Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reality Bites

Last week Lukas came home from daycare with a nasty bruise on his arm. I didn't initially recognize it but Mrs. LIAYF, being a former daycare director herself, quickly identified it as a bite. We were not terribly traumatized by it since it did not break the skin but wondered which of the bigger kids (he was visiting the pre-tod room, where he will move next week) had inflicted the damage. Of course the daycare policy was not to name names, and we understand the reasoning. And, most of the kids there have teeth, so it could be anyone.

Well, today it appears that our little guy is a quick learner. Yes, he has turned from the bitee to the biter! Luke has a healthy set of teeth now and has been sinking them into varying body parts of his parents recently, and always received a stern 'No Bite Lukas!' response from both of us. He seems to be learning that this is not acceptable behavior at home . Hopefully this is just a phase he is going through at daycare. Today he bit two of the other kids in the baby room and apparently knocked another over the head with a bucket!

Perhaps he is just practicing his self defense skills in anticipation of the move. As we left the daycare today, he was wrestled to the floor and scratched across the face by an older boy in the pre-tod room (o.k., only four months older) who just minutes later purposefully smacked another kid in the face several times. Yes, it was the end of the day and the little ones were tired, but this little boy (a.k.a. "The Nemesis") seemed to enjoy the painful cries that resulted from his actions and smiled with glee when doing his deeds. The Nemesis is almost a full head taller than Lukas, and a wee bit more aggressive than we have seen in the baby room.

I asked one of Luke's caregivers if this was a phase that all the kids go through and he responded by indicating that he thought Lukas was bored with the infant room and is just ready to move. I agree. He really wants to be interacting with the older kids - the toys are cooler, he gets to sit on a chair at a table at meal time, and there's a lot more room to roam. However, Mrs. LIAYF and I also suspect he is biting because he's learning it from the older kids (perhaps, The Nemesis). Well, only two more days in the infant room and he moves in with the pre-tods. I guess then we'll know for sure!


SciFi Dad said...

I would tend to agree with you that he's picking it up at daycare (unless, of course, you bite him at home... you don't do that, do you?)

All you can do is make sure he knows it's not OK, and ensure that the daycare tells you when he bites people so you can re-enforce the rule as all-the-time instead of at-home.

My daughter never really bit, so I can't offer much else. I know my MIL used to bite my wife in retaliation, but I think that's wrong.

Darren said...

Because of the timing, I think he probably picked it up from The Nemesis too. I hope they're trying to calm that kid down a little.

Jason Roth said...

What a coincidence...last week Z-Dub came home from preschool with a rather painful looking bite bruise too. I wasn't happy as he hasn't been bitten in a long time. At least we are comforted in the fact that despite the many times Z-Dub has been bitten, he has never, ever bitten anyone. He rather hit or push.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Sci-fi - No we have not been biting him at home. He does seem to get a bit tired of the same old things, and is high energy so I can see him getting bored with the infant room when there is no one there keeping him engaged. We just need to keep reinforcing it to him, and hope that he learns soon that it is not ok behavior.

@Darren - Yeah, The Nemesis was a bit scary. Luke is moving with two other boys he is pals with, so perhaps they can find safety in #'s.

@VegasDad - Kids really have to put up with a lot don't they? Just think if we had to deal with being hit or pushed or bit everyday. I would really be upset. Perspective, eh?

Anonymous said...

Usually nursing mothers stop this biting thing quickly or the "offender" gets a lot of bruises. My wife turns into a woman that I have never seen when she gets "it" when nursing. The boy ends up afraid of biting anything.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, sounds like a wee battlefield, haha.

Think all kiddies go through a biting stage around his age. Sounds like you are on the case though. :)

Anonymous said...

My hope is that Cooper's nick name will be "The Diffuser" instead of "The Nemesis". I'd like to imagine that he'll be able to resolve situations diplomatically. Of course, that's all a dream. Then again, diplomacy sometimes fails and leads to all-out war, so who knows?

James (SeattleDad) said...

@MTAE - Yes, Mrs. LIAYF has raised her voice in alarm more than once to Lukas after a bit in the wrong spot. He seems to be getting that it is not ok.

@shorn - Definite battlefield there, but I think Luke will figure out how to deal with the nemisis.

@Rob - Yes, hopefully Lukas will snap out of that rather quickly. I think moving rooms will help immensely.