Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Portrait of a Non-Helicopter Parent

As I've mentioned, I'm disorganized and late all the time, especially regarding Gianna's schooling. I like to hide my shortcomings by cultivating a reputation as the laid-back parent. The non-helicopter, anti-tiger-mom parent.

I studiously forget to have Gianna complete the optional pre-school homework. And when I do remember to have her do it, I don't check it. I read her the directions and let her rip. The whole enterprise is almost always doomed to fail because the homework often requires certain colors of crayons and I can't ever find more than 2 broken, soggy crayons, inevitably in the wrong colors. I can write off this sort of abandonment as teaching the kids to be resourceful and to take ownership of their school work. Prime example: the share bag incident.

The share bag comes home each week with a theme. The first week it was 'something from your kitchen.' Very nice. The next week, it was 'something from your bathroom.' We were running late that morning and I told Gianna to grab something for her share bag and get thee post haste to the car because we ARE LATE OK? Ok. She did, and as per my role as the free range/lazy/disorganized parent, I didn't pre-check the share bag. Until we got to school. I peeked in as we trucked to the door and almost died. Of laughter.

Nestled in the share bag was her tooth brush, my tooth brush, a calculator (why?), and about 20 sanitary napkins. Brad was assisting with the drop-off that morning and he was understandably horrified. There followed a quick consultation:
"Are we...do we let her go in with those?"
"Uh. Yes. Yes. We do. That is what she picked. We must....go forward. We are laid-back."
"We are nuts is what we are."

Probably. But when you've worked as hard as I have to not work hard and make it look like a conscious, careful statement about philosophical parenting beliefs regarding the cultivation of a child's autonomy, you have to follow through. Pads and all.



  2. Hilarious! Brad is working too hard if there is a calculator in the bathroom (doesn't he know that's prime vacation real estate???)

    Hilarious Anne. I think what makes it even funnier (in my head) is your passionate tone of voice as you say, "We must...go forward. We are laid-back".

  3. My husband frequently comes home and looks at the kids in horror, asking me, "Did you let them go out dressed like that?"
    The last time, he was eyeballing the 4 year old boy, who was wearing a Wonder Woman costume, one rubber fireman boot, one flip flop, and had gotten into my mascara, and had painted the tops of his eyelids black.
    What? It's creative expression. Plus, it guarantees that people give us wide berth at the grocery store.

  4. This is hilarious! It totally sounds like something that would happen in my family!

  5. when you're trying to get ready in the morning and attempting to keep an eye on the toddler...yes, sanitary napkins are an optional distraction tool ;)