We’ve reached that phase … the dreaded scratch, bite, climb phase. Believe me, I love how my tiny Dinosaur is super active. She loves to move as if her entire being has led up to these moments full of laughter, joy, dancing, and speed. Considering where my brain was two months ago, seeing her so full of life is euphoric. I love every minute of it. Except then there is the scratching, the biting, and the climbing up my body to pull my short hair from my scalp.
And even then, I don’t hate it. I just don’t want it to become a habit or a game for her. It hurts. I knew motherhood was going to hurt. I didn’t go into this blind. Being a parent has ALWAYS been at the top of my bucket list to the point where, when I found out that my husband and I were going to have a child, I had no fear. Zero. None. And I still don’t.
Now, I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of crowds, yelling, unkindness, violence, abandonment, walking outside alone in the dark, rejection, the dentist, The Borg, people, rabbits with sharp pointy teeth, the oncoming zombie apocalypse, that stupid squeaker that clowns use when they boop your nose, Demigorgons, … but being a parent? I have no fear. I was meant to do this. I’m a fraking nurturing goddess with motherly instincts up the wazoo and then some.
But those little teeth are sharp as hell. I’m cringing just thinking about it. And the Dinosaur loves to bite everything, not just Mommy’s face. Oh no. She’ll bite fingers, through jeans, and at least ONCE at every nursing session, if not more often. Plus her “comfort scratching” – my chest is raw from tiny little fingernail marks. It doesn’t even matter how short I clip those talons, she just latches right on with her Hulk hands and won’t let go. This climbing thing has just gotten more intense. She’s The Flash, Catwoman, Juggernaut, and Moon Girl all in one. Alice is a strong and fierce tiny thing that will not be tamed!
I guess we gave her the right nickname …
I simultaneously reserve the right to complain about the biting and to also be excited by it. She’s eating more solid foods now. The other night we had Moroccan fish and couscous and she loved it. All that pinching? Tomato flavored crunchies are her jam and she will pick them up with her thumb and forefinger with ease. Every quick crawl and bookcase climbed is another step towards independence, which is what we all ultimately want for our kids. Alice faces her challenges head-on and so determined. I don’t ever want her to stop.
Until we get through this I’ll be slathering myself with ointment for the scratches. I’ll fake cry whenever she bites (okay, so SOME of those tears are real) to help teach her that biting hurts. I’m already looking up climbing hand holds to mount on her wall on Amazon. All of these things that she’s learning now are useful, she just needs a little redirection.
I’m not afraid of being a parent. I’m afraid of stifling her eagerness to explore and grow into the world around her before she has a chance to break the status quo and pave her own way. She is powerful. I’m determined to give her the life skills that she needs to kick ass and take names.
And, okay, so maybe I’m a little afraid of those two bottom teeth. You would be too if your kid were a Dinosaur.