We had a late lunch with some of our Navy friends [Hi, Alex and Hollyn!] and their kids at a local Mexican restaurant that boasts balloons on sticks.
Every time the kids get these balloons, Tucker and I end up wanting to pull our hair out since someone always gets bonked in the head–multiple times–and the kids end up pissed since we won’t let the balloons live past bedtime.
Today Ollie’s balloon didn’t even make it home.
“If that balloon hits me in the head one more time, I’m throwing it out the window. Understand?” I said.
Oliver’s balloon had managed to make it up to the front seats four or five times prior to that fateful statement.
“Understand,” Ollie said and grinned at his sister.
He hauled back and smacked Cara in the face with the sticked balloon.
I rolled my eyes and carried on my conversation with Tucker. A bit of red crossed into my peripheral vision and I said, “I’m not joking, Oliver. I’m being serious here. If it comes up here then it goes out the window.”
I knew I was going to have to stick to my guns on this one and I so didn’t want to have to throw Oliver’s balloon out the window but I would. I had to. I had to do what I had said I would do. That didn’t mean I wanted to off the thing. That didn’t mean I wanted to make my kid cry.
But you already know how this plays out.
Oliver kept screwing around with the balloon and it eventually whacked me upside the head.
I snatched it up, rolled down my window and waited on the cars to pass.
“No, Mommy! Don’t throw out my balloon! Give me one more chance!” Ollie shrieked at me.
I pushed the red balloon out, rolled up the window and put my head against the cold glass. Oliver was crying his eyes out.
“Here, Ollie! You can have mine! Don’t cry,” Cara said.
Tucker and I work so hard to make sure the kids have good memories to carry with them as they get older and I’m sure me tossing out his red balloon is something Oliver will always remember. Yay me! Sticking to your guns is great fun.
“Oh, hell. Turn around,” I told Tucker and he pulled a u-turn.
We drove up and down the highway and down side streets looking for the floating red pain in my ass. We finally spotted it, crumbled and sad looking, in the ditch.
By this point, Ollie and Cara were playing in the backseat and I suspect the whole experience traumatized me more than it traumatized Oliver. Then again, there’s still a good chance he’ll bring this up with his therapist in twenty years.
One of the–many–things that sucks about being a parent is that you–eventually–have to follow through on your threats.