A few weeks ago, my wife picked up Sophie from nursery only to discover three defined teeth marks in her forehead and just above her eyebrow.
It was horrible. And we had no warning about it.
I was away on the Isle of Man at the time, trying to entertain sixty children as we shot across the island on a steam train.
Understandably my wife was very upset so rang me to let me know. I felt awful that I wasn’t available to support her properly.
Sophie was fine in herself – not distressed or anguished by the experience. But her appearance was scarred for the next twenty four hours and that was totally unacceptable.
Now we accepted that children do bite. Sophie herself had been caught gnawing on another child’s finger a few weeks prior when they’d been playing close together and the child had put their finger in Sophie’s mouth.
It was the position of the bite (very close to her eyes) and the fact we had been told about it almost as an afterthought when my wife arrived which we struggled to deal with.
I mean, how does a child get so close to Sophie that they are able to bite her at the top of her face not once but three times? That’s a game which requires some severely close supervision!
To their credit, nursery handled the aftermath well. They accepted responsibility for numerous protocols not being followed and were extremely apologetic. Sophie’s marks faded, she’ll never remember it and life has moved on.
I think for me it just gives me a much greater understanding of how it feels when you child is hurt by someone’s else child and how to manage your own emotions. We’ll never know who it was that bit our baby girl and even if we did, angrily confronting a parent would do more harm than good.
It will mean Sophie is looked after a little more closely from now on.
Which ought only to be a good thing.