No one wants the biter. Hush, hush, hush.
You’ve heard them. Or maybe you’ve been them. You know, the hushed voices of the other moms at school as they whisper about that biter. “You know he bit my Conner totally unprovoked. I mean, OBVIOUSLY no one is disciplining him at home. MY Conner would NEVER bite another child because we teach him how to express his feelings through modern dance and movement and my Conner speaks three languages fluently and poops daisies…” yada yada yada.
Milo is the biter. I mean, he did it ONCE and I swear I have never, ever seen him bite another child out of anger or even playing. So imagine my surprise when I picked up Milo from preschool one sunny cool day last week only to be greeted by the concerned face of Ms. J, one of Milo’s wonderful, energetic teachers. “Today Milo bit someone.”
My heart sank, I felt my good mood deflating as I worked through the shock, disbelief, and confusion. Then in the next 10 minutes I quickly visited the 3 stages of bite-grief.
Stage 1: Denial. What the f*^%? That lady has no idea what she is talking about there is no way my kid bit someone it had to have been someone else and she just THOUGHT it was my Milo because he has never bitten anyone before and so there’s no way it was him no way.
Stage 2: Diversion. Well, okay, maybe it was him but it was because he has suddenly given up naps and he is just so tired and really he is not used to being around so many kids at once and well you know maybe he was cornered and felt trapped LIKE A BADGER?! and he had no other choice because his hands were tied behind his back and he had already asked the other kid to stop and well the OTHER kid pushed him and see he had no choice really.
Stage 3: Acceptance. Crap. He bit somebody now what are we going to do is this going to be a regular thing is he going to be the biter the bad kid the one who acts out is his teacher now going to peg him as one of the troublemakers??? We really need to do something we are going to have a nice talk and reward program and maybe more positive reinforcement and….
And then I stopped being a tightwad and relaxed and everything has already blown over. In fact, this whole week, Ms. J pulled either Andrew or me aside at school pick-up to tell us that Milo is doing an exceptional job now, and not to worry because he is adjusting wonderfully.
And. He’s 3.
And he has memorized my phone number (including area code) and our address and can do simple addition and subtraction in his head (seriously, he can).