This afternoon, I hosted a playdate with three girlfriends and their babies. Before today, I only saw the good that came from playdates, including the interaction Emily gets to have with other babies as well as the interaction mommy gets to have with real, live grown ups. Today, my playdate went very bad when baby Jack grabbed baby Chris’ face with both hands and bit him on his forehead. Both moms jumped up, pulled their sons apart and surveyed the damage. Baby Chris’ forehead was tattooed with bite marks and both babies were hysterical.
I’m not sure who felt worse in this situation – Chris’ mom for her son’s injury, Jack’s mom who was in tears and deeply apologetic for her son’s actions or myself for providing the opportunity for this situation to occur.
You have to wonder what babies think before they are about to bite or hit another baby. Is it because they can’t communicate what they are really feeling? Do they think this type of behaviour is playful? Or do you think they actually know what they’re doing? Whatever the reason, we all experience this type of behaviour from our babies in one way or another. If it’s not taking a bite out of another baby’s forehead, it’s throwing a toy or pushing another baby down or in Emily’s case, viciously grabbing Jerry’s tail until he yelps and runs away. The important thing is that we, as parents, continue to reinforce the proper behaviour we expect from our babies. Because as they grow up, our babies will continue to test our patience and our sanity and it’s up to us to use these tests as a learning experience for everyone involved.