Charlotte has decided that naps are for suckers. I’m pretty sure kids her age still need to nap, as evidenced by the fact that Charlotte is usually a big crank in the evenings, and goes to sleep a full hour earlier than usual (which often means that she’s up earlier than usual too, arggh).
This evening was no exception: no nap, grumpy kiddo. As per our new summer-time routine, we ate a quick dinner and then went to the park. “Just for a little bit” I told her, “it’s almost bedtime.” “Ok mama” she replied, and off we went. Shortly after we arrived, one of her buddies from down the street showed up. The girls played nicely together for awhile, but I could see Charlotte slowly starting to deteriorate and knew it was time to call it a night before she lost it.
I turned away for about 10 seconds to say goodbye to the other kid’s mom, and when I turned back, I could NOT believe what I was seeing.
The two girls were going at it, over this tricycle toy that Charlotte had ridden to the park and the other girl wanted to ride home (we have a kind of communal toy pile on our street). I watched in horror as Charlotte pushed the other girl, her hands dangerously circled around the girl’s neck. And then, as if in slow motion, I saw the other girl grab Charlotte’s hand and put it in her wide open, teeth-baring mouth. As her jaws closed around Charlotte’s hand, my mama-bear instincts kicked in and I sonic-sped over to them, grabbed Charlotte’s hand out before the other girl could sink her teeth in, and pulled Charlotte into the safety of my arms.
The walk home was a blur of sobs and tears and snot. I have rarely seen Charlotte so out-of-control upset like that, and the other times have involved hell on wheels a.k.a. her car seat.
I tried to talk to her about sharing, and to remind her that hands are not for hitting, but she was way too upset for learning lessons. And I was too angry to teach them.
Charlotte is now bathed, read to, and asleep. And I still cannot stop thinking about how that girl, who is one year and a good 10 pounds bigger than Charlotte, bit my child. She is someone we know well, the girls play together everyday. And she bit Charlotte. She bit her.
I think we’ll be staying in after dinner the next few days. Luckily, J. arrives in Beijing soon and once he does he’ll work his magic and get Charlotte back into her regular napping schedule. And if I ever see another kid try to bite my baby again, I swear I will bite them back, mama-bear style. Grrrr.