Exclusive: Helicopter no fan of helicopter parents
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
I recently wondered how your average helicopter feels about being associated with pushy, interfering “helicopter parents.” Accordingly, I met with an RLC Bell 407—a masterpiece of aerospace technology—and made a few sensitive inquiries. Its response wasn’t pretty.
Perfect Baby Handbook: When did you first hear the term “helicopter parent”?
Bell 407: I don’t want to talk about it.
PBH: Is there any—
Bell 407 (interrupting): I mean, we helicopters used to be quite widely admired, y’know? Did you see me in True Lies? Arnold Schwarzenegger personally recruited me for that role. Kids used to look up to me….
PBH: And now…?
Bell 407 (rising from the tarmac, hovering fretfully, shouting over the racket): Now they run from me, screaming, “Stop over-scheduling me! Stop calling my teacher! Stop ruining my life!”
PBH (screaming upward, gesturing wildly to aid comprehension): How odd! You’d think children would be able to see that, although you’re a helicopter, you’re not a parent!
Bell 407 (landing and sputtering into silence): These kids are too traumatized to appreciate nuance.
Bell 407: Is that all you can say? “Oh”?!
PBH: Well, um…do you and the other helicopters share your feelings?
Bell 407: Not really. The vast majority of helicopters can’t talk, and those that can restrict their discussions to rollover bulkheads and rupture-resistant fuel systems, but I can tell that they’re totally eaten away inside by this stigma.
PBH: It must be difficult.
Bell 407: Stop patronizing me.
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