Helicoptering Just One Child (And Not The Other) and Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Yes, I’m a helicopter parent. Not by choice, but by circumstance.

I’m a special needs momma.

Katy does reHelicopter-Parentsally well. She’s funny and sweet, but she’s also overly emotional and manipulative. She’s immature and intellectually younger than her age, and she’s forgetful.

I know I baby her. I know I helicopter her more than I should, but she’s needs it.

Or does she? I probably do baby her too much, but she’s my baby. And I probably do helicopter her more than I need to, but she does need helicoptering, and I’m not sure where to back it off.

It’s really hard. She needs me, but she needs to be independent, too. I’m trying to back off my helicoptering, but then I see her putting her shoes on the wrong feet, or running across the road without looking, or hugging a strange man at the grocery store.

I can let her go outside with her shoes on the wrong feet (she’s ten, and I’m so tired of telling her to switch her shoes), because shoes on the wrong feet won’t kill her. I CANNOT let her cross the street without looking. And I CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT let her hug strangers at the store (or tell them they are ‘so cute,’ which is another of her favorite things to do).

So, I helicopter her.

And then there is my typical daughter. She’s only one year (well, 15 months, but close enough) older, so it’s hard. I try really hard not to hover over her, but she’s with Katy a lot. And when the hovering gets too close to her, she gets mad. UNLESS she wants me to do something that a helicopter mom would handle (a notebook forgotten, a pair of goggles lost, a toothbrush to be toothpasted when her hands are full).

Hovering is hard business, and hovering over one and not the other is even harder. I mean, the blades of a copter are sharp and can cause harm to those who get too close, but who doesn’t want a ride every once and awhile? But that ride can make you lazy and complacent, so it needs to be given sparingly and judiciously.

So I walk a very fine line, balancing between hovering over Katy (who needs the hovering, if maybe not so close), and NOT hovering over Libby (who sometimes wants it, but doesn’t need it).

No wonder I’m exhausted at night, and drink copious amounts of coffee in the morning.

Let’s get onto Rooms by Lauren Oliver.

In Rooms, Oliver has given readers an old school gothic ghost story, perfect for October.

The story is thus: siblings Trevor and Minna are forced to return to their childhood home when their wealthy father, Richard, dies. Both are pretty much estranged from their father, and have had their share of problems that can be traced, in a somewhat crooked line, back to the house.

Along with their mother (an alcoholic who was still in love with Richard, from whom she was divorced years before) and Minna’s young daughter Amy, they must dispose of Richard’s possessions as well as rid themselves of their own demons. The rambling, older house holds secrets and pasts they know little about, and ghosts that they don’t know are there.

Two women who died in the house, Alice and Sandra, jockey for space and voice in the house. As much as this story is about the living coming to terms with their lives, it is also the story of Alice and Sandra coming to terms with their lives, and deaths, as well. And, when they are suddenly joined by a third,  unnamed presence, the house isn’t big enough for all the souls. Something must change.

Oliver switches POV frequently, and it really wasn’t a problem. I kept getting Alice and Sandra confused, but that was me. Their voices were definitely distinct, and their names weren’t really even close. But, I knew an Alice and a Sandra that were friends at one point in my life, and that made ME confused as to which one was prim and proper and which was the freer spirit.  Most readers shouldn’t get confused. Oliver does a great job with the shifting POVs.

I enjoyed this book. Oliver made the leap to adult books well, and I hope she does it again, soon.


2 thoughts on “Helicoptering Just One Child (And Not The Other) and Rooms by Lauren Oliver

  1. Perception is an odd thing. Mine differs than yours but I’d not label you a heli-mom. Attentive in all the right ways? Yes. Overbearing? Not the least bit. Your girls are so lucky to have you.

    Liked by 1 person

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