Well...Madeline may have maybe, kinda, sorta bitten a boy in her class on Friday. Apparently her teachers never let her get a good chomp out of him, but she tried three times.
In her defense, this is clearly a learned behavior. Perhaps the baby she bit was, in fact, that very same baby who taught her how to bite in the first place.
On the other hand, I clearly do not want my daughter thinking that she can go around taking a nibble out of anyone she damn pleases. She currently has seven teeth, and there appear to be more on the way. This biting situation could turn downright nasty.
When she bit my cheek the day after being bitten herself, I felt sure that she understood that she had inflicted pain. Her demeanor instantly became guilty. She pouted her bottom lip. Her eyes got watery, and she kept casting sorrowful looks in my direction while she played with her toys in the corner of the room.
She has not bitten Eric or me since.
But apparently, this empathy does not extend to other babies. Can a one-year-old even know empathy?
Herein lies the problem.
How does one teach a thirteen-month-old baby not to bite people??? (I can't swing my own baby around by her ankles. That could be seriously frowned upon.)
Obviously, I turned to the mighty Internet Gods for a solution.
Here are the most common solutions:
1. Sit her down, and firmly, but gently, explain that we do not bite other babies
2. Every time she bites, give her a hug or kiss instead
3. Bite the baby back!
Yet, I have a sneaking suspicion that none of these solutions will work with a baby Madeline's age. She can't be reasoned with, I don't want her to think biting = hugs, and she already knows that biting hurts. It happened to her last week!
Thankfully, Madeline got through the day today without any biting incidents. Let's hope it stays that way, shall we?
(I suppose a muzzle is out of the question???)