Please Don’t Give My Kids Balloons. I’m Serious.

Today should have been a good day.  The kids woke up in good moods, we had a busy and productive morning and we were home just a few minutes late for Mack’s afternoon nap.

But, I knew well before nap time that this afternoon wouldn’t go so well…

…because someone gave my kids balloons.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a party-pooper or a curmudgeon, but as a mother I really, really, REALLY hate balloons.  While some kids giggle angelically as a balloon gently floats into the ether, my kids will have a total melt down.  While some kids giddily revel in the surprise inflicted by a popped balloon, my kids will have a total melt down. And, while some kids are happy to leave a balloon behind as they go into a store/head to bed/get in the car, my kids will have a total melt down. In short, balloons just don’t work for us.

This morning someone offered my kids a few balloons.  I politely declined, but she gave me a look of shame and said, “Oh, come on! Let them have some fun!”  Again, I politely declined, pointing out that I’d have to deal with the balloons.  She then handed each kid two balloons (much to their delight) and sent us on our merry way. Humpf!

Sure enough, less than 5 minutes later one balloon took off into the cloudy sky, and a cranky Mack did not take too kindly to this.  And, come nap time he was insistent on bringing his remaining balloon into bed with him, which I was not about to allow.  He kept climbing out of his crib to fetch the balloon, and it got to the point where the nap was forsaken.  Eventually, the balloon popped, causing a complete temper tantrum. Of course, no nap + no balloon put Mack in a bad mood for the entirety of the afternoon…which also put me into a bad mood.

And once Mack was out of balloons, he set his teary sights on Evie’s balloons.  This of course caused much panic and strife and fighting in our household until bedtime.

As the mother, I knew the frustrating domino effect a few balloons would have on the rest of our day.  Its my job to think five steps ahead at all times and to predict how my kids will react to any number of things and events and options. For us, balloons are a sure-fire way to ruin at least part of the day.

So, I ask quite politely: if you offer something to a child, and the mother turns down your offer, kindly defer to her wisdom.  A mother knows what is best for her brood!

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12 Comments for this entry

  1. Courtney says:

    This is hilarious! For me. I’m sorry for you!

  2. Tara says:

    Soooo true, for me it’s stupid little plastic toys. I hate them, but my daughter is so sentimental she will insist on keeping them forever, ugh!

  3. Laura says:

    My kids get extremely emotionally attached to balloons too. Every time they get one it ends in tears. Stickers, too. I always inwardly curse the nice people who hand them out, even though I know the intention is good. I might outwardly curse someone who ignored my refusal, though. Never ok to override a mother about her kids. Kudos for being polite!

  4. Sue says:

    Yikes. So your kids had a melt down. Welcome to life. They need to learn how to deal with disappointment and avoiding conflicts is not going to help them in any way. I agree people should respect your requests, but your kids are not benefitting from you avoiding things that might upset them. They are better off with you teaching them about dealing with challenges that may arise. Now it’s balloons, tomorrow who knows. Don’t get in to this bad habit of choreographing their experiences.

    • Maureen says:

      Huh. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, and thank you for sharing it. However, I have to disagree. My kids are 1 and 3, and I am in the process of teaching them about life (not choreographing it). They are exposed to a wide array of people and experiences everyday – perk of living in a big city. As such, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of helping them learn how to react and respond to situations that don’t always go their way. But, that doesn’t mean I should needlessly expose them to every potential situation that will tick them off. It’s all about balance, in my opinion. After all, they STILL got the ballons today, didn’t they?!?!

      • Sue says:

        Sorry, I was in a little bit of a mood last night. Everybody parents differently and things that work with some kids doesn’t work for others. (even in the same family). I am sure you’re a fabulous mom, you come from good stock! Keep up the good work.

    • Sasha says:

      I hardly think that preventing very young children from being tormented by the inevitable loss of balloons will equate preventing them from learning about loss all together. Our jobs as parents is, in fact, to protect our children from things that may cause them harm or torment. If balloons will cause my child pain, you had better believe I will do all I can to keep them away from him. The inevitable pain at their loss is much greater than the brief joy they may bring upon receipt. Not to mention that the children mentioned lost out on needed sleep due to said balloons, what do you suggest this taught them about life? I see no lesson to be learned.
      As far as my family is concerned, they know that no matter what the world may hand them, no matter where life leads them, their mother always has a safe place for them. This security depends in part on my ability to protect them from things that will inevitably cause them pain. When they are older and it is something more serious than the loss of a beloved balloon that may cause them heartache, it will be kind and loving advice that takes the place of declining a gift of balloons.

  5. Monique Mulvany says:

    Maureen, this post made me laugh but at the same time totally mad. A small little event like getting a balloon totally ruined the day. Bet next time you won’t be so polite. I wouldn’t!

  6. Peg Conway says:

    I strongly agree that parents’ wishes should be respected when it comes to offering items to young children. Also, in my young parenting days, we were cautioned that balloons were a serious choke hazard if they burst and pieces got in the child’s mouth; Heimlich maneuver not effective.

  7. Heather says:

    Everybody should respect a mothers decision, but unfortunately most do not! Even worse, people seem to question or smirk at some else’s parenting style. I used to get so angry when I was judged but now I really don’t care what others think. I know that I’m raising a brilliant individual and that’s good enough for me! Next time a smirk would be worth the calm afternoon 😉

  8. Donna Rosenbery says:

    I addition to the choking hazard, some kids are allergic to latex in balloons. People need to back off when a parent says ‘no thank you’ for their children.

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