This weekend we took the children to a special treat, the circus. It was to be their first time to the big-top. Clowns, acrobats, and the flying trapeze; all this was new and never before seen by their amazed little eyes. I was as much looking forward to the reactions of the kids as I was to the actual show, and between the two, I came out entertained and exhausted.
#5, the two year-old, was very exited to see the animals before the show. He pointed out the elephants, tigers, and lions to everyone in our group at least twice, and to some of us three or four times. For him the show could have stopped right there. In fact he thought that it did. As we were leaving the animal area and were walking to the circus he twisted around in my arms to face me and ask, “Are we go home now?” To his delight the show was just starting.
During the first part of the show I had #4 sitting on my lap. I had to move her from her seat to my lap so she could see over the man in front of her. Wife saw the little girl arching her neck and standing on tip-toe, and knew it was only a matter of time before she ended up tripping into the man’s lap. When #4 could see, she was quite quick to learn when to clap, or at least she never stopped clapping. She was like most of the children, completely engrossed by the entertainers below.
Shortly before intermission, I noticed #2 drawing into herself. She could not take her eyes off the rings below, but she was no longer participating either. After a little coaxing, I finally got her to admit what was wrong, “It’s too noisy!” she shouted above the din. I shouted to relay the words to Wife, who then took a baby blanket from her bag and wrapped it around #2’s ears to muffle the sound. She enjoyed the show much better after that.
During the intermission a clown wandered his way up to our row. He was a little guy with a red nose, bright blue outfit, and equally bright blue hair. As he passed by #5 the little boy’s eyes snapped onto the clown, or more precisely his hair. He kept watching the clown like he might watch a tarantula crawl across his bed. You could see the wheels turning in his little head as the clown walked up and down the aisles; #5 seemed to just know that something about the blue-haired man was very, very wrong.
As adults we forget that people aren’t supposed to have chalk-white faces and blue hair. Total strangers aren’t supposed to hold children at random and smile at every camera in sight. And they are NOT supposed to honk their nose at any time what so ever. #5 knew this, why didn’t anyone else?