9.11.2010

Letting Otto "Spread His Wings" ...on a 4-Wheeler... While I Cried...


Otto still talks about holding the kittens and pantomimes for us just how careful you have to be. He's my little serious man; god I love that kid.

So, onto the topic at hand, you know, I don't really ASPIRE to be a helicopter mom. But yeah, I pretty much am one, like 250%. I've got my propellers spinning over Otto's head 24/7 and I'm leaning out the side of the heli with my sniper rifle cocked (does one cock a rifle?) and ready, even enthusiastic, to shoot down anyone or thing that threatens my little baby. Annnd, many of you guys already know that we went on a short family vacation to North Dakota last weekend to celebrate what I can only describe as a "meant to be" wedding (just meaning these two people are totally perfect and awesome together) on hubs' side of the fam. It was a whirlwind trip that was probably the most fun of Otto's whole life and included one of my favorite moments of all time: Otto's 2 hour dance marathon at the wedding which you can see the first 2 1/2 minutes of (including snippet of me rockin a pretty immodest mini dress) on youtube here. It's way cute and along with being a heli-mom I'm also a braggy mom so I can't help but share "look, my kid is CUUUUTE!"!

This trip was all about Otto being a 20 month old KID, no longer a baby, exploring and enjoying this lush, green, farm-riddled foreign magic kingdom of North Dakota. I tried as hard as I could to sit back and let him do his thing, get his hands dirty, play with cousins, and just, you know, be a kid. And I was doing a pretty good job of appearing to be a laid back lady until we visited a family farm on Sunday. It started out all kittens and rhubarb happiness, but then the boys started grunting and beating their chests and jumping up and down like monkeys and the hairs on the back of my neck went up. Rifle cocked, propellers whirring, heart racing, I knew... they were gonna take the 4wheelers for a spin. And immediately Otto's Papa asks if he can take Ot for a ride.


The blog post I'm not ready to write right now is about whether or not I'm even sure I made the right decision. In that moment, I knew I could snipe Papa with a, "no" and keep my baby perfectly safe in rhubarb and kitty land. But I didn't say, "no" I said, "ok" because I knew Otto would be thrilled to ride on the 4-wheeler with Papa. Otto adores his Papa, and cars/trucks/tractors/trains/younameit, and even at 5mph it was the ride of his life. So I sat back and hid behind my shades and put a smile on my face... and cried. Even writing this right now I'm tearing up again - because I hated every second of it.

I mean I hated it.

But... Otto loved it.

And I think this was one of those rite of passage moments for me as a mom. Stepping back so Otto could do HIS thing even though it was completely the opposite of MY thing. And moments later I got to go back to helicoptering, my comfort zone. And we all survived. Sigh. (Like I said, still not totally sure I chose wisely, still feel fear just looking at the pictures, ugh.)

Back in my comfort zone, happy heli-land...


-Lindsey

16 comments:

happynester said...

been there. been there exactly. my sons first ride i cried behind shades too.. and i'm pretty sure i followed the boys and yelled whenever they slightly picked up speed. and then i cried some more.. but it was the highlight of his life. and now sadly, he wants to go every single day. and that moment was over 2 years ago now.
i have a fear because my husband was nearly killed on one, so the letting go and trying to find what is 'right' is really hard.

you did good. its just one step.

Lindsey Muth said...

Oh wow, it really makes me feel so much better to know that you went through the exact same experience. Because it is such a weird one and one of those alienating moments where I was feeling cautious/petrified/miserable and everrrryone else was feeling fun/jazzy/carefree. 4wheelers are crazy dangerous! I mean you know that even more than I do - from your husband's experience. But you're so right, it's probably one of those necessary steps; we can't hover forever (even though I realllly super-realllly want to). You did good too.

Every day though? Dear god I don't think my heart could take it. Boys just keep being boys I guess ::extended sigh::

luv2beanana said...

My dear daughter-in-law and mother to my first grandbaby, you did good. It is never easy stretching the embilical cord that binds you forever to your children, but baby steps are necessary for them to grow. You are right to be cautious and you are teaching Otto how to be a good parent when he grows up. Just know, that we as grandparents would rather die ourselves than let anything happen to our grandbabies - or our children (you included) for that matter. You ARE OUR LIVES! So I understand. Keep up the good work mom.

MommyKnowsMess said...

I understand !! My FIL wanted to drive the kids on his riding lawn mower and I said yes and the kids jumped on. He had one on each knee and could hardly steer the thing. Then he went down a hill and I could just see them flying off ! Scared me half to death to watch and worry. They didn't fall but I don't think both will be taking a ride together again anytime soon. One at a time next time :) Our babies are our babies and we as mommys just want to protect them :) You did great !! Mine have yet to ride a 4 wheeler ! The pics are adorable ! Love em girl !

Lindsey Muth said...

Thanks, Nita! #bestmotherinlawEVER heart heart heart heart

Heather, oh my gosh you story is 10x scarier than mine! My heart is racing just hearing it! I'm sending you all kinds of peaceful healing vibes - feel better soon mama! xo

Sweet Harper said...

THAT is so cute!!! What a handsome little rock star. I will confess to being a heli-mom some of the time too. It's interesting to see which things strike a chord, and which ones you are not worried over at all. No worries, if and when another baby comes along...your heli time gets naturally cut in half, so better for everyone involved! LOL!

Lindsey Muth said...

Ahaha! OMG I can only hope something mellows me out or poor Otto is going to have issues! Annnd I can only hope Otto someday gets a little sibling half as cute as your lil ones! And of course I'll continue hovering forever just like you (but hopefully a slightly more mellowed out version just like you too!). XO!! - ps wish I hadn't missed RZ tonight there was so much to dish about this time but not as much fun when we're not on at the same time!

monkey-toes said...

I watched the vid - sooo cute! And when you said "immodest" dress I was thinking Vegas hooker. NOT AT ALL! You looked super adorable!

I cannot imagine what this whole boy thing is going to be like. UGH! O is so different from the girls. The girls sat and stayed. There is no chance of that with O. You're not alone in the helicopter parenting!!

Lindsey Muth said...

I'm saving my Vegas hooker dress for you, Jenny! haha and yes you are in for IT with your "O". Those "O" boys are the squirreliest! xo

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