"OK, you can take the balloon outside but don't let go of the ribbon or it will fly away."
Why I thought these woulds would prevent the inevitable from happening, I do not know. Because, well, the inevitable happened.
The pink balloon went skywards.
Whether the balloon jumped or was pushed by the well-directed elbow of an older brother, we shall never know (although we have our suspicions). But up it went, into the clouds, and for a small, three-year-old-boy, this was a tragedy of epic proportions. "Waaaahhhhhh," he wailed, "Waaaahhhhhh, my balloooooooooooon."
I couldn't do much, other than offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on and a packet of sweets from the emergency stash (oh, who am I kidding they come out at least four times a day). I did attempt to console him by fabricating a story about lost balloons finding their way to little boys and girls who don't have a balloon - but this only caused more distress as he pointed out, "Waaaaahhhhh, but I'm a little boy who doesn't have a balloon."
So I conclude that there must be, for times like this, a balloon heaven, where all the balloons which have been inadvertently let go by small hands hang out and lead a happier life. Maybe the burst ones go there too? Perhaps. I like to think so anyway.
R.I.P pink balloon, we will glance to the heavens and remember you always.