Scarlett was never sure about Vesta. Glancing over at her (late) gift from Vesta, she furrowed her brow. Surely her lively presence did not inspire a brown gift, a gift of such practicality and lack of inspiration. Did it? Was Vesta trying to tell her something in that academic way that she had? Scarlett held the cup and saucer in her hand and mulled its intricate pattern, the rich browns, black, yellow and gray. The cup was not new. Scarlett wondered if it were an antique, and what it might be worth. It certainly didn’t fit into her style back in New York City. It was a lovely thought, of course, but…
Knocking interrupted her thoughts, and Velma popped into the room, catching Scarlett with the cup in her hand upside down. Scarlett looked up and grinned sheepishly as she righted the cup. Velma’s eyes got large. “Oh my. Hmmm. I can’t believe that Vesta gave you that cup and saucer. They belonged to her Auntie Ann, who she visited in Bavaria as a child. She’s always cherished it, never used it.” Velma pondered the gift and wondered also if Vesta was trying to tell Scarlett something.
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.
Wow! This is beautiful. Thank you for using my demi cup and saucer.
Regina, thank you for your kind words. You have a darling shoppe!