At the very least, you can't call me a hovering parent.
While Maguire was out of town the other night, I decided to take the boys up to my parents' house so they could roam free for a little while and we could visit with my brother, Gabe. My brother is younger than I am and very much still a kid at heart, so it was like hanging out with three little crazed Indians. Lots of running around in circles, hooting and hollering, trying to capture each other and wrestle to the ground.
I have to admit, it was a mini-vacation for me, handing over the reigns to my brother for a couple of hours. I just tuned out and played on the computer, watched Joey Fatone on NBC's The Singing Bee (how much fun is that show? totally mindless, but thoroughly entertaining), and snuck a few slices of Maguire's birthday cake here and there. Aaah, this is the life.
There is a slight chance that I tuned out a bit too much, though. In response to the occasional thump!, smack!!, and crash!!! followed by a startled and/or angry cry from one of the younger Indians rolling around on the floor, I found myself repeatedly looking up and saying in a sort of dazed way, "Huh? What just happened? looking to Gabe for a clue: Did you see what happened?"
After maybe the seventh time of saying, "Wha-? What? Is somebody hurt?" the absurdity of the situation struck me and I had to laugh. I turned to Gabe and said, "You must be wondering at this point how my children aren't in perpetual traumatic-injury comas." To which he replied, "And this Seattle reporter called you a parenting blogger, huh?"
Well, he certainly didn't call me a responsible parenting blogger.
When it comes to parenting styles, I would say I fall fairly far outside of the realm of the Helicopter parent, and more in the realm of the Hang Glider parent (yes, I made up that term, but still). I don't so much hover as I do sort of glance around the situation, get the general gist of things, but then continue on whatever path the air current has me going at the time. If need be, I'll swing back around and take a closer look, but if I stop, chances are I won't be able to get started again, so I'm better off letting things work themselves out on their own if I can help it.
Besides, my little Indians are much more likely to notice a noisy Helicopter hovering overhead versus the parenting stealth of my silent Hang Glider. This will pay off later when these little stinkers think they are pulling a fast one on me and then bam! I'm right there on top of them.
And since when did a handful of bumps, bruises, and scrapes do any real harm? It builds character! And at this rate, my kids will be scarred, er, chock full of character.