On Sunday, I was changing Charlotte’s diaper and she was doing her usual leg-flailing, butt wiggling, feet in mouth antics when suddenly she started to cry. It was a big, sad cry with big, sad tears. Why? Because she bit her own damn toe.

Two hours later, Catch is changing her diaper and I walked into the room in time to hear Catch say, “No baby, don’t do that!” just as Charlotte starts to cry the big sad cry with big sad tears again. This time, she had grabbed hold of her cheek / lower eyelid and yanked so hard that she actually ripped the skin in the outer corner of her eye causing it to bleed. (Just a tiny bit, but still—blood in my child’s eye. FUN.)

I could write about a thousand more moments like these, except usually it’s ME, she’s brutalizing. The first thing she does when I pick her up is reach her arms around my neck… it sounds sweet, right? Like a mama hug? Except it’s not. What she’s really doing is reaching out for the little hairs that stick out in the back beneath my ponytail so she can yank on them as hard as she possibly can.

And then there’s the nursing antics. When I’m nursing her, it’s all I can do to keep her hands out of my nose and mouth. She especially likes to reach her fingers inside my mouth and then GRAB whatever skin she can and dig her tiny baby fingernails in. She will also claw at my forehead or eyebrows if she somehow manages to miss both my mouth and my nose as she’s reaching out. I have had a really painful scab inside my right nostril for several days now courtesy of her explorations of my nose.

My mom told me the other day that I need to start keeping a log of her self-inflicted injuries in case someone calls Child Protective Services. I’m not even remotely worried about CPS, but what I AM wondering is if there’s such a thing as Mama Protective Services.

I really feel like there’s a market for MPS. They arrive in a ghostbuster-ish wagon and they’re totally stocked up on bandages, concealer, ice packs, wine and magic nap pods in both adult and child sizes.

Am I right?


40 thoughts on “MPS

  1. LOL! Let me tell ya – it doesn’t get better. Toddler hugs can sometimes hurt, and I can’t even tell you how many times Evelyn and Henry have banged into our heads, given us bruises, etc…

  2. Oh my god, Junie does all of this, too. I find it pretty upsetting, and was just wondering this morning if this was normal. (Can I be glad to hear we aren’t alone while simultaneously sympathetic?) I was so not prepared for the constant pinching and scratching. I know she’s not trying to hurt us, but… It hurts, and we can’t exactly reason with her. The grab-neck-skin-and-twist is her signature mama attack move; she claws herself but no skin pulling yet… Fun times. I’m going to hope this is a phase.

    • Oh my gosh! I forgot about the grab-neck-skin-and-twist! Yes! C does that with great enthusiasm! I am actually very relived to hear that we’re not the only ones with a vicious attack baby. I was reading that the next big developmental thing is about relationships, so I’ve been justifying all of this brute force by relating it to that. Cause & effect maybe? Or just something tactile? Whatever it is, I hope they get it out of their systems quickly.

  3. Wow she really does a number on you! Calm down, Charlotte! Gia does a milder version of these things. She claws at my boobs and makes scabs and grabs my mouth. She also does nursing acrobatics. It’s like she’s doing a workout while nursing. She wants to stay latched on but also wants to squirm and kick and arch her back it’s so weird. Back off, Charlotte!

  4. Oh gosh I totally sympathise with this one. Scarlett is exactly the same. I guess I should be grateful she doesn’t have teeth yet because she doesn’t cause injuries to herself with those, but she is constantly covered in scratches. There’s nothing we can do at this age. If we were to put mittens on their hands we would be doing more harm than good, so we just have to ride out this self destructive behaviour. Hopefully it ends soon!

  5. We’re only just now reaching the point where sometimes Darwin will nurse without yanking on my hair or jamming her thumb-nail first into my head over and over. If you are able to track down the mythical MPS, give them my number too!

  6. I’m sorry, I had to laugh at the big sob when she bit her own toe. Oh babies.
    Maybe we need to start an MPS… and of course it would include someone who could hold the kid while you take a much-needed painless respite.

  7. You should see the force with which Joey grabs his penis now. It’s terrifying and painful to watch, and I don’t even have one. I’m like, “NO. STOP. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS ATTACHED TO YOU?!”

  8. I have a horrible set of scratches down my cheek from the boy clawing at me. My mom told me it looks like I was scratched by a cat. He loves to pull my hair, especially in the very sensitive spots like the back of my neck and temples. He grips so tight I cannot pry his fingers off and just have to plead that he lets go.

  9. I hear horror stories about gymnurstics. And I have a friend who had to train her daughter to pinch in a particular place in a particular way to keep her from doing it painfully anywhere else. Kid is two now and “nurse with pinchies” is a point of negotiation–a reward for good behavior.

    Gotta say, though, like many other commenters above, the Biting of the Toe also had me in stitches. Figurative ones, I mean. Oh, Charlotte.

  10. Oh God, it’s so true. I have scabs all over my breasts from Ansel scratching me, and now he’s taken to slapping my belly and breasts. Seriously, dude?

  11. YES. I was sporting this huge gash on my lip last week that would reopen every time I smiled. Or talked. Or ate. Basically, the only safe activity was sleeping. Brought to me courtesy of my adorable 7 month old!

    • Coincidentally I have a split lip in two places from baby head butts inflicted at 2 am while practicing his pulling up to stand (because 2 am is the best time to practice right?). Yeah. I *feel* you my friend!

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