Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bitten

Zuzu got bitten by another kid at daycare.  When I picked her up yesterday, I had to sign an "incident report."  The report didn't name names, but I gathered that Zuzu had gotten into a dispute with another child and then that child (not a typical biter) had chomped down on Zuzu's arm.

The report said that her teacher had comforted her and put ice and anti-bac cream on her arm and sung songs with her and her teacher told me she only cried for thirty seconds or so, although she could tell it was a real cry of pain and not just an angry cry.

Zuzu was playing happily when I got there to pick her up, with no sign of pain or distress, so I signed the report and put her coat on her and we headed home.  I dropped her with David and then headed back out to get my hair cut, so I mentioned to him that she'd been bitten, but didn't think much about it again until I was back home and getting her ready for bed.  I took off her shirt to put her pjs on and saw a nasty red bite mark on her arm--all those hours later and I could still see the individual teeth marks!

I gasped and asked Zuzu what happened and who bit her, and plain as day she named one of her little "friends" from daycare and added the word "BITE."  (She told me about it again this morning, and her teacher said she expected that Zu would tell us what happened.)

It was kind of a weird moment for me when I uncovered the bite mark because, initially, I had been relieved that Zuzu was the victim rather than the perpetrator (which, honestly, seemed an equally if not more plausible a scenario!).  But suddenly I saw this angry welt on Zuzu's soft little arm chub (it's on her right bicep) and I was horrified and ENRAGED at this little blonde toddler whose mother and I are often doing drop off at the same time in the morning.

I was also FURIOUS with her mother, a very nice, soft-spoken woman, whose name I don't actually know and with whom I have only exchanged friendly greetings.  Friendly?  Ha!  Suddenly I wanted to FIGHT her for sending her vicious monster of a daughter to school with my innocent little cherub.  For all I know, this child could have rabies.  Maybe her mother should consider some kind of correctional facility instead of a daycare where her daughter can continue to victimize my child.  I mean REALLY.  Who lets their vicious toddlers out in public where they can continue to be Violent Offenders?

(Okay, ALL OF US who are parenting toddlers, but that's not the point!  I'm very busy being righteously indignant here.)

I made David look at Zuzu's arm so we could be appalled together and then I carefully washed the bite mark and put a little anti-bacterial cream on it and we did our usual bedtime routine.

This morning, the bite was still there.  Faded, yes, but obviously and clearly a bite.  Her teacher gave her extra hugs this morning when we got to school and told me again how sorry she was and how she had possibly been more upset than the girls were about the incident (evidently the biter cried almost as much as Zuzu over the whole thing).

She also said that Zuzu had tried to retaliate (and the other teacher in the room did a hilarious impression of Zuzu fiercely chomping the air) so the girls had to be separated, although the teacher said she was almost tempted to let Zuzu bite her back so the other girl would know how it felt.  (However, that is not how the daycare handles discipline, which is probably a good thing.)

Instead, the whole class had a long talk about how we don't bite our friends.

Which I am sure was very effective and a real lesson learned for all the 1-2 year olds.

(Also I'm now referring to this particular child as Zuzu's frenemy until I have a little more time to get over it, or possibly forever).

Anyway, the fact is that Zuzu is going to be just fine.  And, if I'm being honest, I know it's very possible that I might one day have to sign an incident report in which the roles are reversed.

These things happen, and it could be that this girl just managed to strike first.  Chances are Zuzu had done something to provoke her, especially since she's not typically a biter. There's really no point in directing my wrath at a one-and-a-half-year-old who got mad at my daughter.

Her mom on the other hand...?

Better watch her back in the daycare parking lot at pick-up time.  I still kind of want to fight her.

12 comments:

  1. This is hilarious! My daughter is soon to be 3 and when she got her first bite from a child at daycare I wanted to smack that kids mother into next week! I didn't have to wait long until I was on the other end of the scenario. I greatly enjoy your blog :o)

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  2. Aw poor Zuzu! MamaBear got your back sweetie!

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  3. I sorta love that daycare provider for wanting to just let her bite back. But knowing that's probably not a good idea. Still.

    Glad she's ok andglad Zu wanted to even the score. Mama didn't raise no wuss. Ha.

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  4. My daughter was a major biter at that age. She would lunge at her friends even when I was standing next to her. I had to keep her back a safe distance, like a vicious dog. Everyone will tell you it's a normal occurrence for toddlers, but I can tell you that I felt TERRIBLE. Please know that the other mother feels very badly.

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  5. EEEeeeeks!! Oh man, I'd get my freak on too if I saw that on Catherine. Except I'm afraid I'm going to be the one getting vicious looks from other mommas before it's me on the warpath because Catherine's M.O. is to bite when she's frustrated. Which y'know, sometimes occurs when kids take her shit. She'll bite whatever the object of her frustration is - me, a kid, a shoe, the table, you name it.
    She's supposed to start daycare next week. Will let you know how it goes!
    And good golly I hope her arm heals fast. That sounds awful. :((

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  6. Oh, toddlers. :) When my daughter was that age, we used a babysitter one to two days per week. One day, I went to pick her up, and the babysitter told me she had bitten another little boy - hard. Teeth marks and everything. I was shocked - it was a first. And I felt awful - embarrassed and concerned. There's not a lot of discussion you can have with an eighteen month old about situations and behavior and consequences, so I just asked that the babysitter keep a close eye on the situation and keep me in the loop with everything. They continued to have issues but kept the two separated mostly successfully after that. I went to get her another day and, while I was chatting, this same little boy came up to her and, without warning, body slammed her to the ground. My daughter got up with purpose and moved to "express" just how she felt about that! (I caught her in time.) Apparently, this was commonplace with this little boy (her babysitter spoke only Spanish and, while I'm somewhat conversant in Spanish, I believe the nuance of the issue was lost in my sub par Spanish comprehension skills). I'm not saying that's what's happening here AT ALL. :) Just that it struck me that, in kids that are still largely non-verbal (still babies, really), these kinds of actions are really their way of talking sometimes, at least in our experience (and our particular case). She was "telling" him what she thought of what she considered the "unfairness" of his treatment because she didn't have the words to actually do so. :) And I think that's why it's considered somewhat "normal" at this age. I hope this issue gets resolved soon! Not fun for either side. And I hope the teeth marks have disappeared!

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  7. Totally enjoyed this. Key her car. Bahaha.

    What a horrible mother and child. I mean, really. As if ZUZU would EVER do such a thing. ;)

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  8. I love a good Mama Bear story! Bite wounds are the worst! Hopefully it heals quickly!

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  9. When E was in that room it was a big issue - they had those big plastic interlocking grids and they formed these two corrals. It wasn't readily apparent (to the kids) that they were separating them into groups, but it did help separate a bit and ward off some of the quick hits that even eagle eyed teachers don't always catch.

    It's bizarre how it's such an issue for something like six months, and then never again.

    Bite marks are always hard to look at on your kid though. E had a few attempts on her, but only one real bite that I remember, but it was on her side and looked awful. She was sliding or reclining on one of the angles foam cubes and another kid wanted her out of the way and laid some teeth into her side. Ouch.

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  10. I really love this. My three year old has become a serious biter in the last week and I am constantly having to rescue her brother from her chompers.
    I read a lot of your blog tonight and it made me laugh hysterically and also cry which, not to sound like a total jerk, I don't do all that often.
    I look forward to reading more from you.

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  11. Lol this totally had me cracking up! Glad Zuzu is ok though. Hope that mom knows not to show her face again!!

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