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How Water Balloons Saved Civilization

Just as the children dashed into the backyard to find Easter eggs, my husband opened a cooler full of water balloons.

My husband is a maniacal genius, and I’m not just saying that because I married him. He thinks a lot. A 500 count bag of water balloons caught his eye last year, and the rest is history.

It started last Easter. We donned our finest outfits. We went to church. We took a family photo, because we don’t even get that dressed up on Christmas. Then my family came over for dinner, and my sisters and I hid the eggs in my backyard while the kids changed into play clothes. Just as the children dashed into the backyard to find Easter eggs, my husband opened a cooler full of water balloons.

There we were. A middle-class American family doing what was expected of us on the high holiest day of our religion: attacking our children, nieces, and nephews in a water fight.

Maybe fight is the wrong word. Only the grown-ups had water balloons. Maybe gauntlet is a better description. We started a new tradition, and the kids weren't the only ones having fun.

If you invite my husband to a birthday party, he will likely ask you if he can bring water balloons. They are for the adults, and the kids better run.

Just when I thought we were doomed to fade into the doldrums of adulthood, the water balloons saved us.

This is so much better than ! And I still win. I suggest you try it out and report back on the results. Here are a few pointers for any adult-versus-kid water balloon fight:

 1)      Make the balloons the night before while the kids are sleeping so they don’t know what’s coming.

2)      Hide the balloons in a portable cooler with wheels and a drain. Some balloons pop before the attack, and you don’t want to worry about pre-fun clean up.

3)      At Easter, use the egg hunt to get you started. At birthday parties, a game of tag will do.

4)      Be prepared to clean up. Small pieces of latex in the ground need to be cleaned up, but make the kids do it. They got the Easter candy, and they are closer to the ground.

5)      Be prepared. Inevitably a tween or teen will get a hold of a balloon and give you a taste of your own medicine.

6)      Be prepared. Some kids will start crying. Tell them “fun” is not something to cry about.  Something to cry about is called “work.”

I hope your Passover and Easter and days of sunshine are happy ones. Be the maniacal genius in your family and start a water balloon fight today!

Marilyn Baron April 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Nicki, The water balloons sound like fun (especially for the adults). Happy Easter!
Nancy Wilkinson April 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM
This morning marks the tenth annual Easter Hot Dog Hunt in our family. For our dogs. It started out simply enough. My partner and I were talking about the Easter Egg Hunts of our youth, back in the olden days when you actually hunted real eggs. We wondered how well our two dogs would do at finding eggs except we had none to spare in the fridge, all we had was a pack of hot dogs. And a tradition was started. We cut them into 1-inch pieces and scatter them about the back yard. (Don't put them inside plastic eggs, not a good idea.) Did you know that most dogs will hunt hot dogs with their noses to the ground? So if you "hide" them on lawn chairs or bench seats or on the top of St. Francis' head, they circle round and round trying to find the source of that wonderful smell. For days afterward they race to the door to go out in the morning, just in case the Easter Hot Dog Vendor visited again during the night.
Tami Brothers April 24, 2011 at 01:12 PM
Love this! Never thought about doing something like this. With The Kid getting (almost) to old for egg hunts, I really think this will keep the tradition alive a while longer...grinnn Thanks Nicki. Tami Brothers
Nonie Ravenberg April 24, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Do you put ice in the cooler with the balloons?
Nicki Salcedo April 24, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Put a little water in the cooler to reduce the number of popped water balloons. Hadn't considered ice. Interesting. Dropping the water temp seems like extra maniacal fun. :)
Nicki Salcedo April 24, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Nancy, this may be the cutest thing I've ever heard. I just wish there was a cat equivalent. I hope someone tries this out and tells us how it worked for them.
Nicki Salcedo April 24, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Introduce water balloons and the teens and tweens are interested again!
Nicki Salcedo April 24, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Thanks, Marilyn. Happy Easter and Happy Passover to you too.
Kimberly Head Amos April 24, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Nicki, this is great!!! As always, I love your columns.
Nicki Salcedo April 26, 2011 at 03:50 AM
Thanks, Kimberly. I got hit with a water balloon while still in my Easter dress yesterday. I'm still trying to find the culprit. . . but fun was had by all!
Jeanette Cogdell May 03, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Great story Nicki. You married a genius. LOL
Rose Harris April 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I'll be more prepared and less shocked this year. BTW - we were at my house :).
Decaturette April 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Cool! Important question: You referred to your husband finding a "500 count bag of water balloons." Is there a specific type of balloon necessary for water balloons? Or are any latex balloons ok? Also--some of those balloons in the picture look dyed like Easter eggs. Is that part of the fun? I'm thinking that a water fight with dyed balloons might be a problem with the Easter outfits. Finally--is it going to be nice enough this Sunday for a water fight. Hope so!
Nicki Salcedo April 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Water balloons from grocery store, toy store, or Target will do. Balloons labeled "water balloons" are slightly smaller and round. Standard latex balloons could end up too big, but you can control the water level. Certainly hide Easter Eggs (pictured) or candy or whatever to get the kids running into the yard. Once the kids are off let the adults have some fun tossing the water balloons. My brother-in-law asked if we should involve the super-soakers this year. We will be having a committee meeting to decide the level of chaos. Have fun and let us know what happens!

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