Valentine’s Day Redo + Helicopter Mom-ing


So I have about half a dozen posts lingering in my mind (it’s been a busy week around here!), but I’m a bit behind in my blogging this week. I figure I’ll start out by combining two of those posts into one for the sake of time, and so here’s what today looked like around Amityville…

First of all, to remind those of you not in Atlanta, we had SNOW last week, meaning E.V.’s preschool Valentine’s Day celebration was cancelled. Since she only goes one day a week, today was the official exchanging of valentines–and, man, was I glad to get those cards off my kitchen counter finally! As we ate breakfast, I explained that in addition to the Tinker Bell cards for her friends, we were also bringing flowers for her teachers (along with the rest of her classmates) as a surprise. She was in a fabulous mood (must’ve been getting to wear her Valentine’s Day outfit finally…), because she took the “surprise” part very seriously. She carried one of the flowers all the way from home to her classroom, gripping it tighter than any toy she’s ever touched, and as she walked through the halls, she told everyone, “Shhhh!” (because they might ruin the surprise, of course). And, then, when she actually saw her teachers, she walked right past them with that rose in her hand. ;) That girl never ceases to crack me up! Emma Vance came home with a bag full of goodies from her friends, and overall it seems that her Valentine’s Day redo lived up to her toddler expectations.

This afternoon was gorgeous, so after her nap, I sat outside on the porch to let E.V. run around the backyard for a bit. (She’s obsessed with “birdies” right now, so hearing them chirp and seeing them fly around gives her endless entertainment these days.) The little girls next door heard her (and the dogs!) and came running over to see if she could play. I hesitated because I really needed to go back inside to do some cleaning, and usually when she plays with them I stick around to make sure that they’re being careful with her. (They’re very adventurous and obviously older, so…) Ryan came outside to say hi to the neighbors and encouraged me to come inside while they played. Truthfully, I felt torn. I don’t want to be a Helicopter Mom and have tried to let E.V. enjoy appropriate amounts of freedom, like letting her play in our private, fenced-in backyard with the dogs “alone” (where I can see her from the kitchen). However, letting her romp around with the neighbor kids without any supervision made me a little weary…and excited. Time alone in the house to get things done PLUS a super-happy baby getting out all her energy with kids she loves? Sounds AMAZING! So I cautiously grounded my helicopter, sent E.V. next door with her tricycle and told the girls to knock on the door if they needed me. Breathe. Just BREATHE.

The end result? Emma Vance ran around with those elementary and middle schoolers like she was one of them, keeping pace and enjoying the attention.I was putting away some laundry in our master bedroom when I realized that I could “spy” on them through our window, and it brought such joy to my heart to see her racing down the hill on her trike, climbing a dirt mound on all fours and being pushed on a big girl swing–all in the bright, breezy sunshine of this great spring day. True, my heart skipped a beat when she came home with a scraped knee, but she was more upset that playtime was over than she was about her boo boo. Overall, it was a successful step–for her and for me! :)

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