Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Greatest Show On Earth

When I was six or seven years old, my parents took me to see Disney on Ice.  This is what I remember about the show:  “Snow White!  Cinderella!  The Seven Dwarves!  Alice in Wonderland!  Mickey!  Minnie!  Donald Duck!  WOW! They’re skating!  ON ICE!  This! Is!! AMAZING!!!!!!!”

Here’s what my Mom remembers about the show: “Oh, God, those people just skated backwards for forty-five minutes.”

Yesterday, we took our three-year-old, Iris, to the circus.  Which taught me one very important parenting lesson: It’s all in your perspective.

From Iris’s perspective, this was an amazing experience.  Even today, she cannot stop talking about the circus.  The lights.  The clowns.  The elephants.  Her first taste of cotton candy.  The horses.  The Elephants.  The trained dogs.  The trapeze artists. THE ELEPHANTS!!!!!!  The look of pure wonder and joy on her face was almost worth it all.

Why “almost?”

Because my husband, Quinten, and I are the adults.

Because we had to walk a million miles from where we parked to where we were sitting in the arena.  While carrying Iris.  Who didn’t want to be carried.  Then did want to be carried.  Then didn’t want to be carried and refused to hold hands, so we carried her anyway.  Which was not met with good humor.

Because, unlike Iris, we noticed that some of the dancers just weren’t feeling it today, so they were just kind of standing there going through about half the motions with as little energy as possible.

Because Iris took the bag of popcorn from us and wouldn’t let us eat any.  At all. 

Because we also noticed that the tigers just did the same trick a couple of times before being rushed off the stage. 

Because having a three year old climb all over her seat and our laps and crawl on the floor and climb back into her seat and almost spill popcorn onto the people in front of us and trying to keep her from falling down the stairs or get folded up into the chair takes a LOT of energy.

Because we had to buy Iris a five inch tall stuffed tiger.  For seventeen dollars.

Because we had to take her to the bathroom sixteen and a half times during the show.  Only a few of which resulted in actual pee.  Many of which resulted in the panicked wailings of a child because the show had gone on without her.

Because once you've watched the Olympic gymnastic competition, you aren't so impressed when all the circus tumblers are kind of just doing the same thing over and over again for twenty minutes.

Because we spent twelve dollars on cotton candy.  Which, it turns out when you’re an adult, tastes gross.  And which caused our daughter to be sticky all the way up to her elbows.

Because trying to keep her from eating things she found on the floor was horrifyingly distracting.

Because at the end of the show, Iris cried for half an hour because WE should NOT have let the show end and WE were MEAN and she JUST WANTED TO SEE THE SHOW!!!!!!

Please do not misunderstand me, we adore Iris and watching her watch the show was an amazing experience.  I love providing her with as much wonder, spectacle, awe, and marvel as her little heart desires.  I will take her to see Disney on Ice and Sesame Street Live and The Wizard of Oz on stage and The Fresh Beat Band live in concert and movies other stage shows and zoos and amusement parks and a million other kid-focused activities.  Because Iris is my little girl and she deserves it.

But what do I have to say about the circus?  Thanks, Mom.  I love you, too.


  1. We had the exact same comment about the tigers!
    Yoni just HAD to have the clown cup......for $10. Then Jesse asked for an extra spoon. The guy said, "That'll be $2." Jesse's mouth dropped open, and he gasped. The guy laughed and said, "Just kidding." It was pretty funny.

  2. I have noticed the same thing when I take my niece and nephew to different places. But I try to remember that even though I have seen it before, its new to them, and that is the important thing.

  3. Yep! We had the same experience. You and your brother to 2 each of circus AND ice capades. Parenting makes your childhood look different doesn't it?