We celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early at the Manna house this year, since Justin has a late study session tomorrow night. Even though Robbie has no idea about Valentine’s Day, I still picked up two small presents for him. I should have only bought one.

When Robbie came downstairs from his nap, his present was on the coffee table – unwrapped, of course. I might have been a day early, but there was no energy to wrapping anything. He went straight for it. There was a box of alphabet books (one for every letter). Attached to the box was a Mylar balloon. Heart shaped. Red with chocolate candy and “I love you” written on it.

Robbie grabbed the balloon, unclipped it from the box, and didn’t let it go. That balloon went all over our house; it even ventured into the basement. Robbie, Justin, and the balloon watched Star Trek. They ate dinner together. They made a mess in the living room together. And then came bath time.

Robbie took the balloon into the bath. He cried when I took his shirt off and the balloon string got caught in the sleeves. He washed his face and hair while holding onto the balloon. When I got him out of the tub, he screamed, “Ba-oon!”, reminding me that he didn’t want to leave it there. He brushed his teeth while holding onto the balloon. We barley separated the two of them to get Robbie dressed for bed.

After he was dressed, I set Robbie down. Five seconds later, and he was running all over the upstairs with his balloon. I had to do a quick rescue mission from the stairs when Robbie decided that he and the balloon needed to go downstairs just one more time.

When I put Robbie in his crib, he stood up and screamed. I assumed it had to do with the balloon, but it was me this time. He wanted to cuddle with me. And so, good mother that I am, I held Robbie on my lap and rubbed his back. We sat there, rocking, for ten minutes – Robbie, Moo the giraffe, the balloon, and me. He eventually let go of Moo. But never the balloon.

He went to sleep holding onto the balloon. I know, I know. Never let a kid go to sleep holding a balloon. I just went up and took it out of his crib – but not before snapping a few pictures!


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