Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bobbing, weaving and darting

The Faery is a balloon addict. Hell, what kid that age isn't?

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

I'm not such a fan of this addiction. I find it annoying. Not just because sunken balloons seem to breed in our home, but because of our journeys home from the supermarket. These trips are always on foot. For a long time, the Faery had major anxiety that she'd accidentally let go of her balloon, or that it would burst if bumped against one of the many trees we walk under. This resulted in me having to carry the balloon for her.

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...


  1. I hate them, too. For all the reasons listed above. Balloons suck.

  2. Oh I feel the same! I go out of my way to avoid collecting balloons on our shopping trips - balloons on the end of sticks are dangerous in the back of the car!

  3. Oh, I'd forgotten about balloons and driving! That was more of a problem for me in Sydney - how I hated balloons being bounced around in the back seat. So distracting.

    I sound like such a kill joy, don't I?

  4. ha-ha-ha-HA! You described this SO well, I could feel it. I love the names you use for your kids, too.
    --Missy Jill (What's Going On Here?!)

  5. Thanks Missy Jill! The girls' real names are even better... one day, I may even start using them here (I'm still getting my feet wet in the land of blogging so am undecided about anonymity)

  6. I never even considered the curse of the balloon - but you've opened my eyes to their evil!

  7. Not as evil as clowns, though...

  8. No, not a killjoy. I bloody hate them too. We are always being offered them at the shops and the offerers look so dismayed when I refuse.

  9. They always seem to take the refusal so personally, don't they?

    "Look, it's not you. I just don't want your inflated rubber in my face."

    Simple, really.