Tears of a Clown

Published Date: June 23rd, 2010
Category: Weekly Thought

Last week while my husband was making balloon animals (yes, my husband was making balloon animals) at a friend’s BBQ, we actually got into an argument with one of his patrons.

She was four.

This was how it all went down.

We stupidly thought it would be fun to bring our friends a mini-balloon animal making kit since at their last party, John ended up blowing up about 30 balloons for decorations.

Totally funny. Great idea.


Because about 1 hour into the party, we saw that a group of children had TAKEN the kit, and were dangerously attempting to blow up the balloons themselves, which we all know, ends in some child choking on a balloon.

Therefore, John stepped in.

Now one thing to know about John—he is an amateur balloon animal maker, in a somehow non-creepy way. It all started when we stood in line for an hour once so G could get a balloon dog made by a VERY CREEPY clown. John said,

“I should learn how to make these so we don’t have to stand in this ridiculous line and hang out with this creepy clown.”

Ergo the balloon animal making gift he received that Christmas.

Anyway, to get back to the story at hand, John clearly had to step in and make some of these balloon animals (just taking the kit away and said balloons would have been too easy and just mean. Little did we know, mean was just around the corner).

All of a sudden, EVERY child at the party was hovering around John, jumping up and down and chanting,

“I want one! I want one!”

Therefore, I stepped in. With these two rules:

1)      You must wait your turn for a balloon animal.

2)      Each child gets one balloon animal so we did not run out of balloons.

And I have to say, most of the children responded well to the rules, quieted down, and patiently stood in line, and some even said thank you (miracle of all miracles).

Until the little girl with the pink tutu showed up to the scene.

As soon as I saw her, I knew this was going to be trouble. You can always tell the high-maintenance children because they arrive at parties in some strange get-up that their parents allowed them to wear so they can express their “creative sides.”

Well, this creative little girl already had a pink balloon dog and was DEMANDING a pink balloon hat.

Over and over again.

Mind you, there were some well-behaved children still waiting for their first balloon animal. So I of course, had to say in a chirpy, sing-song voice,

“Don’t forget the rules! Every child gets one balloon animal so we don’t run out!”

And gave her a nice little smile and pat on the head. Which resulted in her screaming,

“I want a pink balloon hat and I want one now!”

Well, John and I don’t respond well to the Veruca Salts of the world, so then John charmingly stepped in and said,

“Maybe if you say the magic word?”

Pink tutu girl,

“Now! PINK. HAT. NOW!”

John not so charming anymore,

“How about in Spanish? Por favor?”

To which Veruca Salt ran away to her parents, fell onto the ground, and started shrieking.

Meanwhile, all the patient children were staring at us balloon animal Nazis with their mouths agape. Needless to say, some of the parents were watching us, most of them I think on our side.

The mother of Veruca Salt came storming over, and said,

“Could she have one more balloon? Once she gets her mind onto something, she won’t give up until she gets it.”

And then just stood there, glaring at us.

What are two amateur balloon-animal makers to do? Not give in all the way, because that’s not how John and I roll.

I said,

“Well, we INSTITUTED the one balloon animal for one child rule because we are running out of balloons and we wanted to make sure ALL THE CHILDREN got a balloon animal, and some CLEARLY don’t have one yet. But if you NEED to get her one, go ahead.”

To which the mother did.

Now for those of you who have not had the joy of experiencing time around groups of children, you are probably astounded.

Really? That mother just gave in to her child and made sure her child had as MANY balloon animals she wanted while some patient children had none?

You betcha. Welcome to the world of “we don’t think ‘no’ is a healthy word for our children to hear” parenting.

Otherwise known as “hell.”

So for any of you parents who are somehow reading this and might have witnessed this, please know John and I are not evil and were not berating or taunting the child in the pink tutu.

We just said “no.” And will say it the next time to the next child who runs up in a fancy get-up and wants something she shouldn’t have.

Does that make us bad people or parents? We don’t think so. But if you do, feel free to get your balloons animals elsewhere…

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 at 12:10 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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