What is it about kids and balloons? They just love them, don’t they? In our family, if we ever have a special-treat lunch out, the children insist that we go to the restaurant which gives away free balloons. They couldn’t care less what the food taste likes (because let’s face it, they’re only going to eat pasta anyway), as long as they get a balloon each, they are happy.
Which is strange, because owning a balloon is almost always going to end in disappointment. The best-case scenario is that they lose their buoyancy and die a long, slow death in a corner of the house, becoming wrinkled and saggy, and tripping people up occasionally. Or, more likely, they meet their tragic end long before they reach home, either by escaping their wailing owner and disappearing into the clouds, or by popping, brutally, on some passing object. Am I the only parent that regards balloons as a mixed blessing because we know that the chances are they are going to end in tears?
In Pip and Posy The Big Balloon, out this month, Pip’s much treasured balloon actually meets both of these fates and Pip is, naturally, distraught. Happily, the ever-resourceful Posy has a two pots of bubble mix in her backpack and in no time at all, Pip has recovered his composure and the friends are playing happily again. It’s a simple tale, but if we’ve helped a few families get through one of life’s early traumas, then I like to think we’ve done our job!