Balloons posses some kind of toddler-attraction. I can't imagine a child who doesn't love balloons and who wouldn't love to have one tied around their tiny little wrist at any opportunity.
Balloons also cause some of the greatest toddler angst I have ever been witness to. The problem with balloons is that they fly away, pop, deflate, and aren't very shareable. Children can't really fight over a balloon without a 90% chance of it popping, an event which both startles the kids (due to the noise) and causes much sadness because the balloon no longer exists.
So, as a rule I stay away from balloons in all capacities such buying balloons, accepting balloons, having balloons, whatever. The kids were given balloons at a Cici's grand opening once, and I held the balloon for my son as he got in the car so it wouldn't pop on the burning hot car. And, of course, I accidentally (it really was an accident, this time . . .) let it go. There we stood in the parking lot, balloon rising towards the sky and my son crying like his dog had just died. Thankfully my daughter, in an effort to make him feel better, released her balloon. We watched them go towards heaven with heavy sadness.
Yesterday we went to a back to school bash at the YMCA where there was a clown making wonderful balloons. My daughter chose a flower and my son chose a sword. My daughter walked along at a snail's pace, carefully holding the balloon at an arm's distance so it wouldn't pop. It was quite hot and many balloons had been popping. We quickly left because we didn't want the balloons to pop, and made it home safely with balloons in tack despite the baby trying her best to confiscate both balloons in the car. All was fine until Daddy got home and started playing with the kids and their balloons. Suddenly, the flower stem unraveled, and the wails from my daughter could have woken up the neighbors. Daddy did his best to fix it, but was unsuccessful until after the kids went to bed. And just when I thought everything would be fine my daughter found her balloon this morning, but the stem was crooked and that created more tears and upset. They may mysteriously disappear this afternoon. Oops.
I stand by my conviction that balloons are far too torturous for small children. There is too much angst, tears, sadness, that cannot be balanced by the initial 2 minutes of joy and happiness. If you have kids you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, take a mental note about what to expect when you may some day be faced with a toddler wanting a balloon.