also like to think that I’m quite grounded. I was quite happy to admit that my son looked like a tortoise when he was younger, and have no problem saying that my daughter is a fussy eater, just as they have no problem pointing out my flabby tummy in the swimming pool, but when it came to their behaviour and relationship with each other I’ve always been quite smug. They love each other, and have never shown unkindness towards each other. Whenever they’re together they enjoy each other’s company. At birthday parties they would rather be with each other than with their school friends, you get the idea.

So, how do you react when your child does something so completely out of character? She was sorry, so very sorry. I know she was. Any anger I had soon dissolved when I saw how sorry she was. I soon had tears too, because my son is one of those children who gets an injury, cries about it until it’s kissed better, then gets up and gets on as if it never happened. So when he’d recovered, he suddenly became aware that his sister was crying. He’d completely forgotten that she’d bitten him and went straight over to her to give her a cuddle, concerned as to what could be making his big sister so sad. He just wanted to make her happy again. They spent the next 10 minutes cuddling each other with so much love it brought tears to my eyes.

The thing is, now she’s done this, I worry that she might do it again. Is my perfectly behaved daughter now no longer so? I know I’m probably reading too much into it, but can something like that just be a one off? Has the fact that there’s someone in her class at school who has bitten other people (though not her) got anything to do with it? At the moment I feel quite confident that she learnt from this one instance that it’s something you should never never do, but I now have a doubt that I didn’t have before. What if?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PhotoPuddle
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 11:23:44

    Your little girl sounds lovely and the sort of child that learns from her mistakes. It’s good in way that she’s done this and learned the hard way that it’s wrong and how much upset it can cause. And although horrible, better she did it to her brother than a child at school. I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about this unless it happens again. And remember even as adults we sometimes do things and then instantly regret them as they’re wrong. I guess it’s just human naure.


  2. HELEN
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 11:56:57

    ahh that brought a tear to my eye too…your kids sound lovely and I’m sure it’s just a one off. I was horrified to hear that my extremely placid eldest son (when he was in reception aged 4) bit another child at school…it turns out that this other child was quite boisterous & affectionate & was grabbing my son a bit too hard around the neck and even though he asked her to get off & tried to get her off she didn’t loosen her grip….so he bit her on the part of her arm that was closest to his mouth. He was very sorry about it but in his eyes he didn’t have any other option and was a bit scared….he never did it again, to anyone.
    Your daughter sounds very caring so I wouldn’t worry…maybe just a sibling thing! x


  3. Paula Maher (@PaulaMaher)
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 16:09:33

    biting is so much different from hitting or kicking. those actions are always carried out in anger, with the desire being to hurt the other party. biting is more a compulsion, an idea we get in our heads that’s hard to shake off. i’ve seen it in school – there are kids that bite a lot, but sometimes a kid you’d never imagine admits to biting another kid but can never explain why. i’d take this as a once-off. they seem to have a lovely relationship – long may it last!


  4. Trackback: What You Staring At? « itsamumsworld
  5. pinkoddy
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 21:48:30

    I feel like a bad parent now as my 2 year old does this a lot to my 4 year old – but yes I’d be very shocked if it was the other way round. I think it’s just a normal part of development – survival of the fittest and all that – just finding their way in the world. It’s good that she was sorry and a very good sign that she wont make a habit of it.


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