How lucky for her, then, that the staff at our local supermarket are very keen to foster this addiction. They are her enablers. Most visits end with her clutching a helium-filled, logo-emblazoned balloon on a string, a lollypop attached so it won't blow away if she lets go - we all know how traumatizing that can be, and I don't just mean for the child.
|Bubbles of annoyance|
Pushing a stroller with Miss Pie that's already laden with groceries underneath (and often a full bag that's dangerously hung off one handle), one-handed because I'm usually getting my caffeine hit, can be a tricky affair.
To have a helium balloon bobbing around, weaving and darting in front of my face? Annoying beyond belief. I savour my supermarket trips on the days when the Faery is at preschool, and balloons are out of the equation.
In recent months, she seems to have overcome her worries, and now carries her balloon. Life has been just that little bit easier. Thank god, because we are currently without a car again, and the supermarket gets to see our faces on a daily basis.
So imagine my joy this morning, when at the self-service aisle in the supermarket, Miss Pie began pointing wildly at some nearby balloons, and speaking excitedly in Swahili (well, I don't know for sure that's the language, but it sure sounds like it). She's now at that age where she can make it very clear what she wants.
Imagine my joy when the nearby attendant - a lovely lady who adores my girls and never fails to lavish attention on them - understood her Swahili, and reached for the balloons.
Not one, but two balloons: "For your big sister as well, because she's at school."
What could I say? She meant well. With a long sigh, I exited the shop and began the walk home. Heavy stroller, coffee in hand, and two helium-filled balloons bobbing around, weaving and darting in front of my face...