Yesterday we took the boys to the circus. If I had given it further thought (and if I hadn’t had a coupon!) I may have decided to wait a year or two before exposing them to the circus. Honestly it had been so long since I’ve been to a circus myself that I didn’t really remember what they are like.
Every year the Shriner’s put together a travelling circus that tours around performing all over. This year we happened to be driving past the fairgrounds one day and saw the big top set up, that reminded me that I had acquired a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free admission so I dug the coupon out of my purse and checked the dates, yep! Holiday weekend circus fun.
I was looking forward to watching the boys experience the circus for the first time, every kid loves the circus, right? When I asked them if they wanted to go (perhaps my first mistake!) I was met with jumping, screaming bundles of energy shouting, “Circus, circus!” so I thought we might as well go. It was nearby, I had a coupon and the showtimes were within the realm of possible between afternoon nap and bedtime.
Both Little Man and Daddy had just woken up from naps when we left, the boys had eaten lunch late so I figured they could make it until after the show to have dinner but I had some snacks in my bag just in case (I switched to my monster purse so I could smuggle everything in!)
We got there only five minutes before show time which meant that the boys didn’t have a chance to get antsy before things started happening. My first circus shock came at the ticket booth. I had my BOYO coupon but had assumed that there would be a different price for children, Little Man is still two so can get in free to most places but I ended up paying full price ($35!) for Big Boy! As soon as that happened I determined that come hell or high water we were staying for the whole show!
There wasn’t a big crowd which worked well for us, we were able to get seats in a row (of steel benches!) all to ourselves with empty rows in front and behind us. I figured that would give the boys a little wiggle room which might help because by then I was starting to panic a little, the guy walking around selling drinks (for $5 each!) had a sales pitch something like, “Ice cold lemonade! Get yer ice cold lemonade! It’s a two hour show, yer gonna git thirsty!” Two hour show! Oh crap.
The show started and the boys were enthralled. The first act had horses so that was good. After that were some knife juggling pirates which didn’t thrill the boys and the clowns which didn’t really thrill any of us. (I’ve never really been a fan of clowns, although these guys weren’t technically clowns they were more like Vaudeville performers) After them came the elephants which absolutely thrilled the boys. The elephants didn’t last long enough for the kids and after that was nothing truly memorable.
The boys were starting to get antsy now and I was starting to wonder when it would be done (at the same time thinking that I had been gypped for my $70!) when the Ringmaster announced intermission. Intermission! What was I supposed to do with the boys to keep them from running away for heaven knew how long? Elephant rides of course. Given their ages there was no way they were going to get on an elephant alone so all four of us trooped over and waited in the elephant line. After paying $10/head we climbed the stairs and did the splits on the back of the pachyderm. I don’t have a picture because, of course, we were all up there together (along with two other kids whom they had shoved in behind me!) That two minute elephant ride nabbed that circus $60! The boys really liked that though, they wanted to go again and again.
We went back to our seats then to wait for the second half. By this point Little Man was done and kept pulling on our hands saying, “Awl dun! Go home, peeze! Mummy, peeze!” I felt so bad for him but wanted to stay (there had been a picture of a tiger on the coupon so I thought he would like to see that).
There were no tigers. The highlight of the second act for the boys (Big Boy, at least) was the act when the girls climb up the ropes and do ballet-type stuff way high up there. It wasn’t the girls or the height that they likes, it was the music. The chosen track to accompany this act was “Let It Go”. It actually worked really well with their movements and stuff but I don’t think Big Boy paid much attention to what was going on in the ring, he was too busy singing along at the top of his lungs (he actually knows almost every word by now!)
Once the show was done we had to stop and get the boys their swords, just cheap plastic things with different coloured lights in them. A neat souvenir, I thought, that would remind them of the circus and keep them amused when we got home. My husband pointed out that they were just one more thing that could be used to break the television (like the souvenir mini hockey sticks that Uncle Schmee brought home from last year’s Winter Classic which brought about the demise of our living room television)but I assured him that they would remain outdoor toys or highly supervised indoor ones!
We got to the souvenir table (with prices conspicuously not displayed!) and handed the boys each a sword. I looked at the guy and he said, “That’ll be $40.” I just about screamed! I actually came very close to being rude (which I usually try not to do) and muttered, “Of course it is.” I paid the man and we left.
Just to round off our spectacular circus experience there had been a thunderstorm and I got a text message from my mom saying that we had lost our power. We ended up having dinner in the parking lot of McDonald’s and got home to find that everyone else had left to find dinner at an electrified establishment.
Bottom line: my boys have experienced the circus now. I don’t really care if they remember it or not but I’m darn sure that I could have found some better entertainment for the $150 that it cost! I won’t be taking them back for a very long time if I can help it, and I realized that I still really don’t like clowns!