I don't think of myself as a "helicopter" Mom. I mostly see the office staff of my children's school when I am bringing in forgotten violas and lunch money. I am a relative unknown at the school my children attend, which is why I became PB Elementary's enemy #1 yesterday.
I created a lot of drama after I was seen watching my son's recess from the hill above the playground. I learned today from another parent that due to someone "watching recess", the school officials had all of the kids go in early, and called the 5-0. Sigh.
My young son has been having the usual trouble kids have at school where there is one kid they really don't want to play with, who in turn tortures them so that he can continue to participate with them in some way. This has turned into a game of one sided tag, where the one kid is constantly the chaser, and my son and his friends are the ones who are chased. I suspect this boy does not want to chase them instead of play, and I know my son is tired of being chased. It's a sad situation, and I think it is becoming routine. I don't think continuing is kind behavior on the part of my son, but I also am not certain that he feels he has any choice. So.....
I sat on the grassy hill at the park above the playground yesterday to catch a little of post-lunch recess. It SEEMED harmless enough, and it was a nice day.
Failure # 1: I did not inform the school that I planned to do this. I didn't tell them because I thought it was embarrassing to be helicoptering about in such a manner. Had I know I would cause this level of trouble to them, and heightened embarrassment to myself in the long run, I would have.
I watched as the kids ran out, and searched for a kid with untied shoe laces, pants that are just a tiny bit too short (and unzipped) and no jacket to run by. Sadly, there were many who fit this description. How in the world would I be able to tell what was going on way up here?
Failure # 2: As I gathered my sunglasses to head out the door, I ran across my son's binoculars. Yes, I brought them. I'm no spring chicken, and besides, I'm thorough.
I finally spied my golden boy, locked in a bear hug from behind by the chaser. Because I had binoculars, I could see that he was not enjoying this bit of play and was trying to get away. He squirmed away and said something to the chaser. I was hoping he was telling him what I had suggested, which was to stop chasing him, that he didn't want to play that game, etc. However, with no audio....I had to guess. The kid went elsewhere though, so I felt there might be some success.
Then, as I suspected... the worst of the worst happened (not the the Police, although I am sure they were being alerted about now). I saw my son's buddy approach the chaser, who was hanging on his own behind a play structure, and talk to him. My son walked up about then. The friend talked to the chaser a little more and then turned and ran. And so did my son. The chaser, of course, chased. My boy and buddy were egging it on!! (The golden boy told me later that he had asked the chaser if he liked to chase them, and the chaser nodded. Hmmm. I am doubting he does.) I leaned back against the tree in disappointment.
Failure # 3: When leaning against the tree, I stuck the back of my hair into a gob of tree sap. Unlike my pride, it is still there today.
I thought the recess seemed like it ended quickly, but since I don't spend a lot of time at school, I had no idea of the time frame. To my horror, I learned today that because of me, and the playground monitors watchful eyes, my actions made the playground monitors nervous, and thus made the kids go in early. The school called the Po-po. And put the teachers on alert. Just because of little ol' me. And my binoculars.
To say I am mortified would be an understatement. I had to call the Principal and tell on myself today. He was very nice about the whole thing, and had suspected it was someone's crazy Mom. He didn't say crazy, but was surely thinking it. As I explained my reasoning for scaring their staff half to death, my grand plan sounded sillier and sillier to my own ears.
The FAA called, and I think my helicopter has been grounded.
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