Snowplowing through parenting – Glens Falls Post-Star

I am not a Helicopter Parent. My frequent misplacement of my children demonstrates that.

And I danced a jig the day my daughter broke the news that she was giving up the saxophone. That eliminates my chances of being an aggressive, overachieving Tiger Parent, I reflected while I flipped through a magazine.

In a fit of introspection, I was thinking about parenting styles the other day, as I find it helpful to put oneself inside a labeled box. It is neater that way.

I blame the outdated issue of a parenting magazine in the rack at the hair salon.

“The motive for Tiger Parents is to produce superior children,” I read.

Well, I have no aspirations of that, consoling myself with the thought. My kids have trouble buttering their own toast … which is why I do it for them. Wait, I probably shouldn’t have said that.

This brings me to the third parenting style, the Snowplow Parent. I’ve got to admit, this one shook me up. Snowplows are out front, plowing down obstacles, making life easier for their kids.

Buttering toast, I said, filling in the blank.

Gulp.

If my life was a movie, this would be when the director cues up the video montage of all the times I slathered Country Crock on slices of bread while my children, their mouths agape like baby birds at feeding time, waited at my elbow. Another clip would show me with a jar of peanut butter. Then the jelly. My life was a mess. I was destroying my children, and I had no one to blame but myself and my overactive butter knife.

I did the only logical thing one can do when faced with fear, uncertainty and the smell of eucalyptus deep conditioner: I took a magazine survey.

Five Signs You Might be a Snowplow Parent.

1) “If you’ve ever offered bribes to a coach to help your kid make a team or get more playing time.” I thought for a moment. The only thing I know about bribes is what I’ve seen in the movies involving dark alleys, envelopes filled with unmarked bills and thick-chested henchmen named “Eddie.” Nope, never done that.

2) “If you’ve ever screamed at a referee or charged the field to argue with an umpire for making a ‘wrong’ call against your kid or her team.” Charging the field would mean I’d have to first put down my book and coffee. Never done that, either.

3) “If you ‘help’ your child with every homework assignment and project.” The person who wrote this must not be familiar with Common Core math. I couldn’t do my sixth-grader’s homework if I wanted to. Moving on …

4) “If you’ve ever hacked into your child’s school system to change your child’s grade.” Who am I, Edward Snowden? I can’t even remember the password to my email and they expect me to be able to hack into some diabolical school grading mainframe?

5) “Finally, remember that mom, Wanda Holloway, who plotted to have the mother of her daughter’s cheer-leading rival killed? If you can kind of see where she was coming from, you’re most definitely a snowplow parent.” Nope, not me again. My kid doesn’t even like cheerleading.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Not a single mention of buttered bread.

After reading the list, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I haven’t bribed anybody, committed a cyber-crime or even once plotted murder.

I am Parent of the Year compared with that lot.

This calls for a toast.