A party at Scarlett’s always meant takeaways, treat bags like kids’ parties. And they always included Alka-Seltzer for the next day. Ugh. Velma got the last box. Plop plop, just a matter of time now. She scuffed back to her room and slept.
When she woke to kitchen clinking and coffee percolating, it was nearly noon.
They finally got to lunch, umbrella-ed, outside in the high sun of the afternoon, a decadent day of sleeping late and comfort foods.
“Splendid party, old chum. Stellar. All day I’ve been thinking of moving back to the city… What’s so funny?”
“I’m exhausted, Velma. All day I have been thinking about your campaign for me to retire out to the countryside near you and the spinsters’ rooming house. I couldn’t live communally, but I would love a little place nearby.”
“Aha! Let’s grab a martini and talk this through!”
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.
Hello Velma, in celebration of your many creations, I’ve nominated you for the “Kreative Blogger Award”. Please feel free to come on over to my site to pick up the link and the badge to repost on your own site when time allows. In the meantime, keep up the good work.
Dear thing, thank you!! I am honored.