Friday, April 4, 2008

This Family Circus

After Ella's crummy afternoon Tuesday and subsequent 2 hour nap, she woke up without fever and claiming to be fine. She might have made said claims because we had already mentioned going to the circus that was coming into town that day. So, with proper coverage for an outing we'd never tried before (that is one adult per child for us these days), we set out almost an hour early for the circus.

Once we arrived I remembered why I had only been to the circus one other time in my life... it is just sad to me. All those animals, not to mention the people, who live out of vehicles and travel around performing for the world?!? Just not my cup of tea.

Anyhoo, we adults took turns standing in the line that had formed almost an hour early of ticket holders waiting to get in for a seat. It was first come, first served seating, with about a third of the "seating" being on rubber mats that they pulled out onto the gravel after the rickety bleachers were filled to capacity. That fact alone, if advertised anywhere, would have been enough to make me realize that we did not need to take one sick 3 year old and three 19 month olds to the circus!!

Meanwhile the girls and three adults wandered the grounds checking out all the animals. Sarah was pretty interested in the calf... she has been over to the barn right by our house zillions of times to see the 15- 20 calves that Uncle Joe keeps in a separate pasture from the other cows... but has apparently never seen any of our cows poop. That was, and still is, all that she will talk about when the circus is mentioned.

About 5 minutes before show time they started letting people enter the big top. The line went on for hundreds of yards, but fortunately we didn't wait long to get inside. Unfortunately, once we got in and found ourselves a seat on the bleachers, they just kept piling people into the already hot and crowded tent.... packed us in, I'm telling you, and finally started the show about 15 minutes late.

I am certain that if you ask the girls they would tell you their favorite part of the circus was the snow cones that they wore had. They were all miserable and hot and wiggly and completely uninterested in the "show" for about 80% of the acts. The ones we saw anyway. We left before the intermission, after the thong- clad, overweight, young lady's daring pole stands, her brother's amazing high in the air balancing act, and the fire breathing magician. I know, I know, what was I expecting anyway???

The best part for me personally was our exit back into the fresh air outside of the tent. We took advantage of the weather (and capitalized on my lack of a supper plan) and had a drive through then home, picnic dinner in the back yard.

Wednesday morning we took our little family circus act on the road with Ella's first trip to the dentist. She was still not feeling her best and occasionally claimed that her belly hurt, but I chalked that up to nerves over her first dental visit. I also, apparently, missed several other of her "truly not well" signals while battling it out through out the morning trying to get both she and I dressed and out the door while dragging at least two children from my legs everywhere I went trying to keep the peace with the other little clowns.

Once we were in the car on our way, she was not her normal self.... didn't want to talk (**gasp**), didn't want to listen to music, wouldn't put her shiny pink flip flops on once we arrived, etc. The signs, well, they were just all over the place, but again I assumed it was nerves!!

I carried her into the building, we checked in, and then I sat her on the couch beside me so that I could fill out the three pages of paper work required for new patients, all the while grateful that this was not one of those trips where I have to fill out said paperwork in triplicate.

About one page into it she looked up at me and burped... and you can just imagine how the rest of our trip went downhill! Fortunately we ran to the bathroom and made it before she got sick, but I wasn't nearly as lucky on the ride home. We'll from here on out refer to my car as the vomit comet because every one of the girls except Sarah has been sick in there. You'd think I'd be prepared for that by now, but other than carrying wipes and a towel for clean up, really, what can you do?!?

We've been home for the last two days trying to fully recover before going back out into the world. We did have some good times yesterday playing with Nanna Betty and Aunt Debbie. They both used to be regular weekly helpers here, but we realized yesterday that they had not seen the girls in about 3 months. I think they were pretty amazed by the changes here. The girls were thoroughly amused by Debbie's dog Rummi. She would fetch tennis balls and the girls would pat their legs and say "back here", "drop". It was so cute. They would wait until she was just at their faces about to get a good lick in to get squeamish and turn and run... all of them except Ella. She enjoyed Rummi's show from the comforts of some one's arms at all times, and if she got too close Ella's legs would go up as if on strings.

We've done lots of coloring, playing hide and seek, and I even broke out the Rubbermaid box full of toys with 10 million parts at one point yesterday.

Today Ms. Faye came by and gave me a much needed break so I could run out, have lunch, and grocery shop. I can't tell you how nice it is to go to the grocery store by myself! My batteries were re-charged, and I was much better able to appreciate my little clowns and their antics this afternoon.

I've played the part of audience for many shows lately as they have recently dubbed our fireplace their stage. They perform there several times daily. Ella is usually in charge of the music, and Maggie and Kate are always good to be her back up singers/ dancers.

Kate takes up her baby doll and any purse she can find lying around numerous times each day and declares she'll "be right back". Maggie's most commonly heard phrase these days is "old me"... meaning Hold me. She says it in the absolute sweetest voice I've ever heard!!

I've watched as they play tricks on each other and chase. It is fun to watch when Sarah steals Maggie or Kate's paci and then takes off running. She usually keeps on running, whereas when Maggie or Kate get their hands on someone else's paci they run and immediately hide behind a door or in a corner. They all take turns being the paci thief.... and repeat over and over again.

I also have really enjoyed them coming to each other's aid. If someone is in need of a hug or kiss because of a fall or the like, there is usually at least one sister to count on for a kiss. In the mornings when they first get up, they often like to greet each other with hugs. I adore watching them interact with these sweet gestures.

All in all, the traveling circus was a big, huge, bust for us, but our little family circus... well, I wouldn't change a thing!


Brandi said...

I know what you mean, like I said it was about what I expected from a traveling circus. I promised to take both Joe and Raegan to Ringling Brothers one day, at least that's a real circus and the animals aren't quite as sad looking. I was also surprised by the lack of "family friendly" content (something I never really thought about pre-Raegan days)and was more than happy to leave at intermission.

Christie said...

Poor Ella! I hope she feels better soon. Your girls are doing so much! I can't believe that they put on shows and that Ella has back up dancers.

Kim said...

Maybe you should charge entrance fees for your family circus!! Sounds like COLLEGE FUND to me! I know I would much rather come to your circus than the traveling circus! Glad Ella is feeling better!

Becoming Me said...

Awww, I am sorry the circus didn't live up to it's hype. But your family circus is precious.

guinnf said...

I am so sorry the circus did not go well. We did the big apple circus when it came to town. (They don't use non-domesticated animals in their show. Only dogs, horses, and one cat). The girls loved 85% of it, which was great for us.

I hope everyone gets to feeling better soon. We have to plan a playdate to the aquarium with Keira at the first of May. Start looking at your calendar.

Kimberly and the GA Guinn Triplets

PhotoChick said...

I'm so sorry about Ella - it's never fun to have a sick kiddo. I hope she gets over it very, very soon! I'm also sorry the circus adventure didn't go all that great. But ya'll get major props for having it together enough to go to the circus and GET THERE EARLY! I can't hardly even get anywhere early, and I only have one! How do you do it??!! Are your superwoman in disguise?

I always love reading your blog SO MUCH. I don't always comment as I should, as I love every post I've ever read on here. I'm up WAAAYYY too late here, so I'd better get going if I'm to make it to church on time. Much love to you and your family, take care and God Bless!

PS - I would R-E-A-L-L-Y love to know the story of how Sarah, Kate, and Maggie came to be! Oh my gosh, I hope that's not too forward! If it's something you'd rather not share I totally understand. I'm just fascinated with multiple births and would love to hear your little miracles' story.

CMB said...

It seems like you and I had very similar circus stories!
I am sorry that she is sick. Poor thing. I hope all is well now. The girls are really too cute for words.