I don't want to be a helicopter mom but honestly, I have no choice. My kid makes me. I recently read a blog post all about helicopter moms ruining the park experience for non-choppers, written by a fellow mother and writer. And though I never actually considered myself a helicopter parent, by her "2 kinds of park parents" definition, I definitely fit the bill, seeing as I am the mom on the gym equipment who goes to the park and plays with her kid, as opposed to partaking in my own adult play date- like her.
Though it does sound amazing! I would LOVE to play bench warmer…but my 2 year old won't have it. I try. "Mom, get off the seat, come here! Get down!" He barks, tugging at my leg once my ass finally meets the seat. "Ugh," I internally dread. I’d much rather catch up on my separate existence for a bit, and I’d so prefer to observe his activities from afar, but no. I'm the fun mom whose participation is demanded. Why can’t my presence be enough? I’m jealous of you, benchy.
You see, Dads are usually thought to be the fun parent. Dads are the wild, the rough, the eternal children. But in my family, I'm that fool. And it's all fun and games until you're being dragged off the bench by a two year old following a full-day of work at the office because your son wants to put sand down your shirt.
But so you know, bench warming momma, I'm not watching your kid. At all. You don’t have to worry about me judging you because I couldn't careless about your child testing her boundaries. If she falls, that's on you girlfriend. I let my kid fall all the time without acknowledging it. Okay that's not true, I usually laugh before pointing out the obvious, “Did you fall?” HAHAHAAHAH!
It must be nice to sit around at the park, shooting the shit with other moms like yourself, while I run up and down participating in tot activities. But before you judge me for my involvement, just know that the only way I can get through said activities is to get into them. So yeah, I have fun. And yes, you'll see me acting like a 2 year old, roaring down slides and coaxing my son to "just come!" across the bridge. But you need not worry about my involvement hindering my kid’s social skills. He’s got skills, trust me. He's in preschool from 8 am-3:30 pm 5 days a week. He even has a steady girlfriend that he kisses goodbye each day (what up Annabelle)! So when we are at the park together, he wants to play with his mom. He thinks I'm fun. And you know who else thinks I'm fun? YOUR KID.
Your kid starts out watching us, curiously feeling me out and deciding whether I'm a threat, a freak, or just an oversized kid.* She slowly inches near us and before I know it, I’m playing with your kid, too. The only reason I keep looking up to eye for her parent is because I don’t want you to think I’m some sick predator hitting your kid up.
So let’s do each other a favor and show a little more acceptance. I’m not trying to ruin your park experience by playing amongst the children, and I’m certainly not judging your position on the bench. I’m actually envious of your mini-break, lord knows we all need one. So don’t judge me, either. For whatever reason, kids think I’m fun and they won’t get off my back until I’m on it, pretending to fall down. Entertaining your kid wasn't part of the plan but it certainty kept them out of your hair, didn't it? So you’re welcome. You and I are actually better friends than you think. So save me a spot?
*I’m all three.