Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is Why I Never Carry Cash

I'm a mean Mom.   For months, I've been denying the boys a visit to the McDonald's with a playground.  Yes, they'd like to watch "Phines & Ferb" all day, but we limit.  It actually could be done.  I'm starting to think that "P & F" is the adult version of "Law & Order".  Some channel is currently playing a marathon for no good reason.  Yesterday, Coop actually told me I was mean because I said he could not have a cookie before dinner.  Becks will learn very soon that the train is always broken at the zoo.  And both the boys are pretty angry with us cause we don't allow them to take toys to bed any longer.

On Sunday, I tried to fix my image.  We went to dinner to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We were greeted by a smiling photo of the Balloon Man.  Shit.  I forgot that Sundays are his day to entertain & blow happiness all over the place (get your mind out of the gutter).  Usually we don't have cash & since our boys are rather shy, we can politely wave him off.  But Mark had cash & I thought, "I can be a nice mom."  He came around & tried really hard to engage the boys.  They weren't having it.  Becks look downright pissed that his quesadilla might get cold.  I thanked him & felt relived that I dodge a bullet.  Until Cooper really wanted a dinosaur.  Since Mark had cash for tipping & Cooper got pretty excited to see a dinosaur in latex form (Be honest.  Who wouldn't?), they tracked Balloon Man down.  Becks got a bird.  And Cooper got a Dino.  Balloon Man got three dollars.

I'm sure you're wondering, why was I have anxiety about Balloon Man.  He's only spreading joy.  He's telling jokes albeit horrible ones.  He's twisting & knotting balloons into works of art.  What could Balloon Man do to irritate me?  Allow me to explain.  I have a problem where I anticipate the worst.  Mark's been yelling at me for years over this trait.  I've gotten better, but sometimes I can't shake it.  Especially with little things.  I no longer worry about the big things I can't control.  But the little things, hell yes, I think the worst.  For example, Person ABC is going to say some snarky when I talk about our weekend.  They never do.  Customer XYZ is going to be late & cancel on me.  It's never the ones I fear will.  I spend too much time in my head discussing outcomes that never happen.  But I was hoping I'd be wrong about our Balloon Man experience.  I wasn't.

I knew that once the Dino & Bird were twisted & presented that they would no longer be their original forms.  They'd morph into fighting machines.  And they did.  Dino became a sword & the Bird became a cannonball.  Four seconds later, Dino was jabbing Becks in the chest & Bird was dive bombing the leftover rice.  Kids aren't great with their control, so that Dino / Bird were now slashing all over a 3 booth radius.  Our kids are usually really good at restaurants.   By that I mean they sit & don't scream at every visit.  I don't care how wonderful your children are.  Throw long wobbly balloons into their chubby little hands & you created chaos.  Thank you, Balloon Man for a fabulous ending to our dinner.

Want to know where those balloons are now?  Slowly dying in our front room.  They have that balloon crust that withering balloons get.  The saggy skin of a once plump & promising play toy.  I would say that a really true Mean Mom would have popped those "weapons" the second the kids fell asleep.  See?  I'm getting better.



  1. O Erika :) You're not a mean mom... I loved this post, so much!

  2. I love this post too! And, you are NOT a mean mum!

  3. I'm surprised you didn't include "A child might bite into a balloon and swallow it" as a reason for no balloons. That's my main reason.

  4. lately we've had a deluge of balloons in this house. they drive me nuts, but they make the littles insanely happy. i pop them.