That’s what Busy-And-Important-Husband likes to yell after me when I run to one of the kids after they’ve taken a tumble.
You see. I am a helicopter parent; a self-confessed Chinook of the parenting world. Hovering over my children waiting to swoop down should anything untoward happen to them.
I know. I know. There really is no need to give me the ‘wrapping them up in cotton wool’ lecture. I get it. Really, I do.
It’s just that I can’t help myself. And when I do try to be one of those nonchalant, free-and-easy parenting types, it always seems to backfire.
Take this week for example. After the bell rang on the last day of my son’s first year at school, we headed down to a local harbourside park with a bunch of other school families for a celebratory picnic and play.
Did you catch the habourside bit? That’s going to be important soon…
We arrived and joined the other families gathering at a picnic table. My son ran off to find his friends in a playground about 200 metres away, with his little sister in tow.
“Don’t go near the water,” I called after them, suppressing my urge to follow, turning instead to say my hellos to the other parents who looked very relaxed as they chatted and sipped champagne.
I was determined to be just as relaxed and carefree. Well, for two minutes at least. But I knew my time feigning nonchalant parenting would be limited and I’d soon be hovering playground-side.
It was like holding my breath.
As parents discussed holiday plans, Christmas shopping and the end of the world Mayan-style, all I could think about was what my kids were doing. Falling from a high climbing frame? Wandering into the snake-infested bush? Stripping off by the water in preparation for a harbour dip?
Finally, I couldn’t do it any more. I excused myself just to “see what the kids were up to,” and headed over to the playground.
I spotted my son quickly enough. Scaling the rope-climbing frame with his buddies. While my scalp tingled at the sight of him so high, I resisted the urge to spin my helicopter blades.
Then I scanned the rest of the playground for my daughter. Her fluorescent pink top should have been easy to spot. But there was no pink in sight.
My eyes darted frantically around the playground as I felt the anxiety rise in my gut.
“Where’s your sister?” I called out to my son.
“I dunno,” he shrugged. “She wanted to go down to the water.”
The panic button in my brain lit up as I turned and ran down to the beach.
“Have you see a little girl in a pink top?” I called to a bystander.
“No. I don’t think so. Sorry,” was the reply.
I stumbled along the sand, calling her name.
“Have you seen my daughter?” I called over to more people.
My calls became shrieks as the panic started to take over my body.
I went back to the playground and yelled her name there, hoping that maybe I’d just missed her.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
“Excuse me,” said a man who had been watching my frantic search. “But is that her over there?”
I squinted in the direction he was pointing - back to the table where I had been talking with the other parents. And there she was. Happily sitting amongst the relaxed and chatting parents with her drink bottle in hand.
I went over to her weak with relief.
“Sweetheart. Here you are,” I said lowering my face to hers.
“I came to get a drink,” she shrugged.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” I sighed.
“I know Mumma. I heard you yelling my name. You sounded like a noisy screechy bird,” she giggled.
A noisy screechy bird. Yep, when it comes to parenting, this is about as relaxed as I get.
|(Source: Andyworks via iStockphoto)|
And that my lovely readers, is my last post for 2012. I shall be back in 2013 with more melodrama, and hopefully some of my less dramatic words will continue to find their way to other places (quite pleased with my little 2012 booty here).
It’s been fun. See you in the New Year and may your bubbles over flow, like I’m hoping mine will.