The face of a child whose balloon has just popped.
There is the initial look of utter shock, followed swiftly by the bottom lip wobble and almost certain tears as realisation dawns. The balloon that was so round and so bouncy just a mere second ago, is now a flaccid piece of rubber lying on the ground.
This is the face that looked up at me in despair just a few minutes ago as we prepared to head off to nursery for the twins’ National Day party.
The day hadn’t started all that well as the twins took one look at their miniature abayas (bought despite twinsdaddy’s utter horror that his two-year olds should be wearing them at all), and flatly refused to wear them. I’d tried to buy pretty ones that had sparkly detailing around the cuffs and collars but they simply weren’t good enough for my princesses-in-waiting.
I wasn’t going to force the issue. They’re just too young and frankly, I’m with twinsdaddy on this one. I’m not wild at the thought of my daughter’s wearing traditional Arabic dress.
So, abayas safely tucked away in a bag, my back up plan was balloons printed with ‘I LOVE UAE’ which I swiftly blew up and handed to both the blonde and the brunette. These were much more happily received and we headed to the car.
As the blonde walked around the back of my car to get to her door, the balloon brushed against the garage door, and against a rough piece of paintwork.
The echo in the garage seemed to continue for some time.
The blonde’s face said all.
Shock… fear… followed by utter devastation.
The tears flowed whilst the brunette helpfully summed up the situation.
“The balloon is broken mummy. My balloon is not broken mummy. My balloon is still big. I like my balloon.”
The balloon was swiftly replaced but the mood was set. By the time we reached nursery and the blonde heard the loud arabic music being piped around the building, she was firmly off the idea of celebrating anything.
“I don’t like that music it’s too noisy”, she complained as we got out of the car, two balloons still intact.
“I don’t like go to the party”
“I don’t like that black dress”
I handed the abayas to their teacher and whispered that there had been some resistance and that if she wanted to try later for the sake of the group photograph, then that was up to her and I wished her the best of luck.
Just don’t mention the balloon.