Friday, October 07, 2005


Yesterday while I was at work two small children trailed in behind their father. Cell phone stores are not the most exciting place, even for me, so kids are usually bored of the whole thing rather quickly. So I went in the back to the helium tank and came back wielding two balloons. I thought I was doing a good thing. Bending down I offered a balloon to the little boy. "Would you like a balloon?" I smiled sweetly. He regarded the balloon as if it were a ticking nuclear warhead and silently shook his head no and immediately plugged up both ears with his fingers. Greaaaaat, I get the only kid in North American deathly afraid of balloons. So then I offered both balloons to his slightly older sister. She took to them like a duck to water. SHE was not afraid.

I walked back to my computer slightly pleased with myself ... until I realized why the girl was so obviously pleased at my little gift. She was chasing her brother around the store with the balloons, gleeful at her new torture device. He was running for his life, ears still plugged, staring at the menacing globes of latex just waiting for one of them to explode and break the sound barrier. Then she decided to hug them. He began ranting , No! Don't hug the balloons! Daddy! She is hugging the balloons!"

The father, in the meantime was spouting half hearted threats to get her to stop. He was not being mean, nor even exasperated. I got the impression that someone (probably his wife) had handed him a "Daddy handbook" at some point and he was mentally reading it like a bored telemarketer who doesn't really care about the results, he just knows he has to read what is there to avoid getting himself into trouble.

"If the female offspring begins teasing the male offspring exclaim one or more of the following:
1. Morgan Stop that.
2. Morgan don't tease your brother.
3. Morgan if you don't stop that I am going to beat you. [Keep in mind this was all said in a flat, slightly amused tone, this guy was not threatening, he was going through the motions.]
4. Morgan, I am going to beat you and then run you over with the car."

Finally he is ready to herd his little playgroup outside. He knew that they were acting like - well kids. No child, when faced with such an obvious IN as a fistful of balloons and a little brother terrified of them would have done anything different. The teasing did not stop, until the finale, "Morgan I am going to ground you until you are 30."

Now neither of those kids were old enough to understand #1 being grounded or #2 the span of time between their present ages and 30. However, the little boy perked up, he knew something had been said on his behalf and he was pleased. "Really Daddy? Until she is 30?!" At seeing her brother's delight the little girl immediately began screetching, "NO! I don't want to be grounded until I am 30!!!"

Then they disappeared out the door and into the parking lot. And to think, I was trying to be nice!


At 10:05 PM, October 07, 2005, Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Greaaaaat, I get the only kid in North American deathly afraid of balloons.

My son was there??!! Seriously, though, he likes balloons from afar. When a well-meaning person then attempts to fasten said balloon to his wrist or stroller he freaks. Poor, friendly souls.

At 12:41 AM, October 08, 2005, Blogger TSC Girl said...

Awww, poor Angry Boy. I have heard of kids being afraid of clowns before, but never balloons.

At 7:41 AM, October 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I could have been there. I love balloons with a passion.



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