Friday, November 8, 2013

I Abhor Helicopter Moms

Every once in a while the public playground becomes a very unpleasant place for me. And no, it is not because one of my kids is acting up or being naughty, whiny, or generally obnoxious.

Nope, I am talking about the dreaded helicopter mom.  Especially when her looming, torrential back wind gets into my air space.  But needless to say, when there is a helicopter mom in the vicinity, you will surely get sucked in and then it just totally sucks.

Today was a helicopter day at McDonald's. After a lovely morning of watching a movie with some neighborhood friends, we decided to grab some lunch next door.  I was looking forward to this. A nice lunch, getting to know my new friend Katie, while our kids happily played.

It didn't last.  Helicopter grandma was hovering.

At first she came over to report that Katie's son Landon hit his head. It was an accident, thank goodness! But she kept going on and on and on, relaying every frickin' minute detail about how he hit his head. You would have thought that Landon had suffered a level 3 brain concussion and needed a medi-vac. Jeez, lady. Give it a rest. Landon was sitting there, as calm a palm tree on a tropical beach, listening to this lady rant (albeit nicely) about his poor little head.  He was looking at her like she was looney, but whatever.  Finally, the grandma-copter left. I should have just left then. I should have known what was coming.

But sure enough, about 15 minutes later she was back asking whose kid was wearing the blue shirt. Of course, it was mine.  Raef had done something to her precious grandkid and she was going to let me have it, to make sure I would parent him correctly.  Raef is pretty darn tall, Raef is clumsy, but he has the sweetest disposition and wouldn't hurt a fly. You should see the way he coddles Noelle.  A gentle giant.

First grandma-copter informs me that the playground is for kids under 12.  I tell her that he is 11!  Then she said he was being mean because he scared her grandson.  Oh, boo hoo. Poor little thing.  CALL THE POH-LICE! So grandma-copter, you mean to tell me that he was acting like an 11 year-old?!?! For shame. How dare he. The nerve of that kid. And there was a possibility that Raef had bumped him.

Oh golly.

I started packing up our stuff to leave.  And then I could just feel it all welling up inside of me. I wasn't going to take it anymore.  I told her that things happen.  {gasp!}  Kids get hurt. {gasp} Maybe she needs to relax a bit. {gasp} 

Her response was that she has 10 kids.  I said I had six.  But apparently I am not allowed to have an opinion or any input because I don't have 10 kids.  I guess you need 10 to be an expert and get up in everyone else's face and parse out unsolicited parenting advice.

Now that I have had time to think about why the helicopter mom ruins my park day I think I have had some insight.  

They bother me because they expect everything to be perfect. They expect all kids to robotic, perfect little specimens.  They hover over their own children and in the mean time reek a line of destruction for all the other imperfect children at the playground. And then they come at you like hell fire and damnation when you aren't expecting the same things out of your own kids.

Well, I think it is crap. I want my kid to climb UP the slide.  They learn to think out of the box. I want them to get owies and boo boos. They learn to overcome adversity and to be forgiving. I want them to learn how to play with others on their own without me smoothing the waters for them. They learn how to live in this world as a grown person. I want them to live their own lives and find out who they are.  I cannot do that for them and I refuse to, anyways.

How can they learn anything if I am constantly hovering, telling them what to do every single step of the way?

Helicopter moms want their kids to behave perfectly, don't want their kids to ever feel any pain, and they want to make sure all the other moms at the park see that they are great moms.

Get over yourselves! Sit your butt down on a bench, open up a book, and mind your own freakin' business. Let junior live a little. Make sure he doesn't run into the street. Make sure he doesn't get kidnapped. And then shut your mouth and let the kids play.

Set the helicopter down for an hour or two. I am getting tired of the wind.


Christi Sewell said...

I find amazing growth because of helicopter moms. They've taught me to think outside the box, overcome adversity, to be forgiving, to get along with others, to live in the world as a grown person, and to figure out who I am. Not because of what they say but how I feel when I hear what they say and I feel because of how they feel. I am grateful they give me the opportunity to demonstrate to my children that when people are pushy, bossy or verbally aggressive that it is possible to stay calm and love them. The very things I ask my children to do for each other. It is easy to love those who are lovable. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn to love those who don't seem as lovable. Helicopter moms provide an awesome public service. They help me to learn to live more Christ-like. One day, maybe, I too can be perfected (and possibly perfect) because He first was!

Hoku said...

Her poor 10 kids and all the people they probably came in contact with! IRRAZ!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...