Friday, April 3, 2009

She drew First Blood!

So, now we have teeth. Five little teeth have appeared over the course of the last few weeks and learning to use them has been an adventure for all of us. She is chewing on everything. Socks, fingers, toys, laundry--pretty much anything she can get in her mouth becomes a chew toy. I contemplated getting her a rawhide bone, but then wondered what I would do if she became too attached. Would I have to wean her from the bone? How do you explain to strangers that she does not have a favorite blankie or dolly, but does adore her beef-flavored rawhide? It all seemed very socially daunting, so I gave her a cold washcloth, instead, and she's satisfied, so I guess I dodged a bullet on that one. 

Anyway, she's really teething. And she's really biting. And the other night while she was nursing, she bit me so hard I bled. What I wanted to do was sit her down on the ground and tell her it was time for her to get a job and buy her own damn food. The nerve! I wanted to stop breastfeeding right that second and, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't so thrilled by the whole motherhood package right then. Day in and day out, night in and night out, I have given this little turd all I've got to give since the moment she was born. I've sacrificed my entire self for her and she's going to bite me in return? Nope. That's not cool. I quit. Here's twenty bucks. Go make your way in the world. I know it's cruel, but it will make a great beginning for your E! True Hollywood Story. Little punk.

...but I didn't quit. My yelp made her cry and I ended up trying to calm her down while simultaneously checking to make sure my nipple was still attached to my body (it is). The next couple of times I fed her after that I was somewhat terrified, but she hasn't (knock on wood) bit me again. She's gnawed on my arm and my belly and nearly given me a hickey as she nuzzled into my neck one afternoon, but my tender parts seem to be somewhat safe. For now.

More than anything, the bite was a bittersweet reminder that she is getting older. She's not the tiny little girl we brought home. She's a much bigger, sturdier, mouthier, more engaging little girl who will stagger across the room if we hold her hands. She follows us around the house, scrambling on her belly to chase the vacuum cleaner. She gets into things she knows she's not supposed to and then tries to out-cute her punishment. She's only ten months old, but her independence is heartbreaking. To be fair, it's also quite liberating--she can entertain herself for a good fifteen minutes with only a spoon and a monkey. Mostly, though, it makes me a little sad. She's growing up. 

...and then I wonder what her first word will be and she seems so tiny all over again...

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