Saturday, September 8, 2012


When I was playing high school basketball the coaches would beat into our heads a defensive stance called ball-you-man.  The idea was to always be in between the ball and your man and aware of where both are at all times.  If your man moved, you moved.  If the ball moved you moved.  You were in constant motion to be in position to steal a pass, immediately defend your man as soon as he got the ball or help if the player with the ball drove to the basket.

With two toddling toddlers, I've since adapted this concept to parenting.  I call it Baby-You-Other Baby.  It is a very good system and is most effective in play grounds, airports or other large spaces with multiple opportunities for medium to large disasters like face-plants, falling from high objects, eating stray garbage, sticks or rocks from the ground.

With twins, it's a bit harder to be a helicopter parent than the parents of only one kid that I've seen chasing their little ones around the park. The Baby-You-Other Baby (BYOB) system does not eliminate ingestion of all stray rocks and unfortunately can't eliminate the stumble-fall-on-the-black-top-black-eye as shown to the right.

In fact, just two weeks ago at the park, the babies had moved into close proximity to each other and I had relaxed from the BYOB stance to have a seat on the curb. I looked up to see a helicopter Mom holding a slow jog behind her two year-old as he scooted over obstacles and slides. She was right behind him with every step, making sure not a stray blade of grass fell on his clothes or a splash of mud stained his shoes. Then, not two minutes after laughing to myself about how crazy she looked and thinking, "why bother, what could possibly happen?" my little Ruthie while running full speed, stumbled over a ball and face-planted right into the black-top like a plane crash landing without it's wheels down. The screams could be heard in the next county and as I scooped her up I realized BYOB might need some work and perhaps a little more helicoptering could have stopped this crash and burn that was now screaming in my arms.

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