Sunday, April 7, 2013

Where Does Helicoptering Begin?

Little Doorman
The other day I was at the playground with Henry, watching from a distance while he opened and closed the door to the swings area.

Open. Close. Open. Close. Open... Close.

He let a few kids and adults in or out as needed. But there was one woman who seemed unnecessarily panicked that a 15-month-old was holding the gate for her.

"Who's child is this?" she asked another adult standing close by, who shrugged in response. She scanned until she saw me waving. "Oh, okay, is he yours?"

I nodded and smiled.

She seemed satisfied, although I'm sure she went home and told someone that night about the crazy woman at the playground who left her child alone to open and close the gate for 20 minutes.

Henry looked up at me and grinned. Hi, Moo Cow.

Open. Close. Open. Close. Open... Close.

A little later, he tripped up a small incline and smacked his forehead on the ground. I swear he inhaled for a full 45 seconds before letting out the terrible wail of a toddler experiencing his first significant playground abrasion.

My poor little boy.
He's fine, of course.

I've been reading a lot of the blog Free Range Kids lately. I'm really against the idea of "helicopter parenting," although I don't think it's a label any parent would give herself. So I'm not sure where the line is.

Here I coooooome!
Photo credit: Phaitoon / Free Digital Photos

I'm fighting the urge to helicopter. Hard. For now, that means trying to stay out of Henry's way at the playground. Even if it makes some parents uncomfortable.