As I’ve mentioned, I consider myself a helicopter parent. I interfere with social interactions. (Honestly, I was left in a room full of people I didn’t know, also known as a wedding reception where I only knew the bride, and I would’ve LOVED to have a mom help me make friends. Or at least to negotiate the bullies and crotch dancers.) And while I let my kids jump and run and get bumps and bruises, I am there while it happens. And I may suggest a different route to get off the three-story high slide than JUMPING.
So when I read that Free-Range Kids are having “Take Your Children To The Park And Leave Them There Day” on May 22nd, I think: Awesome. Now I can’t go to the playground on Saturday. Because I already HAVE two kids. I don’t need twenty-seven more.
Because I helicopter. And if you’re kids come into range, I helicopter while throwing you dirty looks.
I have two theories on why I parent like this:
- I’m psychic. If I think my son is going to fall down the stairs, I need to spot my son as he climbs. Because when I don’t? He falls. Seriously. As some of you remember from my barrage of tweets on Thursday, I had a bag of my DYED bridesmaid’s shoes THROWN OUT. Guess what? When I put that bag down a week before I thought: I should take those shoes and Spanx out because Scott is TOTALLY GOING TO THROW THEM AWAY. But I dismissed my psychic abilities. (Which for the intention of seeming sane and educated, we shall now call women’s intuition.) And I got to buy a SECOND PAIR OF DYED SHOES. Intuitive!
- I am fairly convinced that the only kids who benefit from stand-off parenting are bullies and social butterflies. Neither of my children fall into these categories. Or at least I DON’T. Either way, if I hadn’t interfered with my son at soccer practice by calling him over and telling him to apologize, he would’ve gotten away with pushing two boys. The kids may have worked it out eventually, but I have enough trouble with making mom friends at soccer. I don’t need a NEW REASON to be ignored.
But today I realized that I knew nothing about helicopter parenting. As you have heard about a hundred times, N has a BLACK EYE. The picture I posted yesterday is the one from the day she fell off the chair. This is her today:
And I spend the ENTIRE DAY in TOTAL FEAR that she will get hurt. My son touches her leg and I yell: GENTLE! She tries to stand up, and I look for pillows to place around her at strategic angles as she cruises the coffee table. I TAKE HER TO THE DOCTOR. Just in case we should be doing something MORE for her eye. And to be sure it’s still functioning. I’m surprised I didn’t ask for antibiotics
The doctor reassured me (over and over) that N is fine. (Although her eye will look like this for TWO WEEKS! Send more pillows!)
As I put her to bed tonight and consider sleeping on the floor IN CASE HER EYEBALL FALLS OUT, I realize that I was not a helicopter parent UNTIL A CHAIR, MY DAUGHTER AND MY HUSBAND CONSPIRED TO MAKE A HOVERING LUNATIC.
Maybe I SHOULD drop off my kids on Saturday. Just until I get my intuition back. But can I include bubble wrap? Because she only has ONE EYE LEFT!