|Miss2 enjoying Tracey's birthday present|
Back on Tracey's birthday, my sister arranged a lovely basket of goodies to be delivered. Part of this was a helium filled balloon, which was quickly commandeered by Miss9, Master7, Miss5 and Miss2 as being too much fun for Mum. Consequently, since then I've spent a goodly amount of time each evening being dragged into the various high ceilinged rooms of our house to pluck the balloon from the ceiling after someone has let go of the string.
Following the sounds outside, which had escalated to bawling, I followed the pointing finger up into the sky and, sure enough, there was Tracey's balloon, already twenty or thirty meters up, slowly drifting off.
Attracted by the noise, we were soon joined by Miss5. They too, guided by Miss2's finger, soon found the cause of their little sibling's frustration.
"Daddy, get it down!" Miss5 instructed me.
"I can't, love," I told her. I could no longer read 'Happy Birthday'. There didn't seem to be any wind around this morning, but the balloon was determinedly drifting away regardless.
Now I had two little girls howling - one at the balloon and one at Miss2.
"You naughty girl!" Miss5 admonished her sister. "Now I don't have a balloon to play with either."
I tried to redirect their thoughts.
"I wonder if it will drift all the way to Brisbane," I said. "Maybe Lily or Annie will be able to see it." I thought throwing in their cousins might work. It didn't.
"I want it back!" Miss2 continued to sob.
"When it lands, maybe another little girl or boy will find it and play with it. Wouldn't that be nice? They would be very happy," I said, appealing to my children's altruistic side.
"Noooooo," howled Miss2.
"They'll have MY balloon!" yelled Miss5.
"Come on," I said, shepherding them back into the house. "Let's race around to the other side of the balcony and see how long it takes before it's out of sight."
It took ages but by the time it was completely untrackable the anguish and wailing had been replaced with a few smiles and chuckles as Miss9 joined us on the balcony for some balloon watching. Occasionally someone would lose sight of where it was and the others would point and help them find it again. As the balloon had drifted away I kept watching for low flying planes and wondering how difficult it would be for the Air Safety investigators to remove fingerprints or DNA from the foil.
Eventually we scattered and things returned to normal. Of course, this is us, so by normal I mean Miss2 began attempting to feed the dog banana, Miss5 began checking out her own bum in the mirror and Miss9 changed Miss0's nappy before I even realized the baby had done a poo.
"What a nightmare," Tracey said to me later. "It was bound to happen though. I've been stopping them from taking it outside all week."
"We should buy them one each for Christmas," I suggested.
"Are you mad?" Tracey asked me. This comes up a lot. She never seems quite sure.
So helium 'happy birthday' balloons are definitely a no-go for under the tree. Gotcha :)