Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ban Restaurant Balloons!

(Don't worry, I'm still pro-balloon animals.)

We had lunch with friends this past weekend at an establishment that provided kids with free helium balloons as they walked out the door.

While I'm all for making myself sound like a chipmunk, as I thought about lived with the aftermath of the balloons, I came to the following conclusion:


I've decided that this seemingly gracious gesture is actually one more passive-aggressive attempt by the restaurant to "stick it to the parents."

Like Jack Black in "School of Rock", the balloons infected me with stickittothemaniosis.

I know, I know. Kids love balloons.

For about 5 minutes.

I mean a balloon is great fun at first, but much like eating pancakes, pretty soon you grow tired of holding it or bouncing it up in the air, until eventually you're sick of it(thank you, Mitch Hedberg, for the analogy).

Let's be realistic here and talk about the Top 10 "WONDERFUL" things that can WILL happen with balloons.

1. Your child will let go of the balloon immediately once you get outside, followed closely by a crying fit until you go back inside and get them another one.

2. If your balloon survives the trip from the restaurant to your vehicle, the child will let go of the balloon once you open the door at your next destination, resulting in an even more problemmatic crying fit.

3. Your child will be like Little Brother, and cry when they let go of the balloon in the minivan and can't reach it, and then cry again when you give it back to them. @#$%^&*!

4. Like our boys, your child will try to eat the balloon, risking actual serious injury. Threatening or actually taking it away results in a crying fit with intensity somewhere between that in #1 and #2.

5. Once you get home, the balloon becomes a weapon with which the older sibling can bludgeon pets and smaller siblings (read: more crying here).

6. Once pets and small children have secured shelter, your children will start letting go of the balloon and watching it rise to the ceiling. The string on the ballon will, of course, be about 6 inches higher than the child's vertical leap, resulting in repeated requests for Mom-E or Dad-e to, "Get my balloon! Get my balloon!"

7. Your children, like ours, will ingore pleas to "Don't sit on the balloon or it'll pop" until it actually does pop. A major crying fit ensues when you deny having the superpower of being able to reinflate a busted helium balloon.

8. You throw away the broken balloon in the trash, only to have your smallest child repeatedly try to fetch it out of the trash and plead for you to repair it.

9. For days after the original "incident", your child incessantly asks you, "Where's my balloon? What happened to my balloon?"

10. You have more than 1 child, but are eventually left with only 1 surviving balloon, which results in a "No Holds Barred/Royal Rumble" Screaming Fit-Pushing-Hitting-Spitting Contest. The winner gets to play with the balloon until it, too, is busted as a result of attacks by smaller siblings to take it away.

So, until they're banned, the next time we're at an establishment that tries to give the boys balloons, perhaps I'll just take a hit off the helium tank, and hopefully my silly voice will distract them long enough to get us out of the restaurant sans balloons.

And you wonder why people like to pop bubble wrap. I vote we start popping the restaurant balloons until they take the hint.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

P.S. Is it just me, or is resteraunt restraunt resterant restaurant one of the hardest words to spell in the English language? Discuss.


  1. Oh, the helium balloon! Yes....I think I could not agree more....sounds like my house! LOL! Rosi

  2. Balloons scare me, i dont' like it when they pop. And yes, i've always had a really hard time spelling "restaurant". I love spell check. Love, aunt-e

  3. When I go grocery shopping, I've always taken a kid with me. They give the kids balloons in the store. The kids look forward to it. But when we leave the store, the balloon "goes home".

    When we leave the store, I tear the weight off it and the kids let them go. They yell "Bye Balloon... Bye Balloon.." waving at it until they can not see it any more.

    They don't scream they don't cry. They only get that way when the balloon makes it to the car and the house. *cough*wife*cough*.

    As far as restaurant, I always have to say it in spanish when I spell it, because you actually say it like it's spelled.. REST-TAU-RANT-e

    Maybe try the send the balloon home trick. See how it works.

  4. I couldn't agree more. Especially because I have an 18 ft. ceiling in the living room.

  5. Thank goodness for spell check because I can never spell that R word either! Right there with you on the balloons. Just last week we went to Red Robbin. I tied it to son's arm and halfway to car it came untied from the balloon end - we can't win!