Posts Tagged ‘Biting’

This morning it happened again.

It’s 10:48 a.m. The phone rings. It’s Max’s school. I know who it is before I answer.


“Hi, Mrs. Lynford, this is Ann, the nurse at Plainwood Elementary.”

“Great. What happened?”

At school, it’s just insane. Max climbs onto the bus at 7:00 a.m. He’s at school by 8:00, and at any point in time after that if the phone rings, I cringe a little. As soon as I see the school name on the caller ID, I know. He’s bitten someone.

It’s random throughout the day. Fighting over a toy, wanting a child to move out of his way, wanting to gain access to something. Instead of using words, he uses his teeth. Today it happened because another child was sitting at the bottom of a slide when Max slid down it. Last week it was because he was having a tantrum, and he reached for the nearest arm. And the time before that, because a student was sitting on something Max wanted to play with. His teacher glanced over at him and his mouth was on the boy’s shoulder.

I’m kinda wishing they made one of these for kids:


Yes, this is for real.

Now, I’ve written about his biting before, when he was two. But that was him biting me (or NTG) during a tantrum. This is staking out a peer, and hurting them.

There’s a little boy at school named Marcus. Max likes Marcus, he’s told me so. Marcus likes trains, which is why I suspect Max likes him. Max is a car guy. Less competition.

Last week, before said tantrum bite, I was getting they boys ready for bed. Max started praying about a year ago, using a little prayer bear he stole from his brother. (I know. He’s since given it back.) Now the prayer has deconstructed into less a organized “Now I lay me down to sleep” and is more like a list of thank-yous. “Thank you for Mommy. Thank you for Daddy. Thank you for Max/Andy/Nana/Auntie Gina. Thank you for new puzzles/new car/water/soccer ball.”

So this particular night I have to prompt him, and I ask if there’s anything else. He thinks about it for a minute and says, “Thank you for Marcus.”

I thought it was so sweet, the next morning, I emailed his teacher to tell him about it. It was probably at that very moment he was sinking his teeth into Marcus’s little wrist.

I feel horrible for the parents of the bitten child. If I was one of those parents, I’d be pissed that my child was not protected. I’d be worried that my child would be bitten every day.

A home, it’s not much different. He and Andy are pushing tow trucks on all the furniture. Andy decides he’s done, drops the truck, and moves on to the next shiny thing. Max is NOT done playing trucks, and wants Andy to play with him. He tries to force a truck into Andy’s hand, and little man is not having it. If he retaliates, Max grabs his arm and bites. If Andy loses a toy to Max, and he tries to get it back, Max grabs and bites. Right now Andy is sporting three bite marks on his arm. Doesn’t matter if I’m in the room, or not. Doesn’t matter if he gets punished, or talked to or forced to say he’s sorry. Biting is the go to.

We’re working on getting an ABA therapist in this summer, and looking for a new psychiatrist in general. But dammit, kid. QUIT BITING! Seriously. No one is going to be your friend if you keep biting everybody.

This has been going on for months now, and it has made me wonder what is going on in his little boy brain. And until last week, I hadn’t really occurred to me that the biting was upsetting for him too.

After the Marcus bite, Max came home off the bus in a full-on tantrum. Like, we came in the door and he screamed and flopped around on the floor for a good ten minutes. I finally sat with him and asked him about what happened that day (I already knew), and I asked him finally, “Did you bite someone today?”

“Yes,” he said, in the most pathetic voice possible.

“Who did you bite?”

“Don’t bite … We don’t bite Marcus or Manny.” He started to cry.

I talked to him for awhile about why biting is not nice, which is something I do ad nauseum these days. It makes me wonder now what the answer is—duck-billed muzzles aside—that can allow him to translate his anger into something else. Or how many steps there to get him from expressing himself verbally instead of physically.

I hope someone out there can help us.

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