Monday, July 22, 2013

Hapy Birthday and the Balloons of Imminent Danger

This Saturday we had planned one last birthday party for the Wombats. Sadly, in their life of little privilege, they have only been able to have four birthday celebrations so far this year. It's lucky that they don't really understand what is going on or else we may be forced to follow this precedent in years to follow.

Leading up to the party we continued to work on our ongoing baby-proofing. We are really just doing this as it comes up. We're just sort of going along on a daily basis and saying, "Oh crap, I guess they can reach that now." Then we move it or strap it down as needed.

Elliott Figuring out the Childproofing

Then they almost instantly begin to figure out how to get around it.

Kids' Car Wash Brigade

Kids' Car Wash Brigade

Kids' Car Wash Brigade

Kids' Car Wash Brigade

We had a kiddie pool at the party and the walking children very quickly came up with the best game. This involved taking cups, filling them with water from the pool, and then throwing the water on our car. This was actually pretty great. It tired out the kids, kept them occupied, cleaned our car, and all but emptied the kiddie pool.

We're thinking of inviting them over every week to see what other time-saving games they can come up with for us. We're thinking that washing the dishes and doing the laundry will be big hits.

Bubses and Birthday Cake

Elliott Eating Birthday Cake

Martin Eating Birthday Cake

After a long day in the sun the guys got to have their fourth birthday cake/cupcake celebration. We will probably need to significantly reduce their cake intake going forward.

Jack's Abby Jabby Brau

After a dinner of barbecue leftovers we sat on the floor and had a drink. Jen had some rose and I had this Jabby Brau Session Lager from Jack's Abby Brewing, a pick from our recent trip to Rhode Island.

I can't really recall a time we've been this tired after a day at home with the Wombats. It was a lot of fun but I'm pretty glad birthdays only come, on average, once a year.

Attempt to Get them Interested in Gifts

The next morning, after their nap, we tried to get them to open some of their gifts but it was difficult to get them focused.

Martin Eying Elliott's Gift

Martin was a bit more interested in Elliott's gifts.

Elliott Attacking a Gift Bag

Elliott was more interested in ripping and tearing tissue paper than most else.

Birthday Gifts!

Elliott Reading Book

They got lots of great toys, books, and clothing that they were very excited to throw all around the living room to be lost amongst the torn gift wrap and tissue paper.

D&D Specialist Wizard Doll

D&D Rogue Doll

Auntie Caolan and Uncle Paul also got them these fetching dolls based on their D&D character classes: rogue and specialist wizard.

Attempt at Picture with Dolls

Attempt at Picture with Dolls

We attempted to take a picture of them posing with their dolls and these were the best two shots that we got.

Baby Pollocks

Baby Pollocks

In the afternoon we took them out for another spin in their cars and Jen made some homemade paint for them to play with. They also got sprayed down with the hose by their dad which was not their favorite part of the day. Also I strapped Martin into his car and accidentally pinched the buckle on Martin's belly. This was definitely the low point of the day for Martin but after a minute of rocking and hugging he had forgotten than anything even happened.

It will take much longer for his father to get over it.

Painted Goat Fighting Goat Cheese

For dinner we enjoyed last week's goat cheese from the farm share this Fighting Goat! It was awesome as an accompaniment to another summer stew I made with garlic, onion, zucchini, tomato, and leftover grilled corn from the birthday barbecue.

We also took the babies out to swing after their afternoon nap and stopped by the only place in town that is open past 4PM on a Sunday to pick up a loaf of bread. As it was near closing time they had two loaves to choose from and we paid the exorbitant price of seven dollars for a rustic loaf. The bread was good but I think I would have been more content thawing out some English muffins than paying that kind of money for a loaf of bread.

Candia Road Brewing Company Nepenthe Solo-Springer

With dinner I had this Nepenthe Solo-Springer (lawn-mower-ale) from Candia Road Brewing Company, a gift from my Aunt Pat. It was really good, a fine conclusion to a busy weekend.

Elliott on Daddy's Head Playing with Balloons

For dinner we tied some balloons around their high chairs for them to play with and made a FaceTime call to Jen's mother. She loved seeing the babies almost as much as she enjoyed warning us about the dangers of having a balloon near a child. She stated that babies can choke on balloons. I completely agree that this is possible but wondered if this was such a cause for worry that babies should not be allowed to have balloons at their birthday party. She said that I'd be surprised to find out how many babies choke on balloons. I asked her to send me the raw figures so that I could peruse them. Unfortunately the numbers were never sent for my consideration so I guess we'll never know.

Except that I did my own private research to find out!

According to a 2010 report on toy-related deaths and injuries filed in 2011 by the Division of Hazard Analysis at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there were, indeed, some children who choked on balloons. Is this terrible? Of course. Is it cause for balloons to be banned in the United States. Maybe not.

My mother-in-law was right. According to the report there were 2 deaths in 2008. I was surprised by how many deaths there were -- I thought the number would be much higher than that.

According to the 2010 census there are approximately 74,000,000 children between the age of 0-10 (the report doesn't break it down by that age range which is why this is an estimate). If that is true then that means there is was a 0.0000027% chance that the babies could have choked on those balloons last night. That's a 1 in 34,000,000 chance if you just go on raw odds.


Since balloons are so clearly off limits now I did a little research to see what other activities and items that are way more dangerous than balloons. We wil will be eliminating the following activities from our lives immediately. The following odds are based on studies by UK scientists.

      Planes (1 in 11,000,000). That's three more times more dangerous than balloons! I guess we'll have to take the train to visit grandma and grandad from now on.
      Hot Tap Water (1 in 5,000,000 chance of death). It's been nice but we're moving to an all-cold tap water household.
      Snakes (1 in 3,5000,000 chance of death). While there aren't any poisonous snakes in this area there are still snakes and that's a chance I'm not willing to take. We'll be moving to northern Greenland.
      Trains (1 in 500,000). Okay, I think we'll have to drive to visit all our grandparents from now on.
      Drowning in Bath (1 in 685,000). We will bathe them again only once they have received their swimming certificates from the YMCA.
      Automobiles (1 in 8,000). We will just take a covered wagon to visit the grandparents. It will be just like playing Oregon Trail!
      Typhoid (1 in 2). So much for traveling anywhere.

It's grim but I like to know what I'm facing. After looking at the raw data I am getting to work on constructing an inflatable rubber-padded bubble where we can all live happily together following a diet prescribed by Ray Kurzweil and watching television with sunglasses on.

Martin Sadly Holding Balloon

Martin says: "My parents don't love me. That's why they let me have this balloon. Please send help."


uberlours said...

You of course realize that after the comment " My Mother In law was right", nothing further was fread.

Unknown said...

I am fine with my obvious sarcasm being overlooked in this case.

Unknown said...

I love all variants of balloons from the wholesale balloons shop. It simply gives me comfort and lightheartedness. That's why I feel bad for the trauma you have.