Do you know what I bloody hate? Balloons.
Surprised? Thinking that there are far more offensive things to hate? I bet if you’re a parent you’re not.
I didn’t used to hate balloons. In fact, if they registered on my radar, they would have been anything but irritating. Except when they made my hair static, that was really irritating.
Now though, they are possibly one of the most irritating things in the world, and I swear McDonlds know this when they ask you politely if they can give your little hyper-active bundle of joy one.
Of course, I could say no. But what sort of mother would that make me? I’ve brought the kids to FatDonalds under the guise of giving them a treat after swimming, but really I’ve had a headache for three days and I can’t be arsed to even bung some fish fingers in the oven myself. THEN I say that they can’ have a balloon when all the other kids are proudly bouncing theirs across the table in their exhausted looking parents faces.
So of course I say yes. I say yes, and I tie the string to their wrists, or happy meal box. However, either I’m shit at tying knots, or they’re secretly trained by specialists to unpick plastic string knots, because I then spend the rest of the meal collecting the balloons from the ceiling, before losing my temper as one flies up and knocks over a nearly full bottle of milk (HOW DOES IT EVEN HAVE THE WEIGHT TO DO THAT?). They then stay on the ceiling, until we leave and as we walk across the carpark I lecture about letting go – whilst secretly wondering if I could trip the kids so they will let go of them.
The car journey home is probably what makes me hate them the most though. Whether it’s from a Mcdonalds, or just a birthday party, the journey home with a balloon in the backseat is not only irritating, but potentially treacherous. “Balloons are to stay in the back and not be bopped around” you drill into them, then as you’re just manoeuvring out of your parking space, it boinks you on the head. You threaten again, and in the end, before you’ve even left the car park, you’ve stopped and stuffed balloons in the boot.
Home at last with two children desperate for their balloons, and as you open the boot one flies out into the night (YES) and the other is grabbed at and brought inside where they run around hitting everyone with it. Which is when you’re left with the choice, do you pop it while they’re in bed, or leave it to wither and die in the corner of the lounge, which for some reason takes FOREVER.
So as you can see, balloons, not so enjoyable once they’re controlled by two small loud things.
Of course balloons aren’t the only things that have fallen down my list of likes since having the children. There’s silence (it’s not safe, something’s up), sand because it gets bloody everywhere (as does glitter)and while we’re on the subject…Weetabix. HOW did I not know it was actually cement, and how did I not know if you don’t notice it on the wallpaper before it’s tried, that’s where it’s going to have to stay until you redecorate?
Other things include white laundry (now grey laundry), the park or more specifically the swings (don’t get me started) and possibly most depressingly your own birthday. After you’ve had children, you tend to view this sort of thing through their eyes, and realise what anti-climax it is when you get about three presents and one of them is a frying pan.
Pass the gin, I want to be young again.