This afternoon we went to a party for friends’ new baby, and that meant lots of cake for La Serpiente, which meant lots of whirling and scampering. There were also balloons. La Serpiente was soon clamouring desperately for a balloon of her own, and our hosts kindly let her choose one.
People often remark on how large and sturdy La Serpiente is for somebody who’s not even three years old. She’s now strong enough to open the doors of event rooms at condos. Thus as soon as she’d got the balloon in her grip, she rushed outside. I watched as she waved her arms in excitement, and then as she shook her hands some more and let go of the balloon.
I rushed outside, but I was too late. The balloon was already fluttering up into the air, borne by a strong wind. La Serpiente watched as it floated out across the swimming pool and then vanished.
For a moment, she stood there. Her hand shook, her face quivered, and then she burst into tears. It was ready quite hard not to laugh at her, so mortified was she at losing her balloon.
We took her back inside the event room of the condominium complex and tried to calm her, but she howled some more for her balloon. Impressively, she was shouting the word “blue” in Japanese, so all those school fees are paying off.
Fortunately, there were lots more blue balloons, and children under the age of three are quite easy to lie to, so I just got a second blue balloon and presented it to La Serpiente, telling her that her dad had retrieved her balloon for her. That settled her for a while, at least until we got her home for her usual nighttime gibbering.