Monday, June 30, 2008

The Black Hawk Helicopter Parent

From Wikipedia: "A helicopter parent is a term for a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her child or children. . . . They rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling them or letting them learn from their own mistakes. . . . They are so named because, like a helicopter, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach whether their children need them or not."

I am going to print that out and put it on my bathroom mirror because that is what I want to be when I grow up. And I don't just want to be any helicopter parent, I want to be a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter parent, capable of a wide array of missions, including air cavalry (example: running onto the soccer field to kick an opposing team-member's shins), electronic warfare (example: putting a tracing device on Alex's backpack to see exactly where he goes after school), and aeromedical evacuation (example: taking him to the doctor for a skinned knee).

I'm well on my way to realizing my potential. Yesterday, I made a new emergency (and not-so-emergency) contact list to tape to the inside of a cabinet so that anyone watching Alex will be completely prepared for anything. I listed all my family members living nearby, and four people in my neighborhood. I included every possible method of contacting them, as well as their relationship to Alex. I included the fire department, police department, poison control center, and Alex's pediatrician. You want to know the number for 911? It's on there. What's Alex's blood type, you ask? It's right there in front of you. Allergies? Check. Birth date? Check. You speak only Spanish? No problem; everything is listed in both English and Spanish. As proud as I am of the list, I could really use a helicopter parent mentor to fill me in on the other items I'm surely missing--I anxiously await your suggestions.

And yesterday I made a great discovery. Our video baby monitor works in our next-door neighbors' living room. Nevermind that our houses are so close I could probably hear Alex yawn from their house. (Yikes, I hope a jaunt to my next-door-neighbors' house while Alex sleeps does not disqualify me from the title of "helicopter parent". . . or "responsible parent," for that matter.) As a result, my neighbors had the great pleasure of listening to my narration, play-by-play, of Alex's slumber while Kendall and I destroyed them in a brief game of Password. Imagine the suspense: "He kicked off his blanket. Now he's turning onto his right side." Riveting. And for good measure, I brought one of our phone handsets, which, with the right password, can tap into the other three handsets in the house to eavesdrop on any area of the house. Talk about having eyes (or ears) in the back of my head. . . .

Maybe I could be the equivalent of an unmanned, remote-control operated military surveillance chopper:


  1. You crack me up! I should get on the ball and at least put up a few phone numbers for those who come to watch our children! Why didn't I think of it before? Sorry--no tips from me!

  2. You are too funny! Wow, I'm pretty sure I qualify according to your definition.

  3. If you're curious, ask Brock how his parenting style has evolved from helicopter parenting to "they'll live" (post triplets).

  4. Anonymous6:20 PM

    I'm thrilled to learn about the possibility of being a helicopter parent. Does this mean that becoming a parent doesn't mean growing out of my spy fantasies? I think it does ...

  5. You are the funniest. I felt that way so much with Savannah...I was so mama bear at all times. Sometimes I would torture myself at night thinking about "what could possibly happen to her?" And then, after Sienna was born, Ivan worked nights and I would stay awake all night thinking, "If there were a fire, and I could only save one, who would I save?" Does it get better with three? So far, I'm so tired, anytime my head hits the pillow, I just pass out.