The Hand that Feeds You–On the Occasion that Love Bites

Dear Lily June,

At only sixteen months, you are still a young toddler. You can’t, for instance, badger me about how to make a piece of toast, let alone an entire ham sandwich. And yet, you can definitely use your teeth.

“In the world of toddlers,” my sister, who has had five children, tells me, “there are bite-es, and there are bite-ers. It’s better for you if they’re the bite-ee. It’s better for your child if they’re the bite-er.”

Congratulations, Lily June. Things just got a whole lot better for you.

Things got a lot worse for everything in which you’re leaving behind a ring of teeth: your spoons, your sippy cups, concrete sidewalks, your mother’s cheeks.

In the hopes of putting the kibosh on your new chomping hobby, I’ve been reading a lot of parenting articles that sink their teeth into the topic. The first thing I’m supposed to do is identify your triggers. That’s easy. It’s Mommy. (You have, after all, never once bitten your father.)

Step One complete. Step Two: Undergo Surgery to Don an Entirely Different Physical Identity so that You Can’t Recognize Me has been tabled until further notice due to financial difficulty.

Then I am supposed to, once bitten, react consistently. Because you don’t yet understand the finer things–like armchair philosophy on the nature of human cruelty–I cannot logic your vice grip off of me.

Instead, I am supposed to react the same way every time. And I do, really.

I’ve been trying to practice my Mad Mom stonewall gaze while tossing you a firm “No.” In response, ever the precocious angel, you imitate the expression on my face, to what I can only assume, sans mirror, is a T.

Apparently, when I’m most upset, I closely resemble a 1980’s situational comedy alien who mostly just hung around on a suburban family’s couch cracking wise about eating their cats.

alfep7d
I wear the snout better than ALF. Believe.

And then I react again just as the parenting experts and child psychologists and pediatricians agree I should: I consistently laugh at the way you pantomime me before Googling “how to unhinge the jaw of a python-like toddler.”

Then I drag you, still attached by all eight teeth to my forearm, to inventory the fridge for butter that I can use to slide your mouth off my arm like you might use to slip a too-small ring off of a too-large finger.

In other words, given my first REAL disciplinary test as a parent, I’m failing miserably. And as a result, you’re probably going to bite me forever.

***

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8 thoughts on “The Hand that Feeds You–On the Occasion that Love Bites

  1. orchidblueblog says:

    Wow, that bites 😛 but as everything, it’s a stage and you are a teething ring. Maybe she’s wisely doing it as a distraction technique. Either way there is NO way you are failing. I think it means you’re her favorite.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. janeydoe57 says:

    Reminds me of when daughter S was young and would play in the round clothing racks while we were shopping. I, of course would try to put a stop to it, mainly so I could finish what I was doing and get the munchkins home without having a meltdown in public (mine, not theirs). S though was our clown, actress, comedienne, and she’d poke her head out from between a couple of clothing items and speak in a made up accent which obviously we had to laugh at. Then, still trying to discipline I’d tell her to get out and she’d pop back into the center of the rack only to pop out again a few garments away and using an entirely different persona. I would get more angry at myself because I couldn’t keep a straight face!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Allie P. says:

    First – awesome use of an ALF reference.

    Second – okay second will have to wait because I am still laughing too hard.

    Third – Reminds me of a time I oh so mistakenly fell under the believe that my first born was trying to kiss my cheek only to have him clamp down like some sort of sugary sweetly camouflaged bear trap.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bradley says:

    Thank you for making me laugh on a gloomy morning. I remember this stage very well and we did get through it. We had teeth marks on the coffee table that reminded us of that period for years. I’m kind of sad we got a knew one.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. El Tries New Stuff says:

    I’m howling!! Not at your toothy misfortune, of course 😉 But you paint a wonderful picture! Glad to be back and reading all about your cheeky, little Lily June again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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