Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun at Circus Circus & the Clown

Astrid and I took a cab down to Circus Circus. This was Astrid's 2nd time there (I took her to Circus Circus two years ago for the first time) and being older, she was much more interested and engaged in the games and shows.

First we went on some $25 cent rides in the kiddy section:Astrid wanted to try out every ride there was.
Here she is on the choo-choo train.
Riding the big rig truck.
Making a new friend.
Riding in the red truck.

Then we went to play a Midway game:
This is one of my favorite games - throwing a ping pong ball into a small floating bowl that's circling counter-clockwise in the water. As a kid I won many prizes playing this game, so I thought Astrid would enjoy it too. Plus it's relatively easy to play and fun even if you don't win anything.
This nice old man had Astrid stand on the counter so she would have a better shot.
In the beginning she threw a lot of balls on the ground (poor guy had to keep picking them up), but the man was really nice to her, letting her try again and giving her free balls. After getting the hang of it Astrid did get one ball in a clear bowl for 3 free balls. In the end we spent $3 and when we left, the lady at the counter said, “Wait baby! Happy Halloween!” and handed her a stuffed animal monster.
She loved her little monster.
Next we sat down to watch a circus show. Having free circus acts everyday, every 20 minutes is a great feature of Circus Circus. I used to love the shows as a kid, and I still do.Here we are, waiting for the show to start. Pre-clown.Post-clown. Here Astrid is clutching me and burying her face into my arm. Scared to death of the clown. This was the first time she's ever expressed a fear of clowns.

She kept saying, “Mama, let’s walk.” “Scared.” “Hurt you.” “Mama hold you.” She was desperate to leave, and then would just hide her face and cling to me.

I kept reassuring her that "Mama’s here. No one’s going to hurt you. It’s okay baby. He’s just a clown. He’s supposed to make people laugh. He’s working and just doing his job. Don’t be scared baby."
Here is the scary clown.

Astrid calmed down a bit when she saw him playing the guitar. Anyone playing the guitar can't be that scary right? I suppose it made him appear more human.

After his act though Astrid was still scared. It didn’t help that he was standing in the aisle beside us behind a divider, and would peek over to make the girl in front of us laugh. And when he wasn’t peeking over, Astrid knew he was there because she could see the top of his hat.
Acrobatic show.
Trying to laugh it off but still traumatized.

After the circus show I took Astrid to the kiddy section again to get over the clown experience.

The dialogue continued for hours (and days) afterward:
“Clown hurt you?....No.” (Trying to convince herself that the clown wouldn’t hurt her.)
“Mama hurt you?....No.” (Her way of restating what I told her – "Mama’s not going to let anyone hurt you.”)

Then we played another midway game with racing horses (where you roll a ball up and place it into a colored hole). At first we played against another family and then Astrid and I played each other. She tried but the game is made for adults and her baby arms are still too short to really roll the ball all the way up, so I helped her and she won a teddy bear. Holding her teddy bear and monster, preparing herself for another circus show, hoping the clown won't reappear.
A strong man and his two acrobats.
Balancing a woman doing a handstand on a ring - all on his forehead with no hands.
Stepping it up a notch - here he's balancing a woman standing on a pole with his forehead, while stepping up a split ladder. The audience was holding their breath, and clapping ensued when both were down safely.
Woman being swung around by her hair.
Standing in front of the shooting gallery.

Afterwards we had lunch at the Circus Circus buffet (which I don't recommend because there were very few healthy dishes to eat there), and caught a cab back to our hotel just in time for Astrid's nap.

(Note: When she woke up from her nap she immediately started talking about the clown and it was laughter mixed with fear. I hope it's not permanent.)

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