Biting

I’m working on a post about daycare, but first I need to give some background info. I don’t believe I ever mentioned the biter at Meg’s daycare. Near the end of May she came home one day with a bite mark on her stomach. Apparently she’d been riding a play car outside. Another kid wanted it. She refused to get off, he tried to make her, they struggled a little, and he bit her. She had a pretty bad mark/bruise, but I figured it was just a one-time thing. At least my kid wasn’t the biter, right? I was relieved I didn’t have to try to deal with the behavior.

The next week was Meg’s birthday. I really didn’t want to drop her off that morning. I knew it didn’t really matter to her what specific day was her birthday, but it mattered to me. But I put her in a special outfit and dropped her off with mini-cupcakes for her whole class. When she came home that night she had red frosting all over her outfit (what were we thinking sending red frosting?), tons of sunscreen in her hair (better than a sunburn I suppose, but I’d sent a sun hat), and two WELTS on her arms (complete with teeth marks). It didn’t exactly make me feel better about sending her to daycare.

The incident reports made me feel worse. At 9:30, Meg was “sitting at the table when another child bit her.” At 10:30, she was “standing in line when another child came up and bit her.” We were furious. This was beyond a one-time thing; now she’d been bitten three times by the same kid and he’d been the instigator all three times. I realize how hard, maybe almost impossible, it is to stop a kid from biting, but something needed to be done. What made us even more upset was that she had been bitten hard enough to have a full set of teeth marks on both arms and we weren’t called. I would have picked her up immediately.

Everytime I thought about her sitting (or standing) there, minding her own business, then having another kid run up and attack her, on her birthday no less, made me furious.  I tried several times to write about it here, but thinking about it would make me so mad I’d have to stop.

The next day, Thomas called and talked to the director. She said the kid was biting everyone in the class. Repeatedly. They were giving him one last chance before kicking him out, because he had been put on medication they thought might help. (Sounds weird to me – what kind of medication? ADD, maybe?) She also said that the next week Meg was moving to the two-year-old room, so she’d no longer be around the biter.

I don’t know whether he got kicked out or not. The next week Meg moved to her new room and she hasn’t gotten hurt at all since. But she now hates going to daycare and cries every time I drop her off.

Comments

  1. Oh poor thing. Maybe she’s also crying a little because she changed rooms? I know Anna’s excited but also a little scared of the change. Hopefully it will settle down soon.

  2. Ohmygoodness that is SO MANY shades of unacceptable. I’m sorry for you AND for her. Do they have a written policy about this kind of thing? Can you talk to them about making steps to help Meg like daycare again? Can you demand that if something like this happen again that they contact you immediately? Can you kick them in their shins? And then bite them? INFURIATING. I’m on fire and I’m not even involved.

  3. I forgot to mention that – yes, we did make it clear if anything like that happens again we’d like to be called immediately. The actual bite isn’t 100% their fault, but not calling us was unacceptable.

  4. GAHHHHH. Everything about this is so irritating. I have thought about biting a lot and I have decided that one of the reasons it is so offensive, versus all of the other “issues” with group child care, is that biting leaves physical evidence and you can point a direct finger.

    Such as, you’ll hardly ever know where the strep throat started, or the high fever but the biting? YOU KNOW. Everyone knows! Parents are alternately humiliated or pissed off and it’s just such a dead end for everyone. Nobody wins, it’s difficult to solve for all parties (biter, bitee, director, parents, teachers) and it’s so, so common.

    Again: GAHHHHH.

  5. We’ve been on both sides of biting at daycare and it’s an incredibly difficult and too common experience for everyone. I can only speak from our experience but we found we had to really lean on the daycare director and teachers to help us through the phase. If your center isn’t willing to work with you AND with the biter/parents to find a solution then that’s the bigger issue. I hope they do call you the next time there is an incident…it’s so frustrating to show up after a long day at work and get that Incident Report.

    The change-up of the rooms may be what is making Meg unhappy every morning rather than any permanent memories of being bitten. The hardest part is that the new two year old room can be full of unpleasant, very “two year old” non-verbal behaviors…biting, not sharing, screaming, hitting, the list is long. We’re finding the three year old room to be a little calmer since they ALL have better verbal skills.

    I hope your experience improves and you all find your groove again.