At 4 in the morning Dylan started howling from his bedroom, the nagging sort of insistent cry that tells you there’s no hope in lying there waiting for him to fall back asleep. I poked JB (whose ability to snore peacefully through any and all distractions makes me feel like telling him that every single night for the last year I’ve been setting my alarm for 2 AM in order to lean across the bed and ask if he wants a BJ, and boy, too bad he never once took me up on it because here’s the bad news, it was only a year-long offer. 365 potential blow jobs, ignored. Bummer, dude) and asked him if he’d go in there, which he did. Silence descended, JB came back to bed, and I started to fall back asleep.

Then: blat, blat, blat. More complaints from Dylan, so I stumbled into my robe, went to his room, picked him up, and he LOST HIS FUCKING MIND.

He arched, he screamed, he pushed himself from me with both hands, he flung himself backwards, he squirmed and kicked me, he shrieked, he batted at my face, and finally, while I held on desperately and unleashed my entire soothing arsenal—the “Bear Went Over the Mountain” song, back pats, increased rocking chair cadence, and gentle up-and-down jiggles—he lunged forward and sunk his sharp teeth into my shoulder.

To my credit, I did not leap to my feet, shout “Motherfucker!”, and fling him out the window. I did, however, advise him in no uncertain terms that biting is not on my list of tolerable behaviors, and then I carried his furious little ass over to the crib and . . . well, let’s just say I didn’t place him on the mattress with my normal night-time care. Let’s just say it was less of a cautious Fabergé egg transfer, and more of an unceremonious dumping.

Back in bed, I stared blindly at the ceiling while Dylan did his level best to wake up our entire neighborhood. I told JB that I couldn’t go back in there, and I raged uselessly about the pain of being rejected (and BITTEN). The reason I’d woken JB up the first place is because Dylan had flipped out just the night before when I tried to comfort him, and the instant I’d handed him to JB, he’d relaxed, a nearly visible air of relief surrounding his small body.

Some of you may remember when I talked about Riley going through a very strong Daddy preference, which seemed to last forever. Dylan doesn’t seem to show favorites during the day, but this week I am definitely on his shit list when it comes to back-to-sleep soothings. And I know, it’s like, who cares, just have JB go in there at night, right? More sleep for me! But man, it doesn’t feel good. It feels downright shitty, even. When it comes to whatever comfort he needs when he wakes up—whether he’s scared, or uncomfortable, or just needs a little physical contact to get back to sleep—I want to be able to give that to him, you know?

While I was listening to Dylan crying and the reactionary anger was slowly seeping out of me, JB said he didn’t think he should go in. “I don’t want to . . . perpetuate anything,” he said, carefully. I waited a bit longer, then heaved a giant sigh and got out of bed. I went into Dylan’s room and reached in the crib and picked him up, and he burrowed into my chest. We sat in the rocking chair and he snuffled against me for a while, then fell asleep, curled in my arms.


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14 years ago

One more log on the ‘my mom bit me back’ fire! I wasn’t much of a biter after that, I hear.

14 years ago

Oh what I wouldn’t give for one of my boys to want Daddy instead of me in the middle of the night. But I know, if that were to happen, it would break my heart.