1. Speaking of helium filled balloons, I used to think balloons were great. They look festive, they can really spice up party decor and you can do some interesting science tricks with them. Add small children to the mix, and they become like a drug. They MUST have one, they must hold one, they can't possibly think of sharing, and the whole world melts away when a balloon is in sight. Nothing. Else. Matters. And, God help us all if it pops. Seriously. A popped balloon evokes the most dramatic, sad, snot filled, hyperventilating sobs I've almost ever seen. And since we live in SE Texas, a balloon entering a car in the summer is sure to pop on contact with just about anything. Therefore, I don't buy balloons. I try to make a quick exit at parties if it seems like they are handing out balloons. And, if one happens to sneak into the house, I pop it and bury it in the trash after the kids go to bed in hopes they'll forget. Too bad if they don't. I hate balloons.
2. Stickers - When I was little I had a sticker book. They were very popular in the 80's and I would carefully save all my best stickers in the book. I don't remember stickers being EVERYWHERE back then like they are now. Everywhere you go they hand out stickers to little kids - the grocery store, the doctor, the dentist, the shoe store, school. And it seems the cool thing is that stickers are in many products too. I often see 'FIVE PAGES OF STICKERS' or '200 STICKERS INCLUDED' boldly advertised on coloring books or toys. We've had many conversations about how stickers only go on paper, yet I continue to find them ALL OVER THE HOUSE. And they are stuck on things - the car, the toilet, book cases, doors, beds, couches, the stairwell, the floor, the counter, the wall. And, if I have't caught it early enough, it requires a major operation of fingernails, Goo-B-Gone, paper towels, sponges and an occasional Magic Eraser to remove. I just don't like removing stickers (seriously, who does?), but I have to otherwise it would look like we hired our 3 year old to decorate the house. These, too, often go missing in the middle of the night. The stickers, not the 3 year old.
3. Socks - Socks are generally good as they provide warmth and protection from scratchy insides of shoes. The socks in my house are out of control. I've lamented about it before, but I just hate them. For some reason the people inhabiting my house remove socks and throw them wherever they happen to be at that moment. I find socks in just about every place in my house except the laundry hampers. The bathroom, the toy bins, under furniture, the pantry, the flower beds outside. Sometimes they take them off, can't remember where they put them and get a new pair when they have to put their shoes back on. So, sometimes I can go through the house and pick up 20 stray socks. It's getting to be sandal season, but my two in school have to wear socks and sturdy shoes every day for P.E. So, I can't be rid of most of the sock wearing until June. Ugh. Sometimes I just buy more socks because so many are 'missing' in the depths of the kids' junk and I'm too lazy to go find them. How long until they can do their own laundry??
I'm hoping some day my ill-feelings towards these poor innocent things will fade and I'll forget how much wasted time and strife they caused me. Until then I guess I have to suck it up. I think that's what parenting is all about anyway - suck it up with a smile on your face until it gets easier. Life would be so boring otherwise :-)