I recently discovered the secret to selling balloons at grocery stores: toddlers. That's right, I had not realized that there was a hidden market beyond occasion celebrations such as birthdays, births, or get wells until my son began noticing them.
Dylan received his first balloon at Red Robin when he was just 7 months old! He fell asleep on the way home with it clutched tightly in his grasp and it was a source of amusement for a day or so until it lost enough helium.
He is 17 months old now and calls balloons "Boon!" every time he sees one. While he has not had a total meltdown yet when he doesn't get a balloon, it's been a lot harder to say no. The most recent smiley face balloon was expensive at $5.99 but has lasted the longest. We bought it on September 6th and it still looks exactly like it did when we got it, no air loss at all!
I'd be curious to hear what your toddler calls balloons, email me email@example.com!