The other day at playgroup, my son, Sam, hit another baby in the face. He didn’t mean to hurt him—it was more like a wave gone awry—but still, it was open-hand, at point-blank range, like the first blow in the kind of slap fight you might see break out on Maury Povich. The other baby winced, and I swooped in from my crouch approximately two feet away to break it up. And then, from across the room, I heard the other child’s mother start to … laugh.
“Awesome,” she said, not making the slightest move to get up from her laid-back lean against the wall. I stared at her. Was she drunk? (Unlikely; it was noon.) Did she just not give a shit? Again, no; I’d seen her kissing her son and feeding him orange slices just moments before. As her baby shrugged off the attack and crawled over to investigate a nearby wall outlet, I had to accept the truth: in the world of helicopter parenting, she was the equivalent of a T-bird on blocks. And I was a military Black Hawk. Read More