Dear Mrs. Crabby,
I have two lovely children, a daughter, Jessie, four-years-old, and a son, Max, ten-years-old. Jessie attends pre-school and Maxie is a fourth grader. I also work part time and volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
Every day I make lovely lunches for my children. I am trying to be diligent in avoiding the processed foods and those with high fructose corn syrup. I make them fresh meals that they enjoy. I always pick my children up on time from school. The only times I will intervene on their behalf is when they are overwhelmed or not understanding another child’s or teacher’s behaviors. Otherwise, I trust the professionals to know what to do, as long as my children come home healthy and happy.
Last week Maxie came home with a large bruise on his forehead, as well as complaining that the playground proctors laughed at him when a classmate slammed the swing into his head. I iced his head and calmed him down and then asked again what had happened. He told me the same story three times.
I made an appointment to meet with the school regarding this incident. When I discussed this with my friend Chartreuse (the mother of Max’s best friend, Sam), she said “Uh Oh.” When I asked her what she meant by this, she told me that if I went in to ask about this I would be labeled a “helicopter” mom.
I have never heard this term before. What does it mean, Mrs. Crabby? Chartreuse says that once your children are in first grade, they belong to the state, and parents no longer have any rights. She said that it’s worse in private schools because you pay to be pushed aside like this. The rule of the day is “no complaining allowed,” because that “makes waves” according to Chartreuse. She says “once labeled, always labeled.”
This is ridiculous! I don’t know what happened to Max. I’m sure it was an unintentional accident as I cannot believe adults would allow, much less laugh, at children physically hurting each other. All I want to do is to understand the school’s policy and practices on events like these, as nothing like this has ever happened to Maxie before. Chartreuse says that if I go in asking that, I’ll be labeled a terrible trouble-maker and that Max will end up ostracized by future teachers, and then his peers.
What the holy hell is going on? Is Chartreuse correct about this? How do I take care of my children?
Not a Whirly Bird!!
Hon, I feel your pain. The same thing happened to us 20 years ago, when Seymour was 10. Fortunately Seymour is a remarkably strange child who made exceptional grades, and we just pushed through scaring everyone, much like Wednesday Addams would have.
Nowadays your only option is Homeschooling. But then your children will grow up much like these feral children have grown up, though without the increased sensory ability learned from living in a herd.
I wouldn’t worry. Your kids are in a generation that is going to grow up less pressured by academic requirements due to an ever decreasing number of good paying jobs, and easily entertained by the next new electronic device or device peripheral. Just make sure to leave them enough inheritance to live in a single or one room apartment, or trailer park. You might want to rethink the healthy meals aspect, as the modern American diet of processed foods with high fructose corn syrup is designed to dovetail with the dwindling amount of affordable health insurance. Just a thought there.
Relax and visit the airport lounge, hon. Time to warehouse that ole whirly bird.