Adorable Little Cannibals

July 18th, 2016


Last night, it finally happened. Eliza bit Phoebe’s arm so hard that it broke the skin.

They were fighting over who got to stand in which potty—two identical potties they had dragged into their bedroom and placed side by side to play with. (Don’t worry, I haven’t started to potty train them yet, so they’re basically just intriguing toys at this point.) Naturally, they both wanted to stand in the same one, at the same time. I turned my back for one second to grab pajamas when I heard a blood-curdling scream.

Eliza was Baby A in my uterus, meaning that she was closest to the exit, and she spent the entire pregnancy scrunched up at the bottom in an awkward-looking position while Phoebe sprawled luxuriously on top of her. I believe that’s why she came out scrappier, slightly smaller, and arguably more savage.

Don’t get me wrong, they both bite.  But Eliza bites a little more often, and a little harder. She’s the alpha cannibal.

The biting is killing me. I’ve spent hours on the internet researching ways to get them to stop. I’ve also done my usual poll of every single live human mom I know to find out if this is a normal, natural phase that every toddler goes through. Most of my friends have said “Nope, that wasn’t in our wheelhouse.” It’s an awkward takeaway.

Still, I feel like it’s a natural behavior—at least for twins. It’s frustrating being a twin. You never get any space (a problem I myself have and can really relate to). You have to share everything, and even if there are two of something, you definitely always want the one your sister has—or both of the things, preferably. Most twins haven’t yet studied Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent conflict methods, so instead, they bite.

Usually, the way I handle this is to swat the biter away, stare her deeply in the eye, and say in a stern voice, “We don’t bite.” Then, I turn my back to her while giving the bitee a lot of intense cuddling (which is hard, because a baby who has just been bitten is usually in the throes of thrashing about screaming in rage). I give the biter the cold shoulder for a bit.

This doesn’t work, like, at all, just so you know. They both look at me with baffled expressions like they have no idea what the hell I’m trying to get at. The thing is, they understand a lot of things. If I say, “Can you go kiss the dog?” they will, eagerly and sweetly. If I say “Can you go get Mommy’s mascara?” they retrieve it without even batting an eye. (Just kidding. I never get around to putting on mascara.) They know the names of all their body parts, most animals, definitely every single kind of food… yet they are flummoxed by the word “No.”

I read that they will grow out of it… maybe by the time they are three or four. I just hope no one loses a finger before that.

Share Button

One Response to “Adorable Little Cannibals”

  1. [...] you get when you mix Nonviolent Conflict Talk  with too much Daniel [...]

Leave a Reply