delicious word of the day — “diphthong”

March 24, 2008 at 2:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments

I am not sure that I spent my vacation time as well as I could have. In fact, I’m sure I didn’t. I had all these grandiose plans of getting my closet organized and doing my taxes and cleaning out clutter and so on and so forth, and I did absolutely nothing except run around the first half of the week getting ready for J-Si’s birthday party and the second half of the week recovering from it. But it was worth it. J-Si had fun. We all had fun. Uncle Daddy’s just so stinking cute. Sigh.

And then my romantic notions of spending the Easter holiday engulfed in the love of my daughter went out the window when she woke up cranky butt and stayed that way pretty much the entire day. I don’t know what phase this is she’s going through, but it’s frustrating. Maybe it’s just called the “17 months old” phase. She’s just into EVERYTHING and whatever you have, she wants. And I think the hardest part for her is the communication. I can tell she completely understands what I’m saying to her, and when she tries to speak to me, I can tell she completely makes sense in her own head. But it’s still coming out of her mouth as gobbledy goop and when she gets completely frustrated that Mommy’s not comprehending, she lets out a scream and then opens her mouth and bites. Yes, we have a biter, ladies and gentleman. And when she took a hunk out of her mommy’s thigh the other day, Emma Kelly got her first swat on the bottom.  That went down in the baby journal, fo sho.

But it’s not just people biting. If she’s frustrated with ANYTHING, she bites it. If I’m not untying her double-knotted shoe lace fast enough (Thanks, Freddie…) she picks up her foot and bites her shoe. If I’m not getting her shirt over her head fast enough, she bites that, too.  How do you break them of that? I had a cousin who would bite her kid back. I’m not doing that…I’m thinking it’s something that will just pass once she can use her words better. Am I living in la-la land thinking that way?

Well, it’s back to work tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to seeing everybody, so that’s a good sign, right?




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  1. Kellie;
    Get a book on sign language and teach Emma Kelly the signs for the simple signs, like “eat” “drink” “sleep” “play” “apple” “more” “”finished”etc. and your world will change! That age is so hard, because they totally understand what you are saying, but don’t have the ability to talk back. (Which does change when they become teenagers, by the way!) Anyway, just thought I would make a suggestion.

  2. Hey, wasn’t that like the baby in “Meet the Fockers”? The grandfather (Robert DeNiro) taught the baby signs for various words.

  3. I was going to suggest signing, as well. Also, with the biting….i know it sounds kind of harsh, but they don’t know how much biting hurts…With both of my children, I would pinch the end of their index finger and tell them – No biting, it hurts. My kids are 4 and 2 now, and before they get a spanking – I warn them with a pinch to let them know I am serious. It gets their attention quickly, and it has worked for me. It also works well in public when they need to be disciplined.

  4. Ok Kellie I know you said you will not bite back, but I’m just going to get it out there…it works! My son went through a similar phase, and all it took was one time and he stopped. Now I’m not saying to do it hard enough that it leaves a bruise or breaks the skin or anything, but just enough to make her stop and think, should do the trick. I’m probably going to be put through the ringer for even saying that I bit my son, and you do whatever feels right to you, but I just thought I would put it out there!

  5. NOOOO Kellie!! DO NOT bite EK back. That is the worst thing you can do. Doing this will teach her it is OK to bite people when frustrated. Think about it… she’s 17 mos old! She doesn’t have the proper reasoning yet to comprehend, “Oh, that doesn’t feel good. I won’t ever do that to Mommy again.” The best thing is immediately after she bites look her straight in the eye and give her a firm “NO”. Let her know you mean business.
    It’s the old saying… they learn what they live. If you bite (and hit) this will only teach her to do the same. Believe me, I have a 3 yr old and I went through this with her.

  6. Kellie-

    My son had to have speech therapy when he was young and the speech pathologist said not to teach signing. It will delay their speaking since they won’t have to learn then. It was hard to wait for him to verbalize and now that’s he’s 15 he never stops talking.
    One little bite and that sweet baby of yours will learn that it hurst and will stop. I know it’s hard but you may have to do it.
    Just keep doing what you are doing and loving Emma Kelly like you do and one day you will turn around and she will be grown.

  7. WELCOME TO THE LAND OF THE TERRIBLE TWO’S! I know she may not be two yet but it does start a little bit early. I went through it with my daughter. It will last hmmm maybe a bit past 3 years…NOT FUN AT ALL! My daughter is almost four and not so terrible any more. Now its my son I am scared about…LOL! He is almost 15 months and already throwing tantrums! GOTTA LOVE IT THOUGH!

  8. I would tell my kids “Ouch! That hurts!” (very exaggerated so they get it. I would also say “We only bite food”.

  9. Ok I am really interested in this. I have an 8 month old and thought about signing up for the sign language classes. I already know some. But then I read all over the place that it can REALLY slow them down as far as actually speaking so I decided against it. So I just look at him and ask him questions he of course can’t answer and I remain confused.

  10. I WOULD NOT BITE YOUR CHILD BACK… mother-in-law suggested the same thing and I was horrified. It is a normal but still annoying phase that she will grow out of. I would do an overexagerated cry or grimace when my son did that and show him the mark it left and tell him it hurts. She will be beyond it in a few months.

  11. My little girl actually cussed me out before she could speak! She was so mad and frustrated with me for not understanding what she was trying to tell me – she started cussing me. I told her that I’m sure she’d be getting a spanking if I knew what she was saying. It was so funny and cute.

  12. Your mom’s homemade mac and cheese was an extreme hit at Easter. Her recipe was a lot better than the one I tried out of Paula Deen’s cookbook. Everyone loved it. My little cousin was licking the last noodles off the serving spoon! My husband wants me to make it again tonight, since there wasn’t any leftovers! Maybe your mom could write a cookbook. I’d buy it.

  13. Kelli– I totally agree about the mac and cheese. It was SO YUMMY!!

    You keep talking about wanting a hobby, why don’t you and your mom work together on putting out a recipe book? I would totally buy it.. or if you don’t want to put that much effort into it.. maybe you can do a website? I am sure she has MANY more great foods to share with us..

    Thank you for sharing. I know how I feel about the recipes passed down from my nana, they are treasured gifts and if I can share the yumminess (not a word.. oops) with people, in her name, I will!!

    Thanks Kelli! And let us know what you do about the biting!

  14. Oh Kelli… my neice was the same way she did not want to wear her cute pink fluffy dress and she pulled off her bow in church while SCREAMING at the stop of her lungs like we had done beat her in church or something. She would not eat lunch and would not take a nap… it was HORRIBLE!!

  15. Definitely sign language! My son is 21 months old and the daycare has been teaching him to sign since he was 15 months old. He gets his point across like “More (that’s the first one he learned), eat, juice, milk, please, thank you, i love you, etc… They associate the sign with what they want. They pick signing up much quicker than speaking. Funny thing is, they repeat the word of what they’re signing so eventually, they get to that point too! The key is to sign whatever is they’re “uhhhhhh” ing about. Then when they eventually do it, reward them with what they asked for and say “good girl”. It sounds terrible but it’s almost like training a dog. The kids want praise and rewards just like a puppy. Also, be sure you don’t “baby talk” to her. Speak with her in an upbeat voice and speak clear sentences. Then when she bites, lower your voice, look her in the eye and say “no bite”. Tell her “it is not acceptable to bite mommy”. If she does it again, then lower your voice again and swat her behind. Then look her in the eye (while she’s crying) and tell her again, it is unacceptable to bite. This worked well with my son. He is now almost two and can sign, speaks very well and knows he’s in trouble when my voice tone changes. LOL. One time he grabbed his behind and said “owwie” before I even did anything! LOL

  16. I have 3 boys and the youngest is 2 yrs old. When my children started to go to daycare they learned about biting from another child and when they bit me and I honestly bit them back and it only took me doing it once and they all stopped. My last son stopped doing it after 1 week in between the sitter sitting him in timeout everytime he bit and he stopped. The timeouts really do work.

  17. About the biting….my son was a biter for quite a while. He didn’t do it a lot at home but he did at daycare. It is because they can not communicate well yet and they get frustrated. Also, they know they get a reaction from biting and this makes them bite more to see if they get the same reaction again such as another child crying when bit. I did the time-out chair (or naughty mat) like on the Nanny 911 show and though it takes patience from me and him, it works. You just have to stick with it. You sit them down for 1 minute at a year, 2 minutes for 2year olds, and so on. Do not talk to them while they are in time-out. If they get up, you just put them right back and start the timer over. The biting is a phase that sometimes takes forever, but hang in there. Good Luck!!

  18. The biting back works – I did it with my son and he stopped, you don’t have to bite hard – just hard enough for them to get the point.

    I have heard a lot of good things about the signing technic for babys – I think you can take a class on it as well.

    Hope these help !! :o)

  19. Yes! A Cookbook! That would be great, I would buy it too. I love cookbooks.

  20. Don’t make a big deal out of her biting. Just calmly tell her no and redirect her. I know it is easier said than done, but the less of a big deal you make it the less she will keep doing it. And as long as she is not hurting someone or herself, let her do it and see that it does nothing. But she is realizing that if she goes to bite her shoe you work faster in getting them off of her- so she is getting some type of reaction to it. This too will pass. Chances are it really is the lack of communication skills. Try to tell her “off” each time she wants her shoes off or her shirt off. Maybe then she will say “off” when she wants them off instead of biting.

  21. i think the main thing is patience and finding a way to communicate better. Each person is different so it just takes time. As far as biting I would just tell her no. When she does it look her in the eye and just say no. She will get it eventually.

  22. My baby is the same age as Emma Kelly and she bit a lot earlier, like from 10 months on. My doc told me to flick her in her cheek and seperate her from whatever she’s doing.

  23. I’m SOOOO glad that I’m not the only first-time mother going through with this! My daughter is doing the EXACT same thing and she’s about 5 months older. She bites the coffee table if it’s in her way – it’s ridiculous! Like you, I also don’t want to spank her.
    I don’t know about signing – I’ve heard both good and bad. On the one hand, yes, it helps with communication but I’ve also heard that it will slow them down with learning their words.

  24. my granddaughter learned signing from a DVD you just pop in the player when you are busy doing something else to keep them occupied. It is really awesome. She knows probably 15 to 25 signs which helps out so much. She is now 2 and is beginning to speak much clearer and in sentences but the sign language has been a great thing.

  25. I use to bite when I was a little girl. My dad bite me back, and it did hurt but I NEVER ever took a bite out of anyone again.

    My dad also smoked and I ask if I could try it too. At age 5 he let me without any instructions. I took one buff and gaged…it was horrible. BUT, I have Never ever picked up another cigarette again.

  26. Just to let everyone know. I made the recipe Kelly gave us for her mom’s mexican corn casserole.
    It was yummy yummy! We all loved it at my house.

    Thanks Kellie!

  27. My kids were not biters but I heard it also has something to do with cutting teeth. That when they bite down it actually feels good to them. Maybe that will help.
    Also, made the meatloaf and it was good but the left over sauce was a little much. Just putting the sauce on the top was enough. But it was very good! Thanks for the recipes….. keep them coming.

  28. bite her back once – that’s all it’ll take. Or you can be SO dramatic and act like your crying the next time she bites you and maybe that’ll scare her into not doing it again.

  29. Kellie,

    I would have to agree that one of the best ways to cut donw on the amount of frustration your baby is experiencing is to teah her some baby sign language. There are many books available at your local bookstore that would be very beneficial. My wife recently completed a sign language interpreter program inthe area, and we have spoken several times about what she has learned in her classes and how applicable they are to child rearing. And contrary to what one of the prevous posts stated that teaching sign language to your child can really slow the process of devloping speech, it can excellerate speech development. When you teach a child the signs, you should also verbally identify the object, by doing this you are not only teaching her a sign for the object she can use when she wants something, she will eventually learn how to verbally identify it as she is able. Besides, if she takes to it, you can continue teaching her more and more signs and maybe she will turn out to be bilingual, a very helpful skill later in life. I have heard that some schools have begun teaching children in other languages part of the time in order to aid them in becoming bilingual at an early age.

  30. they say that the way a child behaves in the high chair is the way they will behave as an adult…i hope that this is not an early sign of cannibalism!

  31. i ate a whole plate of deviled eggs yesterday…this is me today:

  32. My daughter went through the same biting phase at about that age. When she was able to communicate better, the biting stopped. Everyone told me to bite her, but I just couldn’t. Just hang in there. It will get better.

  33. Kellie, Please give us more videos of Emma Kelly. She is sooo cute! I loved the one with her walking.

  34. My son (18 months old) is doing the same thing. I actually did try biting him back and it didn’t work. I tried spanking him, but he didn’t even flinch. I decided if I were going to spank him, it was going to have to be really hard and I didn’t want to do that.
    Time out works best for us. He has learned to stop what he is doing and go sit down in his time out chair when he is bites, kicks, pinches, etc. It works for us but, you know, what works for one may not work for the other. And it may not work next week, but for now I’m loving it. Plus it gives me a time out too. Sometimes he doesn’t mind time out and other times he acts like we are torturing him. Hope that helps.

  35. Most of the biting stops when they get bitten back. Know anyone with a kid that bites? As soon as they find out it hurts, they stop. You are right about her being frustrated about being sub-verbal but she does need to develop better strategies for dealing with frustration. She will have to deal with frustration all her life–work on those coping skills. Being a mom is hard!

  36. I own a daycare center with over 200 children. I have 16 babies and 18 toddlers. We have seen a dramatic decrease in biting and fit throwing since we implemented our signing program. The toddlers are able to sign to their teachers and each other. As for the delayed speech theory, I believe the exact opposite occurs. Any additional brain stimulation is a good thing, and signing allows a baby to communicate with their caregiver at a much younger age. As the child increases their speech you will see them began to phase out their signing. Anything that keeps the toddlers from biting the stuffing out of their classmates and teachers is a good thing as far as I am concerned. Not to mention the infamous toddler meltdown. I’ve always said that the expression “terrible two’s” was off by about 6 months. Good luck!!

  37. Kellie–

    My son is almost the same age as EmmaKelly–he will be 17m on Apr 3. And he BITES and HITS!!! I totally feel your pain about that…it is awful! I can’t seem to explain to him that he has to express his frustration in other ways. He gets mad and hits and bites. No matter what it is. The dog, me, his toys, anything! So far, I have not bitten him back. But, I am not sure what to do. I feel ya, girl!

  38. i hope i don’t sound like a crazy loon when i say how i got my son broken of the biting stage…but here goes anyway…i happened to be at the check out line of the grocery store when i saw this handy dandy listerine spray. i thought to myself how listerine stings just enough, but doesn’t really really hurt…AND THEN i rationalized that it would even clean my sons mouth when he bit into dirty-nasty things….sooooo, i’m sure people will comment that i’m a horrible mother, but really, the listerine thing worked.

  39. I know alot of people will say how horrible it is but I agree with the mothers that say bite them back. My son is going to be 7 and when he was little he would bite by little girl when he was mad. So one day i bute him not hard just barely so he would think about it. Then I asked him how did you like it. He got this sad face and just looked at me but he never bite her or any other child again. You don’t have to make the bite severe in order to get there attention i promise. Good Luck to you and your little biter!lol

  40. Communication is very important. I would suggest sign language as some of the other posters have suggested. We have been using sign in our house for about 3.5 years and so much of the frustration non-verbal children feel has disappeared. We used a DVD series called Signing Time!. It is fun and geared toward babies and children. You will find that the verbal comes along quicker when the child is expressing himself through sign. I have a daughter who is unable to speak and signing has been her “voice”. That’s all they need is a voice and Signing Time! can give it to them. Check out I’m sure you’ll love what you see.
    Good Luck!

  41. My momma bit me back…and all it took was once I that was enough for me. LOL My hubby’s momma used vinegar…if he was sass her or say things he shouldn’t (or bite) she’s spray straight white vinegar in his mouth, as an alternative to the whole soap thing. It worked for him and when we have kids I think I’m gonna give it a try.

  42. The two most effective ways of curing a biter is 1.) Don’t bite back (it could make the situation worse and have her bite for payback) but act like you are going to when she is leaning in to bite you. And as you are acting like you are going to bite her, make a really loud noise while you do it. It will scare the snot out of her, yes, but she will stop. 2.) Another effective treatment is to rub ice on her lips whenever she bites. It won’t hurt her but will be uncomfortable. She will then associate that uncomfortable feeling with the biting and stop.

    I used to teach 18 to 24 months and those two tricks worked at home every time (we were not allowed to do anything…but I would suggest it to parents). Hope that helps!

  43. Tried reading through the comments but simply too many. My daughter went through the same thing and a couple of things that helped were biting her back. This stopped it when she was little (EKs age) but then at daycare she started doing it again. She was about 3 and we made her bite a bar of soap. I think we had to do this 3 times and she got the lesson quick.

  44. my girl friend bites…and i LOVE it…hehehehehe

  45. My mom bit me back after I bit my sister. It sure stopped me. I can still remember how shocked and surprised that my mother would actually bite me! It was kind of embarrassing. I never bit anyone again. We still laugh about it today.

  46. craig, pets don’t count.

  47. Dawn…i beg to differ:

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