Balloons and Juice: The joy and pains of pressure

Pressure and the love of juice…

My kids love juice. It may be the first thing that my son asks for in the morning before calling out to me. OK, maybe it’s not just juice they love, they probably just love sugar. There I said it.  Don’t tell our dentist she will eventually find out.

It really is my fault they love it so much.  When I have a coveted stash of apple juice boxes I can calm any 22 month old temper tantrum, I can turn a cranky 5 year old into an attentive helpful big sister (she’ll even poke the straw in for her little brother), and I can have a fairly awesome playdate on a moment’s notice.

Let’s face it.  I love juice too. Not really to drink; just to appease.

But one afternoon, after settling the kids down outside with their juice boxes, I heard a scream of horror. My mind automatically went to a bee sting, a nasty cut, or a swing set head trauma.

I bounded outside to find Allie wailing while her juice sprayed innocently out of the straw juice box into her lap.  My first thought was, “what the heck?” my second thought was, “oh.. she blew into the straw and put more pressure into the juice box.”  Spilled juice, an unfortunate outcome of unwanted pressure.

Her precious juice continued splattering all over her lap and she was inconsolable for a few minutes. (Andrew watched un-phased while happily drinking his entire box. I think he added a slurp at the end for good measure.)

She screamed… “Why?  Why did my juice do that?!” I held back and reminded myself now was not the time for a science lesson.

“Allie” I said calmly “you can’t blow air into a full juice box because it will squirt out the top just like when you squeeze it at the bottom.”  That just upset her even more.

Needless to say my kids got to drink two juice boxes that day.  Allie’s second one was to calm her down.  Andrew’s second one was because Allie got another one.  Yes. I’m a pushover.

So when is pressure amazing?

I remember growing up loving water balloons.  My brother and I would fill up a kiddie pool full of balloons and have the most awesome water balloon fights.  You know, if I really think back I am pretty sure I was the little sister filling and tying the water balloons for my brother and cousin so they could have the awesome fights, but whatever… it was part of my childhood.

The other day a dear friend of mine told me about a portable water balloon filler.  What an ingenious idea!  Let’s face it, water hoses and breakable balloons eventually leave you standing in a pool of mud and broken balloon bits.

This thing is amazing. You can find it here.  My kids love it. And chances are if you invite us to your kids birthday party they will be getting one because they are what a child’s dream is made of.  Especially if your mom is the master of filling and tying balloons and willing to do it hours on end.

It’s fairly easy.  You fill the keg with water, pump the plunger to add pressure, put the balloon on the nozzle and spray.  Easy… breezy… water balloon filling fun!

It got me thinking about that dang juice box.  This incredible invention was doing the same thing as her blowing into her juice box.  Yet it wasn’t frustrating.. it was amazing!

This weekend we were all in our swimsuits enjoying the beautiful sunshine when I thought, “now is the time for the science lesson.”

So while we were pumping pressure and filling up water balloons I asked her if she remembered the juice box incident.  She did because it was very traumatic.  We both enjoyed comparing the joy and pains of pressure.  I’m fairly certain she won’t be blowing into a full juice box again and I will continue being the water balloon tying champion.

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