My Love/Hate Relationship with the Water Balloon Machine

Flashback to June, 2013.

Who knew?

Someone knew.  And now that someone is laughing all the way to the bank.

That someone created that brilliant water balloon maker, was it last year they appeared on the shelves?

Suddenly, you couldn't even go to CVS without seeing them everywhere.

Moooom, can we get one of these?

*Envisioning lawn littered with broken balloons*

 No, guys - we don't need water balloons today.

In Bed, Bath and Beyond, I'm returning the wrong size tablecloth, there's a line, and of course, only one person working.  They are strategically placed by check-out, and they are the only thing saving my boys from a wrestling match to stave off boredom.

Mama, pleaaaase, pleaaaaaase, can we get this water balloon machine? Pleaaase?

BB&Beyond has me where they want me.  RIGHT where they want me.  I am the person they thought of when they set up that display.

Marketing Team Leader:  "Let's place them by checkout and bombard children's senses with the brilliantly colored machines filled with a rainbow of balloons."

Marketing Team Member:  "Yes, but that will only work if we schedule only ONE person at checkout that day."Marketing Team Leader: *throws back head and laughs* YES...YESSSSS.  
"Alright, alright , I'll buy the balloon maker but this is the one and only one for the season so you need to take care of it."

I should mention, these are not expensive.  In fact, most are under $10.  They are not built to last by any means.  That, coupled with the kids fighting over it constantly, and the abuse by jamming the pump repeatedly as fast as they can, it's a setup to a huge meltdown when it finally breaks.  I just wanted them to know if I bought it, they had to take care of it and not think they would get another one if it broke.

We bring it home and hit the lake.  When I tell you, it keeps them occupied for hours, I mean hours. I couldn't believe how much they loved it.

At first everything is fun and joyful and they are having a ball.  Then someone lingers at the pump, trying to make an arsenal of balloons.

"Heyyy, he's pumping more than one and that's not fair."

Now add neighbor kids.

"Heyy, he's hogging the pump and that's not fair."

"Heyyyy, he used all the water and didn't fill it."

"Mom?  Mooom?  Mama?  Mommy?  Mom?  Mom? Mom?"

"Can you tie this? "

"This one?"

"Tie this for me, please?"

Tie this.  Tie this.  And another. Another. Another.

"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM....THE PUMP BROKE..."  Cue the tears and hysteria.  After trying to resuscitate the machine for an hour, we declared its passing at approximately 4:05pm.  Its lifespan was three glorious days, and almost 18 hours of pumping.  That was it for last year.

Fast forward to June, 2014.

This year - the remarkable makers of the water balloon pump created the No-Stress Tie Nozzle so that Moms and Dads everywhere could actually enjoy the day without having to tie an endless assembly line of water balloons.  The instructions on the pump promise "effortless water balloon making and tying in seconds." The thing is I already CAN  effortlessly tie an endless supply  of water balloons with my own 2 hands.  Granted, I break a few nails struggling with a few here and there, but overall, tying balloons is not rocket science.  Using the handy dandy effortless Tie Balloon pump IS, however, rocket science.

Look, I don't claim to be the smartest.  I don't say that I am the most clever of moms.  But I do my best.  I tried to figure this g-d easy peasy water balloon tie nozzle but I broke more balloons in the time that I could've tied 2 dozen and got more aggravated than if I had spent two hours manually tying them.

 You're supposed to wrap the balloon around the nozzle, thread the neck through the slot, and pull the balloon off the device.  I couldn't figure it out, I broke several of them while "pulling" them off the nozzle, thus dousing myself in water, and it became very clear that this was not the simple maneuver it appeared to be.  Okay look, some of you are going to say, you figured it out on the first try - and I say - that is AWESOME.  And some of you are going to judge me for having poor direction reading skills, or sad fine motor skills, but I'm okay with that.  I tried to get it to work, but I failed so I went back to manually tying them - I don't really need nice nails anyways.  

I am going to continue to hand tie these until this year's pump breaks - and I'm at peace with that.  According to past history, I only expect the pump to live another few hours anyways.

In the meantime, I'll be in the yard with the kids, cleaning up the artillery shells strewn all over the lawn.  Perhaps next year, the brilliant balloon maker minds will come up with an easier disposal and clean up system?

Cheers and Happy Water Balloon Tying!


  1. It's like you've been lurking in my yard, watching our family. This was hilarious!

    1. HA! I swear, I haven't! But I've been to a few bbqs this summer - and they've all had the infamous balloon maker, and all of the drama and fun that accompanies it! The best part was when all the dads gathered around and looked up how to use the tie gadget on youtube! lol!

  2. I just had my first water balloon experience as a parent last week. I never want to repeat it. I will so have to. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in all the fun. Water balloon on, my friend!


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