Monday, April 4, 2011

Family Circus!

Yes, it's true that it often feels like a circus in our family, with an almost-six year old, a three year old, an almost-one year old, and planning to adopt another in the coming months. However, last Sunday we actually went to the Circus. Papa and Granna were kind enough to offer us four tickets, so Kelli and I took Wyatt and Callie, while Granna hung out with Sadie.

Many of you know that our church meets at the Fargodome. We utilize the conference room upstairs and the meeting spaces downstairs. (Even though the church is growing significantly, we're not quite to the size yet that we need all the coliseum seating in the main arena.) The main arena of the Fargodome often hosts large events like Monster Trucks or the El Zagel Shrine Circus. This can sometimes be confusing for kids. We went to church as usual, ran home and ate lunch, and returned to the Fargodome for the 1 PM circus. Although excited to return to church, Callie kept asking why we were going back to church instead of going to the circus as promised. It wasn't until we walked past the escalators (the ones we ride upstairs on Sunday morning) and into the arena that it started to all make more sense for her.

Getting there early, we got some pretty good seats near the center ring. Here I am with the kids, waiting on the show to start.

Prior to the show, folks had an opportunity to see some of the animals - up close and personal. Wyatt decided he thought it would be cool to ride the elephant. That's him sitting in the front seat below.

They didn't go very far, of course - just around in a circle a couple of times. For Wyatt, though, you'd have thought he rode clear across the African plains.

Callie thought the elephants were a bit much. The ponies, however, seemed to really draw her interest. So I took her down to try her hand at riding while I walked around in a circle a half dozen times with all the other parents holding their children in the saddle.

The circus itself was quite entertaining. It had all the typical circus attractions - tight rope walkers, a human cannonball, tigers jumping through hoops, and clowns that always came across as a bit more creepy than funny.

Kelli and I got cracked up at the tiger trainer. He was in a cage with the tigers and had to move all the equipment around each time before the tigers would do their tricks. So he spent most of his time hooking and unhooking ladders and replacing ramps and moving pedestals and what not, and very little time actually letting the tigers do their thing. In fact, when he set up the ring of fire for them to jump through, he pulled a bic lighter out of his pocket and had to strike it about seventeen times to get it to light. Kelli and I decided he needed a leggy blonde in a rediculous sequined outfit to be his assistant. Well, maybe I decided that and Kelli just frowned when I told her. Either way, he needed some help.

We did get a sweet treat to share - a giant serving of cotton candy. It was about the size of Callie, but she didn't care for it. I think the texture threw her for a loop. Wyatt, however, would've eaten the entire thing if we'd have let him.

When we got home and asked them to tell Granna about the circus, Callie's most vivid memory was that the elephant pooped a lot. I guess the showman on the high wire wearing a shiny vest and no shirt just didn't do it for her.

I've got to hand it to her though, "pooped a lot" is not an exaggeration. It makes perfect sense that an elephant would poop a pile about the size of a Volkswagen, but until you see it in real life, I don't think you can really appreciate it.


  1. I hope one of your kids grows to LOVE clowns - that would be too funny!

    Callie's memory of the elephants pooping a lot reminds me of how often kids love a good cardboard box over the toy inside.

  2. We quit attending the circus for a while once James asked us why all the ladies were naked. :)