Velma is sitting in the garden writing some postcards to the girls back in New York. “Dear Scarlett: Although I miss the city terribly, I am settling in at my new abode and making friends with my “spinster” sisters here. The rooming house is a wee bit dilapidated, but I like to imagine it as European rather than neglected. Perhaps you will come by for a visit one day. I would love to host you of course, and wonder if you also might remove yourself from the city once this job runs its course. The girls here are just delightful, there’s always an outing being planned, a puzzle to work on in the corner of the public room, or some kind of game to play. I’m working at the local library, and the gardens at the rooming house offer not only some privacy but also great diversions with their views of various plants and the little chores that we girls do.” Velma knew she had slightly overplayed the activities of the other “extra girls” and her “work” at the library, but she missed her dearest friend and hoped beyond measure that they would be nearer one day.
Velma’s hat is of course available here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/81118420/womens-hat-retro-half-brim-with-recycled
I am queen of the helicopter parents. But there are enough of us that we are becoming a social problem. Here’s my story.
Thing 1 was coming, they couldn’t stop him, it was only 24 weeks and 3 days. Someone asked: should we try to save him? Well, yes. Yes! Ten days later, a team of doctors closed the door behind us to explain brain bleeds, sepsis, meningitis. Shall we pull the plug? Well, no. No!
Babydaddy laid hands on him every day, massaged him when he was ready. For the three months he was in intensive care, and the three weeks at an intermediate hospital, I would get up in the night and pump breast milk, thinking about my baby across town. Babydaddy delivered it every morning, earning the name “milkman.” It was funny.
We had every therapy going for as long as possible: early intervention, the intermediate unit, private therapies. Terms multiplied: sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration problems, orally defensive, auditory sensitivities, comprehensive developmental delay, cognitive function impairment, retinopathy of prematurity. He did occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, play therapy; we consulted with a neurologist, school psychologist, wraparound service provider, developmental specialist. He worked with an occupational therapist for a year and a half to tolerate teeth and hair brushing.
Not surprisingly, parenting didn’t feel natural. I learned to read to my baby watching Phyllis, our physical therapist. Voices, commentary, labeling colors, counting… she was very good! Merging professional research skills with my genetic propensity for silliness (mom was class clown, dad’s distantly related to Lucille Ball), my mothering style came together. Eventually. But I still channel Phyllis on occasion.
Thing 2 was full term. They are complete opposites; she is a sensory seeker with a wild sense of adventure and an inventive sense of fashion. Keeping them both busy and happy is an exasperating and sweet challenge. I still believe that every day can be fun and educational while reinforcing kids' boundaries. I’m on a mission to save us helicopter parents from ourselves. No more bubble wrapped kids and guilty parents. Let’s teach them coping skills. Let’s get fun.
I love the blue flower! My favorite color!!