When my father-in-law was here, The Rock Star bit him. Now, I'll be honest. For about 30 seconds I just kind of thought Troy's dad was being a weenie. When Garrett was little we would play bite him all the time. I pretended to gnaw off one of his ears and he'd laugh hysterically when I acted like I'd accidentally swallowed it. When The Rock Star got a little older, he started pretending to bite off our ears. At first, he bit a little harder than he should have so we instructed him on the important differences between play biting and channeling your inner Mike Tyson. He breezed through the lesson and we have never had biting problems with him. So, when my father-in-law yelped in pain and scolded Garrett for biting, I thought maybe he was overreacting. I asked him if Garrett might have been play biting. My father-in-law looked at me like I was one of those crazy mothers who's child can do no wrong and informed me that, no, it was a real bite and it did not feel good. I reported to Troy and we lectured The Rock Star about never ever biting people ever again. Ever.
A couple nights ago I asked Garrett if he wanted to run down to the mailbox with me in the freezing cold frigid temperatures. He said he wanted to and I informed him that it would be really cold and we needed to go really fast. I sprinted down to the mailbox with my three-year-old hot on my heels. I reached the box, inserted the key and felt an excruciating pain in my left butt cheek. I screamed. In fact, I screamed, "Holy crap!" At the top of my lungs. On a street where the neighbors know that Troy is a pastor and know that crap is nothing close to holy. Realizing that I'd just been bit, I wheeled on my son and commanded him back into the house. He dissolved instantly into the Niagara Falls of tears. I knew he didn't mean to hurt me. I knew he wasn't trying to inflict pain upon me. But I had no idea why he had done it. When I got in the house and asked him what possessed him to do such a terrible thing he replied, through hiccuping sobs, "I was trying to get you." And I had made a giant game about him racing me to the mailbox and for some reason--in his mind, all in fun--he'd decided that making it to the mailbox in the freezing temperatures should be followed by a good, old fashioned, bite on the rump. I wasn't mad at him. I knew he didn't know that it would hurt me. But, I also knew that I couldn't have him doing this at preschool or Sunday school or...anywhere. Biting--especially on the butt, especially when you're three--is completely inappropriate no matter what. I made an extra big deal about it in hopes that he would get the point. "Mommy. It was an accident." He told me.
"No it wasn't, Garrett. You might not have meant to do it so hard but it wasn't an accident. My bottom didn't jump into your mouth." I replied.
Garrett is obsessed with Christmas this year. (Stay with me folks, it all ties in.) He knows that it is about Jesus's birthday and he is very excited! He's also pretty in to the Santa thing. I know that not everyone agrees with the Santa thing but this is something that Troy and I are on the same page about. We both got to believe in Santa and we turned out pretty okay, right? Don't answer that. Anyway. Moving on. He keeps asking questions about Santa and the North pole and reindeer and elves. Earlier on the butt biting day he told me he couldn't wait to get his trash truck from Santa. I had explained to him that only good little boys and girls get presents and the naughty ones get coal. "Have you been good this year, Garrett?" I'd asked. And he had replied that he had, indeed, been very good.
SO....after I said the sentence about my butt jumping into my son's mouth, I called my mom. "I just said another sentence I never thought I'd say." Then I proceeded to tell her the story of my naughty bum biting boy. Garrett, who was sitting at the table, turned to me with wide eyes. For a few minutes he sat very still and very quiet. I hung up the phone and he swallowed slowly. "Mommy," he began with his little voice quivering, "was that Santa?"