Child delivers balloon-inspired call for empathy to father

Simonhac sez, "Today I armed my kids with unrolled paperclips and asked them to pop the two-week-old helium balloons that have been kicking around our house at ground level since my daughter's birthday. I was not aware that my 8 year old daughter had given the balloons personalities and was really not happy with my plans for them. She was so upset she couldn't talk, but marched into the room and gave me this note. Bad Dad!"

would you like it if just because you were getting old you got popped? (Thanks, Simonhac!)


  1. I’m personally hoping to get Poped when I get old.  I’ve got some big plans.

  2. As one who is growing old, I can say that getting popped is the least of your worries.

    1. Right on!  Hydrogen is even lighter, and much more abundant.  They should use it instead.  What could possibly go wrong?

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.  I’m all for a helium balloon ban.

    2.  I was fascinated with helium as a kid. 
      It would be terrible if there was a ban on helium balloons. 

      The price should be tripled as incentive to conserve. 
      Waste of helium is largely US taxpayer funded. 

  3. man I thought it was raped misspelled as roped… and is that New World Trade Center stationery?

  4. “Would you like it if just because you were getting old you got pop(p)ed ?”

    An eminently fair question. Good on yer daughter. I myself am dreading getting tubed or hosed when codgerdom overtakes me.

  5. Why are we assuming the missing letter is a “p” and not an “o” instead?  I mean, other than the context of the story, of course. As I get older, I find myself getting po0ped more easily, not popped. And I mean pooped as in tired, you insensitive clod.

    1. And old you are, indeed. I believe ” you insensitive clod” is the ornery great-great-great-grandfather of today’s tired “a scholar and a gentleman.”

  6. [Insert comment here about how the little minx is unacceptably uppity, and needs to be taught filial respect lest she express an interest in boys/girls during her teenage years.]

  7. My mother used to drain the helium out and then hang up the balloons as wall decorations in my room. That way I got to keep them and she didn’t have to worry about dead balloons rolling around. Everyone wins.

  8. If I hit 80 I’m ready to go…I mean maybe science will be better by then, but right now 80 sounds like a solid check out point. 

  9. I totally empathize with the dad here. It’s like trying to figure out how long do you let party favors given to your kid bounce around the house underfoot before you can toss ’em out. Kids are true agents of chaos – distributing junk in unpredictable manner throughout your house.

    1. The trick is: you hide them somewhere for a while (depending on the age of the kid and therefore the longevity of their memory) before actually throwing them out.

      1. One of the most fascinating things I’ve learned from my sister’s kids is that they have an innate, psychic ability to suddenly become re-aware of an old party favor/decoration/whatever the day after you’ve thrown it out, and then responding to that item’s loss with great emotional distress.

        1. There’s a short story about the life of a conifer from the conifer’s viewpoint.  It starts out in the happy forest, gets cut down and becomes a Christmas tree, gets shoved into the attic for a while and is finally burned.  It’s pretty much the most depressing and horrifying thing that I’ve ever read.

        2.  chgoliz has got it.

          1.  Every so often, sweep the house for old/broken toys.  They go in the Hidden Basement Box.

          2.  Once a year or so, throw away everything in the box that’s been there a few months.

          3.  On the rare occasion that a toy is remembered without being seen, well, it can’t be found at first, but it magically appears a little later.

  10. I love that she couldn’t speak her distress but she was able to find another way to communicate.  Could be innate, but I’ll bet her parents had a hand in helping her develop the psychological ability and the practical tools to express herself.  Good on ya, Simonhac.

  11. Give the child the option of untying the balloon knots so they can be refilled and see if that makes her more amenable to popping them.

    1. My kids (5 and 2) have become fairly enthusiastic dead-balloon poppers, particularly after Grandma sent them a box of balloons with tiny prizes instead that were only retrievable by popping.  My son really loves to sit on a balloon and pop it with a ballpoint pen.  My daughter (the 5-year-old) is slightly more sentimental, so when they got haircuts last week, and the balloons they scored at the barbershop wilted to the floor the next day, my son eagerly popped his, then kept asking his sister if he could pop hers, to no avail.  He ended up feeling kinda glum that he had no more POP to look forward to, but she still has hers.

  12. He probably doesn’t have much to worry about. I’m pretty sure it’s less trendy to address older gentlemen as “Pop” than it used to be.

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