Procrastination (But I Digress)

Thursday, January 02, 2014


So when I was about five or six, we have a picture of me surrounded with balloons.  I think I have a laundry basket on my head with a balloon in it.  When Gretchen lived in California, I remember that she made a point of filling the kids room with balloons for their birthday morning.  Erika posted on facebook last week that she filled Jackson's room with balloons until her fingers bled.  Last year, I was watching the twins overnight, so that their birthday morning would be at my house.  I bought lots and lots of balloons and after they went to bed, I worked and worked and worked at blowing up (I have a manual pump) balloons and tying them off.  I remember that it took longer than I thought it would and my fingers hurt a lot.  When I finished the first bag of 72 balloons I was done.  It didn't fill up the whole room and I was sorely disappointed, but the kids seemed to enjoy it and we played with balloons for weeks after that (much to my annoyance at not being able to get rid of them, since the kids seemed to enjoy them sooo much).  That first morning, Madilyn corralled all the balloons into the kitchen which made them seem like a lot more, since they filled up the kitchen completely.  The seed of the idea that more balloons were necessary was born.

This year, I invited Marisa and the kids to spend the night before their birthday at the house.  Their birthday in on New Years, so this was for New Years Eve.  Marisa had told them that they could stay up til midnight to ring in the new year.  I tried to remember just how long it took me to blow up the balloons last year, but sadly my memory is just not that good.  At 10 or so, we were still all awake and put in the movie Dispicable Me 2.  I love that movie.  At a little after 11 p.m., I noticed that they were all asleep, but I was watching the movie.  A little while later, Adrienne came out and we carried everyone off to bed (turning off the movie before I got to see the end, but I didn't want to watch it with no kids--silly Aunt Kathy).  I was exhausted and went to bed.  Good night old year.  At midnight someone in the neighborhood set off fireworks--a lot of them.  I was not awake to hear the police come and arrest them (but apparently that happened).

At 5 a.m. I awoke with  start--balloons!  Oh no.  That was the whole idea of inviting the kids to spend the night.  I had 144 balloons and they are early risers.  I was really tired, so I didn't move very quickly, but I was also very determined to blow up those balloons.  I moved six or so months ago and I'm still living in boxes.  I had gone through every single box looking for the balloon pump, only to find it in the bag in the kitchen with the plastic ware.  It is plastic--I'm not completely illogical.  I went to the Party City to get the best balloons.  I bought the last two bags of assorted colored balloons that they had.  After that my choices were a weird silver and gold (probably stocked for New Years parties).  So I was prepared.  I was a little apprehensive because Erika had posted that tying off the balloons had involved blood.  I don't like blood--not one little bit.  I do remember how much my fingers hurt, but I was positive there was no blood.  I'll be fine I assured myself.  So I blew up balloons.  It was hard to tie them off, but I just pushed through.  When I got to ten, I looked at the clock to see how I was doing for time.  It was 5:20.  Ten balloons in 20 minutes, the math made my head hurt so I shut it down and perservered.  After two more balloons, I had to go to the rest room and I took a break.  When I was washing my hands, ouch, I noticed a blister on my balloon tying finger.  It hurt and it looked bad.  The second finger needed for balloon tying did not look much better.  I got the brilliant idea to put bandaids on.  Why didn't I think of that before!

Now I mentioned before that all my stuff is still in boxes, so now I have to find bandaids.  I look in a few cupboards and Adrienne has these metalic looking bandaids in the cupboard.  They are very hard.  This will be great--that will protect my fingers and I will get to finish the balloons.  The first balloon is very hard to tie.  The metalic bandaids are digging into my fingers and it hurts too much.  I even try to tie the balloon with my left hand.  After about five minutes it works.  Great I think, I'll use my left hand.  The next balloon does not work with my left hand.  It doesn't work with the metalic bandaid hand.  I'm despretely looking around the house for some clever way to tie this damn balloon.  If you are counting I have blown up just 13 balloons and the fourteenth just will not be tied.  I let it go.  The metalic bandaids are digging into my fingers so I take them off and start searching my boxes for my flexible bandaids.  Right in the first place I look, there they are.  I am encouraged.  New bandaids are going to solve my problems.  I try another balloon and it hurts, but I did it.  I try another balloon.  Nope, it will not work.  I try the left hand again and after a lot of attempts I tie it off.  I perservere.  Now I have a cut above the bandaid.  That's it.  I must admit defeat.  It is already 6 a.m..  I leave the balloons and the pump out.  I figure the kids would probably have a lot of fun blowing up balloons too.  I look at the pathetic little pile of balloons.  I corrall them into a smaller space to make them look like a lot with chairs.  I'm exhausted and I go back to bed.

At 7 a.m., Madilyn climbs into bed with me and goes to sleep.  A little while later, I ask if she is awake and I look over and her eyes are open.  I ask her if she knows what day this is?  No, she says.  I tell her it is her birthday and she is five.  She puts up two fingers.  No, I say, and I put up my whole hand.  No, she says and she keeps holding up two fingers.  Here's where I attribute a whole lot more cunning and intelligence to the child.  I think that she wants to stay two, because their mother tells them that they have to eat four more bites if they want dessert because they are four.  If she says she's two, then it will only be two bites until dessert rather than the new inflated five.  Later, Marisa tells me that she told them they had to stay two, because she didn't want them to grow up.  Madilyn was trying to please mommy by staying two.

At 7:45, Matthew joins us and wants the ipad.  I turn on the Rose Parade.  Madi needs to go to the rest room.  We all go.  We're a team that way.  Walking back to the bedroom, I direct them to the living room to see the balloons.  I'm waiting for disappointment and I'm feeling guilty that I didn't come up with some clever solution.  THEY ARE THRILLED at the balloons and immediately take to bouncing them in the air.  Much later they discover the pump and the bag of balloons.  Too much fun.  They want me to tie the balloon that they pump, but I decline.  Marisa ties one or two.  I think Adrienne may have tied a few.  Matthew wants to make little baby balloons, but Mom doesn't want to trip on them, so a mimimum size is established.  I am encouraging them to blow them up really big and then let them go (no tying involved).  The bag started at 72.  By noon, they're all gone.  Such a great day.


  • At January 2, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Blogger KathrynVH said…

    The picture is of last year's birthday.

  • At January 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM, Blogger EZ Travel said…

    I have done this every year. I have no idea why this year was so much harder. It can't be because I am older, Mom was an expert tyer (tier? person who can tie?) right to the end. You did 70 last year without a problem. I know I did many more last year without a problem. I think they are new balloons that are harder to tie. We will need to fix this problem before next year. Keep your eyes open to a solution.

  • At January 2, 2014 at 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Balloons are related to bubbles. There is no greater toy and nothing that will give more lasting joy to a child ( and we are all children) It's very hard to be in a room with a balloon and not be involved with it.
    Maybe it's a cross between a ball and a bubble.



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