Helicopter Mom Sends In The Police Helicopters

, , , , , , | Related | January 19, 2018

(My mum was a helicopter parent during my childhood. After many years of fighting with her for my independence, she sort of “gave up” on me, much to my relief and satisfaction. However, my brother hates conflict and won’t argue with her when she crosses the line until she does something completely outrageous. This incident happens when he is in year ten. It is half an hour after the time he is supposed to be home from school, but he’s a six-foot tall 16-year-old and I’m not worried about him. I am in the middle of something when I get a phone call from my mum, who is out of state at a conference.)

Mum: “Nanna called me. Where is [Brother]? He is supposed to be home by now.”

Me: “Look: I don’t know where he is, but I’m sure he’s fine. Maybe he just missed the train or something.”

Mum: “He’s not answering his phone.”

(This is not unusual for him. Nobody ever answers their phones in my family.)

Me: “Which means it’s probably dead. I still don’t see any reason to panic just yet; it’s only been half an hour.”

Mum: “You need to give me his friends’ numbers.”

Me: “Are you kidding? I don’t even know their numbers.”

Mum: “Check the first drawer in the desk in Nanna’s bedroom. Nanna’s worried about it and so am I.”

(My nanna, who has dementia, is indeed wailing in the next room as if she’s just been told my brother was murdered.)

Me: “You’re both overreacting. Don’t embarrass [Brother] in front of his friends for being half an hour late. At least wait fifteen more minutes; it’s not like it’s going to make any difference if you panic now versus if you panic in fifteen minutes.”

Mum: “If you don’t give me his friend’s numbers–“

Me: “Mum, stop it. You’re being ridiculous. His friends are going to make fun of him for this.”

Mum: “He’s not going to care what his friends think.”

Me: “H*** yes, he is! [Brother] is a sensitive kid; he’s not like me. This will humiliate him.”

Mum: “You go get me their numbers, or I’m going to call the police, and then I’m catching the next flight home!”

(We go back and forth a little more, but I end up giving her the numbers, as she refuses to back down on her threat, and she has called the police in the past for less. Lo and behold, fifteen minutes later, who comes in the door but my brother. My brother, who was late because he was trying to finish a group assignment with his friends and missed his train. My brother, whose phone was dead, proving that DNA tests are not always necessary to prove without a doubt what family you belong to. By that evening, the Facebook status that my brother’s friend posted, laughing about how my mum rang up all his friends to find her baby boy, had received about 20 likes. My brother is upset to the point that he ends up confronting my mum about it when she gets home. She tries to laugh it off like it’s no big deal.)

Me: *butting in* “It was a big deal, Mum. I told you he’d be made fun of, and you wouldn’t listen to me.”

Mum: “He shouldn’t worry about what his friends say.”

Me: “Teenagers are sensitive to these sorts of things. But he’s sixteen now, and he’s never been in any sort of trouble. You should have trusted that everything would be fine or at least listen to me and given him fifteen minutes’ grace. You owe him an apology.”

Mum: *dismissive* “He’ll get over it.”

(My brother never really put his foot down, and my mum remains a controlling parent towards him to this day.)

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