Monday, January 30, 2012

Balloon Saga

Yesterday, I took the kids to the Marshy Point Nature Center because we hadn't been in a while and didn't really have anything planned.  They were having some kind of nature scavenger hunt thing, Jason was brewing beer, and it was sunny so I figured we should take advantage of it. As I learned from the last time we tried hiking some trails there (Piper fell face first into mud), I made sure to take a full change of clothes AND shoes/socks for each kid.  I almost didn't take them for Caroline because she decided to go at the last second and I figured she'd be the one needing it the least.  I'm glad my better judgement reigned because guess who fell  butt first into the mud....thankfully her camera was in its case and managed to stay clean.  We continued on the trail though and then walked back to the car for various shoe/clothing changes before going back into the Nature Center.  The kids poked around for a bit and caught up with all their favorite animals.  Piper felt like quite the expert after having attended preschool drop-ins with my mom through the fall.

The center's duck and starling were wandering around too.  The starling kept landing on Bryce and Bryce would get this nervous look on his face even though I could tell he was amazed to have a bird on his shoulder.

Then as we got ready to leave, the Naturalist who was working told the kids they could have a prize for their efforts.  She gave them some stickers, a magnet and then, the pièce de résistance, BALLOONS!  Helium balloons to be more specific.  At first I was kind of annoyed, I mean, a nature center giving balloons - aren't they terrible for animals and the environment if not disposed of properly?  I also know how much trouble we've had over the years when my mom has given the kids balloons because they end up fighting over them. But I went along with it because I didn't want to be rude.  She gave each of them a balloon with a pencil tied to the string.  I figured SOMEONE would end up losing theirs - I wasn't wrong.

The kids were just tickled with having the balloons and I couldn't figure out why until I thought about it.  All the balloons they've ever had before have either been blown up at home or already partially deflated helium balloons that no longer floated.  These were their first floating balloons - crazy, huh?  I really have deprived my kids.

When we got home they took them out and each of them tied theirs to their scooters and they rode up and down the street having way more fun than you'd expect.  Then, Sophia got home and Caroline just had to take her balloon up to show her.  Somehow in the middle of this, Piper released Caroline's balloon and tears and drama ensued.  Piper must have felt bad because she agreed to share her balloon with Caroline (I was very proud of her). I kept reminding them that by the morning the balloons would no longer float (and explained the science behind that).  They were being so funny at bedtime with them, I told them I needed to take some photos and they humored me.

I'm already planning to get each of them a Mylar balloon for Valentine's Day - I hate them a little bit less because they don't smell like rubber and they last longer.  They just might deem me the best mom ever!!!

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