Don't Be Deceived...


She bites.

I wake up at 6:30 a.m. so I can go work out before the little bundle of joy wakes up and consumes my day with her eating and pooping and playing and singing and I wake up because I am trying to burn the fat that this eating, pooping, and playing little creature caused to come upon my body a year ago (Was that really a year ago? Can my excuse at the gym still be that I just had a baby?) and how does she repay me for my many sacrifices?
The freakin' critter bit me today.
I'm not even kidding.
Here's the deal. I need help. Calling all moms, dads, grandparents, or child therapists:
Why has my otherwise perfectly sweet baby girl decided to turn into a demon and bite me?
It started about a week ago. She started throwing temper tantrums. Anytime she didn't get what she wanted she threw her head back, locked her legs out, and screamed like she had her fingers slammed shut in a door. It sounded painful. Truly. So I began trying to figure out what was wrong. When you are a mom, you become good at everything by default. One of your first new skills is that you become a detective. You look at poop and rashes and try to find a common connection. You analyze diets and dairy for clues. You massage gums and baby booties and wonder if perhaps you have relieved some grievous pain. You take temperature readings in the armpit and on the forehead and perhaps then in the ear and you come up with a consensus. You diagnose.
And you decide at the end of all that, that your critter needs a cold towel.
Because, as my mom would tell me when I was doubled over with the pain of oncoming flu or Strep or near death, "put a cold towel on it and go lay down."
That woman was brilliant. I really believed that a cold towel and a nap cured everything. I had no idea she was buying more free time for herself!
So last week I became a detective, only problem is, I found no culprit and the cold towel didn't work. She was clean. Fed. Well loved. Fever-free and over the peak of teething. Still, she was acting like I threw her out of the car window. Crying. Screaming. Flailing. Anytime I told her no or took a break from walking her around the house (her most favoritist thing to do) ... meltdown.
Maybe that is normal, but this week I noticed the meltdown was accompanied by anger, and that worries me. Real live anger. I have no idea where it has come from. She has begun throwing things when she is frustrated or not placated. She seems overwhelmed by her emotions and truly angry. And this all culminated in me, the woman who birthed this small child into the world, being bit by her.
I knew it would happen- I was just thinking it would be a bit closer to 12 years old. Maybe 16. And probably just a blow to the heart... not real blood drawn to the surface of my skin!
Annie was trying to pull up on the dishwasher door while I unloaded the dishes (this was after several failed attempts to get her to play with her toys in the next room). I told her no. To which she now responds by wagging one finger in front of her and with a very serious face saying,"No, no, no, no, nooooo." It's pretty cute.
We did this several times as she continued to pull up on the dishwasher. So I got on her eye level and said quite sternly, "Annie, NO. You will hurt yourself."
Still, she insisted.
So I picked her up and sat her on the counter. I held her hands in front of her and said, "Look at me baby, when I say no, that means no. You can play with your toys or you can sit and watch Mom, but you cannot pull up on the dishwasher. Do you understand?"
Well, this is when she started screaming and throwing her head back and kicking and generally acting like her whole body had been slammed in a door. I tried to calm her down and keep her from bonking her head.... and that's when she leaned over, growled, and bit a chunk out of my arm. I immediately removed my arm, and with the same intensity, no more, no less said, "absolutely not."
Still screaming, she began to bite her own arm.
Her OWN arm.
Where did my sweet little baby girl that says "Hi" to every single person and snuggles and loves other children go? And more importantly, what did I do wrong?
I called Ryan in for back up and left the room in tears. How could I have screwed up my child already? What is wrong with her? Why, out of nowhere, has she become aggressive and angry? Throwing her body and her things across the room when she does not get her way? And biting? Really? She bit me!
She bit herself.
She needs therapy.
I am convinced something has gone terribly wrong. Help!