During my lunch break early last week, I drove to the store and bought five packs of balloons.
“Wow,” said the clerk. “I’ve been selling a lot of balloons today. Everyone must be having a party.”
“No,” I told her, “these are for my son. He really enjoys them.”
That had to be the understatement of the year.
Philip is highly motivated by balloons. Thanks to them, I know he can identify colors. For a balloon, he’ll rely on his iPad instead tugging on me. Not that the tugging disappears completely, but I’ll insist, “Tell me,” while pointing at his iPad. He tries to cheat and just tell me a color. Red. Blue. Green.
“Green what?” I ask, and he’ll pick out the word balloon.
Most of the balloons have ended up in his bedroom. He gets a sensory thrill from kicking them around. He bounces them in the air and pushes them from one side to the other.
One evening, I went into his room and was shocked to see the carpet. The balloons were gone. I heard a giggle from the closet and saw he had piled them in there. They stayed there for no more than a half hour.
I was awakened in the middle of the night this week by an odd sound. It was Philip, kicking balloons around his room. There was some crying when I told him to go back to bed. He stayed there for a bit, then was back to kicking balloons. I let him do it for almost an hour before insisting he go to sleep. There were more tears, but he eventually went to sleep.
And the balloons were still there for him in the morning.