Sunday, January 13, 2013

Confessions of a Blogaholic

Last Friday was a special day. My son (and first born) turned 8 years old. Wow, still can't believe it. We don't do big parties for every birthday--we skip a year and stick to immediate family celebrations. But Hubby and I still wanted to do something special, so we planned a trip to our local theme park.

Our son and daughter didn't know about it. This would be a total surprise. We'd pick them both up from school a little early and then head to the park. But first! Being the super cool parents that we are, we wanted to make the pick-up even more exciting. Not only would they get out of school early to go have fun, they'd get into a minivan filled with balloons!

Hubby spent the morning blowing up about fifty balloons and stuffing them in the van. He buried a gift at the bottom so our son would have to dig through the balloons to get to it, plus he made both our kids a poker so they could pop the balloons and get them out of the way. 

We drove up to school with balloons fluttering about the front seat and me stuffing them back. You really couldn't see out the back windows--the van was filled from floor to ceiling with multi-colored latex balloons of all sizes. Hubby had used an air compressor to fill them, so they were air tight and robust.

At the elementary school, we parked in the teachers' parking lot in the front so the front office wouldn't see our kids getting into a van filled with balloons after being picked up early from school. Plus, we knew balloons would be falling out and the kids would have to pop balloons just to get to their seats. There was literally no room for them to sit without losing balloons.

Once the kids were with us--and eyes filled with wonder as to why they were being picked up early--Hubby handed them a poker. They had no idea what it was for. Until they saw through the van windows and let out a squeal of excitement.

Now, just so you know, my son has had an affinity for balloons since before he could walk. Most kids like balloons, but he REALLY loved them. They were his most favorite thing ever at one time, so a balloon-filled van just tickled him.

We opened the side door and balloons tumbled out into the breeze. A couple lifted up into the sky. (More giggles from my son) but some fell to the ground. *Here's where I remind you about the compressed air Hubby used to fill them.* You know what happens when latex-stretched airtight balloons hit the ground?? 

POP!

Not just any pop. Ear shattering pops with a faint ring that hangs in the aftermath. Coincidentally, it's so loud, it sounds very much like gun shots. 

*Here's where I remind you of a recent elementary school shooting, and the fact that police officers are currently posted at all public schools as an added safety measure*

My kids were uber excited at this point, and popping balloons with their pokers, climbing into the van while more balloons tumbled onto the ground and 

POP! POP! POP!

Ear shattering loud.

I look at my Hubby with frantic eyes and say, "This is bad. Really really bad."

"It's so loud," he says.

"It sounds like gun shots!" I say.

POP! POP! POP!

"Holy smokes! Let's get out of here now, before the SWAT team arrives!!"

We tear open the doors and more balloons tumble out with loud pops. We're freaking out now, and our kids have no idea why. We didn't tell them about the tragedy in CT--they were too young to go into details on that unspeakable event. So they're super confused as Mom and Dad close the side door and clamber into the front seats, tossing them into my lap in the passenger seat.

With balloons still taking up every inch of the back, the kids couldn't even get into their child-safety (and law enforced) seats. I hugged them both to me in my lap, all of us stuffed in the front seat with balloons flying up in our faces, while Hubby starts the car and pulls out.

"Hurry," I tell him.

"I'm trying! I can't speed through the lot, that'll look even more suspicious!"

At this point, visions of a SWAT team surrounding us and forcing us onto our bellies on the pavement, while the kids watch in horror, are swirling through my head. A news clip on the local TV station would air of the untimely and ill-planned birthday flop by air-headed family who caused a school evacuation and lockdown with helicopter rescues and law enforcers employed for hours to ensure school safety ... all because of some balloons.

We only live a couple blocks from the school, and by the time we got to out street, Hubby and I were laughing hysterically at the irony. The kids were just having fun being crammed in the front seat with balloons everywhere and they're laughing too.

We unload in our driveway with more balloon spilling out and popping as soon as they hit the ground. POP! POP! Still as loud as ever and sounding just like gunfire. But hey, we're at our house now, so we don't care. Let'em pop!

A few minutes later, a cop drives right down our circle, past our house slowly. Hubby and I exchange glances and expect the mayhem to start. But the cop keeps on driving--probably shaking his head at our lunacy. The fact he didn't stop was a very good sign that all was well. We didn't stick around to find out if the school went on lockdown. We headed to the theme park after the balloons were popped and present opened.

And since no phone messages were left from the school, we're pretty sure nothing major happened. LOL. (Let me just note, I'm in no way laughing at the tragedy of school shootings, but merely the irony of our situation and how very badly it could've ended up.)

Okay, so in retrospect, maybe we shouldn't have fled the scene. But the balloons would NOT stop popping and there were many more waiting to explode, so our first reaction was to get out of there before more "gunfire" could freak out the entire neighborhood, in case for some reason, the other pops hadn't been heard yet.

Needless to say, the "birthday flop" will be remembered for quite sometime. And luckily, turned out okay. Actually, it wasn't a flop at all. We had an amazing fun-filled day with our 8 year old and he said repeatedly, "This is the best birthday ever!"

Makes it all worthwhile.

How about you? Find yourself in any unwise situations lately? What would you have done in this situation? Please share ...

62 comments:

T. Drecker said...

What a fun story! I tried making a huge balloon fifty for a birthday party once, stuffed the giant balloon numbers in a trailer, covered it with a tarp... and stopped every five seconds to fight balloons back inside. Sneaky balloons!
But I wouldn't have freaked at the school. Sure, it's loud and you probably would have gotten some attention - but what is life without innocent fun?

Trisha said...

D'oh!!! That wasn't how it was meant to go. :) I'm glad the SWAT team didn't sweep in. haha

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's hilarious! Maybe you shouldn't use the air compressor next time?
But hey, that was a cool thing to do for your kids. You are awesome parents!

Katie Slivensky said...

This story had me laughing out loud over my morning bowl of oatmeal. Congratulations. As someone who works in elementary schools frequently, it's these types of stories that actually HELP to break the tension. We all need a good laugh right now. Thank you!

Carole Anne Carr said...

This made me nervous too, expecting you all to be arrested! Relief that it was his best birthday ever! x

Al Diaz said...

I laughed to tears while reading this. You are such great parents! I'm glad everything turns out well. :)

Eliza Tilton said...

nice. lol. I think I'll cry when my son turns 8. I like him at 3.

Misha Gericke said...

Hahahaha that's so amusing. Thanks for sharing! Hope your son had a great birthday. :-D

Donna Yates said...

What a fun memory. I'm sure I would have released all the balloons into the air before driving off.

Michael Di Gesu said...

your son WILL NEVER forget that special BIRTHDAY!!!

YOU are the COOLEST parents. You kids are very lucky.

Christine Rains said...

What a fun thing to do! I can just imagine their faces to see all those balloons. I'd have been worried about them sounding like gunshots too.

E.J. Wesley said...

You guys are such cool parents! It's the thought that counts, and nobody had to submit to a body cavity search. That's a win/win in my book. :-)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Oh my gosh! How hilarious! You definitely get cool parent points!

DL Hammons said...

Great story! You and your hubby are awesome for making it special like that...despite almost winding up on the police botter! :)

Roger Lawrence said...

What a great story. It will live in his heart - until next year. "well you did that last year. What are you going to do this year?"
You'd better start planning now.

Anita said...

You ARE fun parents!!!

Rachel said...

How funny! And were there tons of little shriveled latex chunks to pick up afterward?

Mina Lobo said...

Hah! You guys really are the coolest! Glad the long arm of the law didn't reach for y'all! :-)

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

You know, I wouldn't have thought of the popping being mistaken for anything else either, yikes! I am very glad it turned out OK, though.

You had me laughing.

Donna Hole said...

That was awesome! Oh my, no good deed goes unpunished,lol. I'd never thought of that either, but ya'll handled it perfect. At least the kid has an awesome birthday to remember.

.......dhole

Suzi said...

I'm pretty sure I would've fled the scene too. That was too funny!

fOIS In The City said...

PK, I agree with your son. That sounds like the best birthday ever!! Okay, my take on all of this. You and hubby are so great to think of such a wonderful day for your kids to enjoy. That we live in a time where you even thought about the cops made me feel sad.

But you did it and had fun and that memory will last a lifetime :)

Laura Diamond said...

YIKES!!!! LOL!

Victoria Lindstrom said...

OMG - that story is too funny! That is a life experience that will always be remembered. I'm not sure what I would have done - probably the same thing!

Barbara Watson said...

Memorable is always good, especially when it's something you can laugh at for years to come. And your son's comment makes it totally worth it.

kmckendry said...

Sounds like soo much fun! Your kids are lucky to have such fun parents!

Nickie said...

LOL. Glad you didn't get surrounded by the SWAT team! Minus the ear-shattering balloon pops, what a fun way to celebrate your son's birthday. I'm sure he'll remember that for years to come.

One of my most memorable birthdays was in high school. My dad worked at the school, so he talked to my teacher and they planned a surprise pizza party. We were all very excited to get out of eating school lunch that day!

LTM said...

omg! LOL! But well, at least your son loved it and thought it was the best birthday ever! :D

What a great memory you guys will have now forever. (glad you didn't get arrested and/or end up on TV!) Happy birthday to your son! *hugs* <3

jamieayres.com said...

LOL! I would've done the exact same thing! And my baby is turning 9 next week *sniff, sniff* That means we're halfway to 18-not fair! Anyway, glad your son had a good bday:-)

Tammy Theriault said...

i think i would have freaked out, too! fight or flight...yours was flight. not sure what i would have done! but hey, it's all memories now :D

Stephen Tremp said...

Its all about perspective and having the fun regardless of the situation. Glad things worked out in the end.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've always had a slight phobia of balloons, and probably would've had a panic attack if that happened to me. I actually had to go upstairs with a young camper when my campers were playing balloon games, including one whose objective was to pop as many balloons as possible, so I wouldn't be there to hear the loud pops.

Nancy B said...

LOVE this story! I think its great, and I probably would have taken off too hoping that they didn't come chasing after, lol.

Romance Book Haven said...

Our children's birthdays give us the chance to relive our own childhood.

Maria

michelle said...

I'm sure you took one look at your son's face and decided that it was probably worth it... and I'm 100% certain you'd do it all over again... okay, maybe minus the compressed air part... but all-in-all, it sounds like you and hubs had as much fun as the kids...

Tony Van Helsing said...

That will be a birthday remembered for the rest of their lives. Brilliant story.

William Kendall said...

Oh boy!

What a story, PK!

Ciara said...

That will be a birthday all will remember for years. We are throwing a surprise party for my boys on Sunday with a reptile guy. I hope all goes well. Yikes.

Nick Wilford said...

That'll be a birthday to remember! Your heart must have been in your mouth at the time, though. I'd never have thought balloons could make a noise as loud as that!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

An automatic 50 cool parenting points for you :)

Romance Reader - Nas said...

What an awesome memory for your son to remember all his lifetime! I bet he'll be telling his children about the balloons popping and his parents running away!

Happy belated birthday to your son, PK!

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Lexa Cain said...

That scene should be in a TV show or a movie - it was hysterical! I hope you and your family had a wonderful birthday celebration. It certainly is an unforgettable one. :-)

Azara said...

I wouldn't have thought of that and therefore would have been terrified when the SWAT team arrived. Then again, I find the sound of balloons popping traumatic, so I wouldn't have done it in the first place. But it sounds like a lot of fun for your kids!

Shell Flower said...

Hahahaha, this had me cracking up. I know how it feels to take your kid out of school early for a fun occasion--like you're getting away with something. Adding to that the "gun shots" and I could see why you wanted to flee. This story is priceless. You really are awesome parents for being so fun. Glad you got to hear it was the "best birthday ever." Thanks for sharing!

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