Friday, January 21, 2011

Biting Off More Than He Can Chew...

We have a biter on our hands. J only has six teeth (for now) but he's using them to full effect. He has always put everything in his mouth and when his teeth emerged he started nibbling on everything too, but lately he's been biting us. I made the mistake of yelping in shock when he first latched on to my finger, so now he thinks it's funny. It's not just stray fingers that linger too close to his mouth that he likes to grab hold of; last week in Bali he attacked my shoulder and my neck. He also drew blood once biting my stomach through my shirt! He doesn't let go either. I've had to pinch him a few times to make him release his jaws from their vampire-like grip on my skin. This new behaviour came as a bit of a surprise to us so we've had to come up with an emergency plan for dealing with it. At the moment when he bites one of us we say"no" and put him down. He breaks into a wicked grin until he realises we're serious, at which point the crocodile tears are turned on. We then have to try not to laugh at this display of fake distress. None of this has stopped him from trying to bite us both, but at least while it's winter there's less bare skin vulnerable to our little piranha's chompers. Any suggestions would be much appreciated as I'm a little weary of wearing teeth marks.

While we're on the subject of teeth, J is teething again. It's been a while since the four teeth on top popped out (all at once!) so we knew we were due for more sooner or later. We got back from Bali and had a few sleepless nights that were clearly more than the result of holiday disruption. I took a peek in the little guy's mouth and no less than four canines and molars (all at once!) were on their way. We've come to rely on Nurofen, Bonjela and a homeopathic remedy given to us by a friend for our sleep this week. I know Bonjela is a bit controversial and not recommended in Australia, but our GP here gave it to us, and I'm all for anything that stops the constant crankiness and mouth angst (and yes, maybe the biting too). I don't care what anyone says, teething is a fresh hell each and every time.

On the upside these new pearly whites are making mealtimes a lot easier. I mentioned in my last post that J has started eating what we eat and so far this is going surprisingly well. We even try to eat together, instead of feeding him first, then eating our dinner on the sofa in front of the TV. We haven't managed to wean him off the Wiggles at dinnertime yet, but we're working on it. Eating while we eat has made our boy more adventurous too, he will try anything. It's been fun thinking up recipes that we can all enjoy and watching him enjoy food that we love. Not having to cook separate meals and puree everything has saved a huge amount of time and energy, and I have a renewed passion for cooking family meals (having to cook with a tiny benchtop stove/oven all year had broken my spirit). Cooking for one hasn't been fun either; I always struggle to cook anything remotely interesting when my husband's away but now that J and I will both eat what I cook I'm making more of an effort. He eats just like I do too, very slowly, which is awesome. He waits until he's completely finished one mouthful before accepting the next. Growing up I was always the last one at the dinner table, and my husband eats so quickly that he's usually halfway through a meal before I've even started, so I'm thrilled to have someone sitting beside me, eating at the same pace, taking the time to enjoy every mouthful. I just wish my fingers weren't on the menu so often!

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