Got home a little early for once yesterday, and my wife arrived from the daycare pickup a few minutes later. “So look at this,” she said, holding out our little boy’s arm to reveal two pairs of dark-red scabs. “That’s a bite.”
At first I misunderstood, because I had just moments earlier been reading a news story about bedbugs. No, she explained: a human bite, from another child.
Now, some of this is to be expected, or at least understood. In the past, he’s nipped at me, and once another kid, himself. But nothing broke the skin, and I had the sense that he was just using his teeth as a third hand. This was different. It was bloody, and showed torn flesh. It looked like a dog bite, and a violent one.
Our daycare center has a policy at moments like this: They will not identify the biter to the parents of the bitee. I understand that, even if it irritates me. The center does not want to get caught in the middle of your-kid-bit-my-kid, well-who-provoked-whom, well-who-was-supervising fight. Better to just move along. They do, however, alert the little monster’s parents.
I find myself caught on a picket fence here. On one side, I am furious that anyone would draw blood from the sweetest child in New York, possibly ever. On the other, I am understanding: it’s another toddler, and even well-behaved toddlers are not reliably even-tempered. Which camp I fall into changes by the minute. More or less depending on whether I’m looking at his arm or not.
Comparable experiences, anyone? Advice? Take it to the comments.