I Might Hate the Circus!

circus post

It’s Texas. It’s summer. And it’s HOT. The walls of our home were starting to close in fast. Like any good, Southern Mama, I wanted to plan a family fun outing that had NOTHING to do with the outdoors. We don’t go on many big outings so I was not sure what there was to do.

What to do? What to do?

I know! The circus!! It’s indoors, the children had never been and my husband is a fan of a good show… perfect. Greatest Show on Earth, the Moderate family is going to pay (literally) you a visit!

The entire ride, the children were singing the praises of this mysterious show called the circus. Hoping all their dreams of elephants and tigers would soon come true and the wish above all wishes… that we’d say yes to whatever sussy (definition: surprise) they asked for!

We park the car and the children hop out. As we’re walking from the parking lot to the show, our singing and laughing changed into mad dash, spurred on by Middle’s declaration that he would assuredly pee his pants if he did not get to a bathroom… PRONTO.

Sweating, but still laughing, from our spontaneous Texas summer sprint, we enter the arena, well, the area around the arena.

The smell of fried goodness, the moving colors of all the toys and the noises coming forth from half-crazed children, all of a sudden, halted Middle’s past need to potty. He stopped… looked around… and for a moment I think he glimpsed heaven. He then asked if he could get a sussy.

ME: “Of course baby, you can pick out one thing.”

MIDDLE: (both hands up in the “STOP” position) Wait Mama, wait… I can pick out whatever one thing I want?!”

ME: “Yes baby, you can!!”

MIDDLE: (singing my praises!)

MY MIND: I love being able to say “yes”! Bill Cosby must have felt like this when he fed his children chocolate cake for breakfast! This is going to be fantastic!! I love the circus!!!

Oldest was with me too. Daddy wasn’t far behind. We took care of the potty situation then went straight to the colorful sales lady at 1 of the 15 souvenir stands. One thing I’ve learned by past failed experiences is, if Mama wants to enjoy an event, it’s best to get the sussy buying out-of-the-way. The last thing I want to hear for the next 45 minute is, “Can we get our sussy now?”

And truly, why make them wait? This is family fun time, not a “lesson in patience” time!!! Middle picked a sword that lights up and makes all kinds of sounds. Oldest picked a mama circus elephant who was carrying a baby elephant.

Hand in hand, we joyfully went to find our seats.

As stated before, we don’t do a lot of big family outings so I wanted to splurge a bit. We had great seats. Middle of the bottom section, on the south side (that is where the tight rope was stationed. I did my research before buying our tickets… surprised?!) We were 4 seats into the row with a lovely family to our left. They had a 3-year-old son and the mama was 34 weeks pregnant with her second son.

We settled into our seats, the children asking all kinds of wide-eyed questions.

MIDDLE: “Mama!! What do you think that is for?!”

OLDEST: “Mama!! Do you think there will be elephants?!”

MIDDLE: “Mama!! Do you think there will be crazy, silly clowns?”

Delighted anticipation was all over their faces! I felt wonderful!!

SCENE: 3 minutes later

OLDEST: “Mama, can we get a treat to eat?”

MY MIND: I’d rather wait until intermission but… what the heck… it’s family fun night!

ME: “Sure Love, what do you want?”

MIDDLE: (his mouth hanging open in disbelief. Mama never says “yes” this much!) “Did you say we CAN get a treat??!!”

ME: (smiling) “YES! What do you wait”

Oldest picked a jumbo s’mores on a stick and Middle picked cotton candy. The jumbo s’mores on a stick was gone in 7 minutes. My Middle is a bit more in tune with is body and stopped eating his cotton candy after 6 or 7 bites.

We had to wait for around 20 minutes for the show to be underway so the children started to get a bit restless. I figured they get back to being excited once the show started.

Then… all of a sudden… the music played… the ringleader can out… and the show began!

It was an awe-inspiring first act. Clowns, men on stilts, beautiful women, men on unicycles and every kind of show animal came out to greet the crowd.

The children were once again over taken with excitement!!

SCENE: 5 minutes later

OLDEST: “Mama, I need to go potty”

ME: “Seriously?”

Normally I wouldn’t be so rude but I look to my left and see this…


We get done in the bathroom and get back to our seats. The show goes on.

SCENE: (10 minutes later) The tiger trainer was performing. I was even amazed! There were 15 tigers. And these were not skinny, sad tigers, but huge, beautiful tigers. The trainer was exactly what you’d imagine. Big and burly, with leather pants, no shirt and a hairy chest. He yelled out commands in Russian with just a bit of English woven in. Then, one by one, he called out all 15 tigers. There they were… these wild, ferocious beast lying side by side!! It was the climax of the performance then I hear…

OLDEST: “Mama! I need to go potty, it’s a real EMERGENCY!!”

I look to my left and see this…



So, we get in the way of all the viewers behind us trying to catch a glimpse of what the Russian tiger trainer was going to have all 15 tigers do, in unison no less. I’m respectfully apologizing to the pregnant mama and she, very sweetly, tells me not to worry.

Middle goes potty and we wait at the top of the section until they are between acts. There’s no way we were going to impose on anyone else while they were trying to enjoy “The Greatest Show on Earth”! We make it back to our seats.

I look down at Middle.

MIDDLE: (forlorn look) “Mama, I want to go home!”

MY MIND: WHAT??!! The show has only been on for 30 minutes. I know we have at least another hour.

ME: (biggest, fake, desperate happy look) “Not yet Love, we have to watch and see what amazing things they’re going to do next!!”

For the next 30 minutes all I hear is…

OLDEST: “My tummy hurts.” (um… you just inhaled a jumbo smore’s the size of your face!)

MIDDLE: “I’m sleepy mama!”

MIDDLE: “Can we go home now?”

OLDEST: “I’m bored!”

MY MIND: TUMMY HURTS, SLEEPY, BORED… WHAT?! This is the circus! Plus, we shelled out good money for tickets, sussys and treats!! They better start enjoying themselves or no more family fun nights. We can sit at home and play a game for free and I’d hear less whining!!! What have I done!!!!

Then… the lights in the arena came on.

MIDDLE: (At the top of his lungs, jumping up and down, with a look of pure relief) “MAMA, MAMA…DO WE GET TO GO HOME NOW!!”

ME: “Sorry buddy… it’s just… intermission!”

Then… all hell broke loose at The Greatest Show on Earth!!

So, during the second half of the circus, Middle sat in my lap. I loved it!! We don’t get to snuggle much now that Youngest has graced us with his presence.

SCENE: Half way through another death-defying act, Middle so kindly toots on me… I ignore the gift. Then while the acrobats prepare for their grand, climatic, final act, I hear this…


I look to my left and see this…



Middle and I ran down the stairs. I whipped him up over my shoulder and hauled it to the potty. The entire way he yelled, “Hurry! I’m going to poop all over myself!!!”

Thankfully we made it. 5 minutes later, Middle walks out of the stall and declares, “Welp… guess I didn’t need to poop!” All I could do was laugh.

Sometimes, the best thing for everyone to do is just laugh.

Finally, the spectacular closing act was over and the Moderate family headed to the car.

Oldest talked about how much she loved the circus.

MY MIND: Could have fooled me!!

Middle begged us to never make him go to the circus again.

MY MIND: No problem buddy!!

If I were honest… the whole evening was my fault.

What was I thinking taking my children somewhere 30 minutes before their very scheduled bedtime and then, hop them up on sugar and lights and sounds? Was I not expecting some kind of mayhem?

Everyone, except daddy, had a miserable time.

But… you’d never know it from our picture… look at the happy, “we had the best time or our lives at the circus” Moderate Family!!


One might ask where Moderate Daddy was during all of this loveliness. I have to be honest… I’m not a big “show” type person. I was going for my children. But Daddy… he was enjoying himself way to much for me to impose on his childlike wonderment.

I loved it!! It was the highlight of the show for me!

I’d look to my right and see this…

What family fun night did you have high hopes for that went totally nutty?


It’s Been a Pleasure,

Your Moderate Mama