Yesterday was the “Back to School” Picnic that the school hosts every year. The Narrator’s teacher mentioned it to him, so he was all excited. It was a pretty neat little event, all free of charge, there was food, a rock climbing wall, a massive inflatable obstacle course, cotton candy, a DJ, and the police department doing fingerprinting and handing out free bike helmets.
The Narrator loved the inflatable obstacle course, and would probably still be there if we let him run of his own accord.
We got some food, he tried the rock wall, and he got a temporary tattoo from his teacher. Mini-Me hung out in the sling on my back and was as good as gold the whole time. He smiled and waved to people who talked to him, and only once tried to claw the back of my neck when I wasn’t feeding him watermelon fast enough.
At one point, we came across a lady making balloon animals and shapes. She had a list of things that she could do- but the most popular was the simple sword. There was a crowd of kids around the woman, some already waving their inflatable weapons.
The Narrator timidly took his place in the crowd and kept getting muscled out of his place in line by a couple of boys who were trying to get their hands on a second sword. We tried telling him to keep his place in line, but he’s a nice boy, and doesn’t yet realize that there are people who will take advantage of his being nice. While he strained to be polite and wait, the lady noticed him and says “This boy doesn’t have one yet, he’s next.” The Narrator was given a green balloon sword, which he raised aloft like King Arthur might have lifted Excalibur from the stone.
The balloon lady looks at me and says “He’ll need someone to sword fight with, what color does daddy want?” I declined politely, and was almost free until she spotted Mini-Me strapped to my back. Faster than she’d ever made a balloon shape before, she twisted another balloon into a second sword and handed it to the gremlin attached to me.
We thanked her and left, knowing full well that she had unleashed certain hell on us.
For the remainder of the time we were there, the feisty two year old attempted to ninja me and kept drawing his new toy across my throat like some sort of shadow-assassin. My wife thought it was funny and took a few pictures, which I need to figure out how to take from my private inbox on instagram if I’m to share.
When we got home, it was the chaos I’d expected.
Rather than fight each other with their new-found weapons of rubber and breath…they ganged up on me.
Laughing like maniacs, they immediately surrounded me and attacked.
Now, there was no pain involved of course. But anyone who has been in a similar situation knows full well that if you’re being ganged up on by two small creatures excitedly wailing on you with balloons, you need to react accordingly.
The problem was their exuberance. It went on for hours, and every time I attempted to gracefully remove myself from the entanglement, the wails from the little one were too much to bear, and I ended up back on the floor.
Eventually, they went to bed.
They were, however….up at the crack of dawn again, and neither of the cursed balloons had lost any air or popped in the night, so we’re back at it.
Thanks balloon lady.