I like to make a big deal out of things.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but I will make it one. It could be anything really – birthdays, first days at school, first concerts, having to drive in the rain, going to the park, running out of Milo (let’s just say that Seth deserves a medal for sticking this out for almost 10 years). When I told the girls that we were going to the circus it was not exempted from this “big deal making”. I spoke to them about it often, answering their questions, pondering with them if there would be animals, what the clowns would look like, if there was going to be a small Timmy from Shaun the Sheep walking along the tight rope – all very relevant questions and all very exciting to ponder on the days leading up to the event. I’m still not sure who was more excited – me or them.
Finally the day came. After deciding that we could not sit it out just because we couldn’t find a short notice baby sitter for a very sick and sorry for himself Knox or that the girls were sick and miserable as well, because, well… I made a big deal about it. So against our good parenting conscience (whom I seem to ignore regularly) we piled them in the car and arrived just as the show was about to start. We gave in our tickets, got our hand-stamps and walked into the big, white tent.
It was like walking into a wall of thick, dark heat. Suddenly carrying Knox and the baby bag was making me hot and slightly claustrophobic, but we pursued the light at the other end of the tent. Instead of the typical circus set up of having a ring in the middle, there was a large stage at the one end, with hundreds of lights and ropes hanging about. There was a loud voice telling us that the show was about to start and so we hurried forward… Only to find that there was no place for us. The floor seating in the front seemed full to capacity and all the chairs were taken too.
So we did what any parent would do and turned around to leave. No… We didn’t. But you know statistically speaking 9 out of every 10 parents that choose to leave have more reliable backs when they reach 40 and out of every 100 parents that would leave, there is always a couple of suckers that decide to hold up their 3 children so that they can see instead. What’s that you say? How did we hold 3 babies between the 2 of us? Well that’s a good question. We tried every possible manoeuvre – Seth holding both girls and me with Knox, Kyla around Seths neck while he held Knox and I held Riya, me holding Riya and Knox while Seth took Kyla to the bathroom, Riya and Kyla jumping up and down to see, with Knox crawling around unsupervised after I passed out from heat and fitness induced panic attack. OK the last part didn’t happen, but it was seriously touch and go for a while. My back is still recovering.
Finally I was standing in the dark trying to hold Riya high enough to see while simultaneously stopping Knox from crawling away or eating a random object that he found on the floor, and I was thinking to myself, “Self… Normal people would have given up long ago. Really. Don’t be a fool. In fact, you are probably the only one that really wanted to see these people swing from hoops anyway. Seriously. Knox could not be bothered about the clowns pushing each other off tables right now and the girls seem to rather want to view the inside of the bathroom than the juggling act. Maybe if the juggler lit them on fire it would get them more interested. No, that’s probably not a good idea. He’d need to rush to the bathroom to run his face under the cold water when he burns himself, then he’d probably hit one of the girls with the firey juggling stick thing on his way. There goes the medical aid for the year. Oh look at that – Knox is eating my bag. Do I still need to feed him supper?”
Then I saw my colleague who promised that there was a spot for us in the front, he helped us move down there, and he was right. There was a spot for us. We sat down, sweating and exhausted. We watched a girl twirl around in ribbons far above our heads, gasped as she let herself fall, catching herself with only her feet just a metre above the ground. And then… Well, then it was interval of course.
Seth took the girls to go and find something nice to eat while I sat and guarded our awesome new spot. Once the show resumed, we could actually see what was going on and it was pretty fantastic. I finally had time to register that this was the Zip Zap Circus and not like a full on animal type circus. This one just focuses on cool gymnasticy type fun. And it really was good. I think it’s all done by kids and they are really amazing.
So all in all I think it was mostly worth it. Kyla absolutely loved it, she was engrossed – making sure she saw ever second of it. Riya could take it or leave it, she liked some parts but would be fine with not going again. Although next time I would definitely organise a babysitter. I would say that you should be there early, but we are never early for anything. Ever.