Those floaty things that grace every child's birthday party. They're either filled with helium or expelled carbon dioxide from some poor adult(probably Daddy)'s lungs. At weddings, they create a magical feel, especially if they're in some stylish colour like silver.
I suppose under those circumstances, they're not all that bad. What I dislike is the bored teenager paid minimum wage (I know because his face shows it) working part-time at a shopping mall to earn extra pocket money to spend at the video arcade. Wait no, him I don't dislike. It's him plus the bunch of balloons approaching my unsuspecting 4 year-old that I totally detest.
That and the fact that there's always the name of the mall printed on it, telling everyone where we've been, or the product name of something we totally would not buy like "Huat Ah Fengshui Services" or "Here Kitty Kitty - Yummiest Cat Food in the World".
Plus, if the balloon manages to go all the way home with us (not if I can help it), it is immediately abandoned and spends the next couple of days floating around, forgotten, shrinking and collecting dust until one day I haul its sorry self into the bin, only to hear shrieks of "My balloon! Why did you throw it away?! I was going to play with it!".
Balloons serve absolutely no purpose. They're like parsley on a dish. They prettify stuff but ultimately they're the first thing to get forgotten. Helium balloons are worse. After they float up (after being let go by child - cue crying child), they pop after a while, and land up in the sea and get eaten by turtles who choke on them and stuff. Balloons are b-a-d.
So. The balloon guy.
|Yes, sometimes there is a smile as he approaches|
I have to be honest. It's very tiring having to carry a big bunch of balloons like that. Even if it's helium balloons. Cos your arms have to be held up at an angle, and you kind of want to avoid bumping into people. Believe me, I've tried. Yes I have been a bored teenager giving out balloons too. And I always pick on young kids too because somehow, those above 80 don't seem to fancy balloons. Neither do those in suits. Strange.
But now that I'm a wise parent who knows much better, I try to avoid these balloon guys as much as possible, and if they do manage to corner us, I try to intercept. But I don't always succeed.
I'm quick but these balloon guys are quicker, and Poppy is a huge fan of balloons. Well she likes accepting them but we all know how they will end up. So I remind her. But she insists. So we have a mini discussion in front of the balloon guy with the outstretched hand holding the offending object.
She wins. But I say she must carry it all the way by herself if she insists to take it. No way am I going to hold it. Aha. Surely that would deter her? But no. "Ok Mama! I will hold it! I promise, I will! I will not ask you to hold it!". How do I say no to that?
The thing about the balloon stick is that it is made by evil people who know that that is the perfect length at which when in a child's hand, the balloon at the end has nowhere to go except bob in front of the child's mother's face. Like so:
So I have to walk the rest of the way with a balloon in front of my face. And I also have to keep it away from other people's faces. Sometimes I fail and they give me the evil eye and I can almost see their thought bubbles with the words "Tsk. Can't even convince her child not to take a balloon. What kind of crappy mother is she." Yeah yeah, whatever. Here, balloon in your face for you. Take that.
And oh if that is not enough, sometimes these balloon guys have the cheek to ask a follow up question to Poppy:
Do me a favour. Keep those wretched things away from me. Please.
Disclaimer: I don't really mean I want to punch a balloon guy in the face. It's just something I say when I'm really frustrated. I have never really punched anyone in the face. I'm a safe person for your kids to be around. Relatively safe. They could fall and or bump their heads under my care, but that's just from my delayed response due to lack of sleep. Not from any hidden violence. So yeah, don't worry. I'm cool.