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Article: Bite Me

andrea richards

Bite Me

I've heard many women say that they stopped breastfeeding as soon as their wee one sprouted a nubby tooth and took a nibble. I don't blame them; bites hurt like hell. But why is this subject something strangers love to speculate about? If I had a dollar for everyone who passes by my (modestly covered-up) breastfeeding form and remarks, "Just wait ‘till she gets a tooth," I'd buy a steak for my little caveman baby to sharpen her fangs on. Being bitten by a gummy baby is one thing; being bitten by a toddler with a full set of teeth is another. Thankfully, my two-year-old only chomped down on me once, while trying to get my attention during a party. She clamped down on my shoulder and it surprised me so much that I screamed. She was terrified and I wound up comforting her. But once your kid starts day care or preschool, it's all about the chomp-down. "Here's the deal," the director of our school told us flatly at orientation, "your child is going to bite someone or be bitten." At the time, I was horrified, wondering what kind of Lord of the Flies place I'd be leaving my little girl at. Who were all these monstrous toddlers just waiting to get their teeth in her? Or maybe my kid would be the biter-that problem child everyone else speculates about: I knew that kid was trouble, did you see her at circle time? I hear her parents work all the time. Maybe they just don't feed her. I made sure our vaccinations were in check so we'd be safe no matter which side she took. Was my girl a biter or shark bait? Within the first month of school, I had an answer: Bait. She came home with a nasty red puncture on her finger, shaped in the perfect form of some devil-child's front teeth. The teachers prepped me for it at pick-up, assuring me that such nipping was a normal course of action for two - and three-year-olds. "Biting is just faster than talking," a teacher explained. But they wouldn't give out the perpetrator's name, no doubt as a protective measure. Because if I knew which of those pint-sized predators bit my girl, I'd search them out and bite back. Meanwhile, here are some songs for any kiddo Cujo to sink his or her teeth into:     ..............            . .  .............................. 

"Love Bites" Lullaby Renditions of Def Leppard

"Welcome to the Jungle" Lullaby Renditions of Guns N' Roses

"Human Behaviour" Lullaby Renditions of Björk

"Hunter" Lullaby Renditions of Björk

"All Apologies" Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana

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