NPR recently did a story about helicopter parents invading the workplace. (Read the article here.) It appears that some Mamas (and Daddies) are going as far as contacting human resources with personal recommendations and pleas for better compensation packages for their children, attending job fairs on behalf of their kids, and sending out resumes without their knowledge.
I posted this story on my Runaway Mama Facebook page (have you “Liked” my page yet?) with the commentary, “I give you permission to lock me a room with a whining toddler and throw out the key if I ever hover in my kids’ workplaces.” Make it a dozen whining toddlers! I hope I never do this to my boys…or loiter in their college dorm room folding socks or stalk the campus Office of Parental Relations. I hope.
I am a helicopter Mama. (At least I’m not in denial.) This morning at school, I stood among several parents in Dylan’s Pre-K classroom watching over Dylan’s shoulder as he wrote his name on the sign-in easel. His uppercase Ds and lowercase As are getting much better, I thought. A mom walked in with her son and said, “Whoa, is there some kind of parent meeting going on in here?” Dylan’s teacher responded, “I can’t get the parents out of here this year! No one uses carpool!” She went on to say, “I’ve got news for you, parents! You won’t get to walk your kids into school next year when they’re in Kindergarten!” We all chuckled and then Dylan sneezed and wiped his nose with his hand, so I got him a tissue and told him to wash his hands. After I watched him wash his hands, I waited while he used the bathroom because I wanted to give him a hug and a kiss good-bye before I left. Because if I left before he came out of the bathroom, he might be upset that he didn’t get to see me one more time. Oy.
Last week, Dylan got a new car seat. It’s a booster seat that simply uses the seat belt from the car. There is no base, no five-point harness, and no LATCH. When unbuckled, the seat isn’t attached to anything. If it had wings it could fly away. If it had a propeller it could be a helicopter (like me).
This new booster seat signals a new era. Dylan’s previous car seat was so heavy and complicated to install that once we got it in the car, we only removed if it was absolutely necessary. If there was an orange cracker crumb village growing underneath the seat (and there was), it would grow uninterrupted until we replaced the car seat or bought a new car. And speaking of new cars, with this new, free-floating booster seat, we have many more non-minivan cars-with-a-third-row options!
The first morning Dylan used the new seat he told me, “This is my third car seat.” I thought about it and said, “Actually, it’s your fourth. You just don’t remember the first one because you were so little.” And then it hit me. Soon, Dylan will sit on a backless booster in the car. Then no booster at all. Then in the front seat with me. He’ll ride his bike to school and walk to a friend’s house by himself. He’ll go to sleepover camp and ask me to drop him off at the movie theater or the mall. He’ll learn how to drive (gasp!), and I’ll beg him to buckle his seat belt every time he gets in the car (and secretly wish there was a five point harness and LATCH to keep him safe). I’ll tell him to avoid the highway and never drink and drive. And my jaw will be permanently clenched. Then he’ll go to college and I’ll be unable to leave his dorm room until his bed is made and his clothes are unpacked. Then I’ll march straight to the Office of Parental Relations to join an event committee and volunteer to edit their newsletter.
I better buckle up. This helicopter ride has only just begun. (Thankfully, Riley’s car seat still has a LATCH and a five-point harness.)
**Shopaholic Mama Alert**
Babies R Us and Toys R Us are doing their “Great Trade-In Event”
until February 20th. Bring in any old baby equipment – car seat, stroller,
high chair, play yard, crib, etc. – and get 25% off something new.