Balloons. They’re supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to bring a smile to your face, right? They signify celebrations. Happy times. I used to love balloons. I used to decorate the house with them for every occasion. Now…I despise those latex devils.
My little loves balloons. She loves to blow them up, draw faces on them with permanent marker and call them Steve. She loves to fill them with water, or toothpaste, as was the case over the weekend. Toothpaste, people. Who does that? She wanted to make her own stress ball. Like, (1) an 8-year-old needs a stress ball? and (b) I say again, toothpaste?
For weeks she’d been trying to get me to buy balloons for a toothpaste & balloon project she’d seen on Kids You Tube. No, thank you. So when I refused, who did she con?
Why, my dad, of course.
Toothpaste and balloons don’t mix, people. They don’t. And when it exploded, as I knew it would, we had a mint-flavored mess in our kitchen, like you wouldn’t believe.
But this morning right before we left for the bus, she filled one of those pink balloons with water and snuck out of the house with it. 8 years old. Lord, I’m in trouble in a few years.
I caught a glimpse of it, in the rear-view mirror. “Leave the water balloon,” I said. To which she responded, “No. I’m taking it!” I know, right? So defiant.
My tone changed, and suddenly I was in full mom-mode. “I said…leave the water balloon!” And again, she said, “No!”
As we got in the car, I threatened to take away her after school snack. I threatened to take away t.v. and video games. But she doubled down. “I’m taking it!”
By now, I’ve completely lost my mind. I mean, really. It’s just a water balloon. What the hell? But I didn’t back down either. We were playing mental poker. I will see your level of crazy and raise you one complete psychopath!
“You will NOT take that water balloon to school. If you do,” I continued, “you will be withdrawn from your theatre class!” This, in and of itself, speaks volumes, right? Like she needs a lesson in being theatrical!
Ooh, that did the trick. From the rear-view mirror, I watched as she scrunched up her face, pulled back her arm and threw that water balloon from the back of the SUV to the front. I’m sure she was hoping it would have smashed. Angry much?
That pink water-filled balloon landed squarely on my lap. Without saying a word, I picked it up and placed it safely in the cup holder.
Suddenly, the door opened, then the door slammed. “You’re a jerk!” she bellowed. Wow. That was mean. And then, as if perhaps I didn’t quite hear her, she yelled it again, even louder, “You’re a real jerk!”
I’m not gonna lie, that second one stung.
They say in every struggle there’s a lesson. I’ve learned mine.
Next time my dad wants to buy her balloons, he can take her to school.