Saturday night we took Angelo to see The Shriner's Circus here in Omaha. I had been to the same circus a few years ago, but viewing the circus through Angelo's eyes made the lame circus I'd seen years before seem spectacular!
We were a little late and we didn't think he'd manage to sit through the whole two hour circus anyway, so we started with the petting zoo. The animals were quite stinky but Angelo didn't seem to mind. The sign above the goats read "Be careful how you play with the animals." Mike got a kick out of it and I had to wonder, how had someone played with these animals? However inappropriate it had been, none of the animals seemed to mind. They were all excited to be petted and maybe even get a snack.
Petting smelly animals is a big deal to little kids. I'm glad we went early because by the time the circus was over the small petting zoo had a long waiting line. Angelo was disappointed not to see his smelly goat friends one last time but luckily there were plenty of other obstacles to keep his mind off the loss.
Around one corner was a real train. Angelo was very excited because he loves to say choo-choo. And to see a large choo-choo up close and personal was a pretty big deal.
The biggest deal of all for Angelo was his first carnival ride. We had seen the ride when we entered and thought he was probably big enough. Mike placed him in the orange plane and strapped him in and off he went. I've never seen him smile so much. He would twist the steering wheel back and forth and back and forth, then pause to look at the little boy behind him and smile. It may have been the cutest thing we've witnessed so far in our parenting careers. Mike said, "this is what it's all about, isn't it."
Obviously we hope Angelo achieves more in life than just riding in an orange plane on a somewhat dirty carnival ride at the Shriner's circus. But it did our hearts good to see him that happy for his four minutes or so on the ride. Somehow the toddler temper tantrums seemed a little bit of a blurr for awhile. Now, I'm wondering, will one of these rides fit in our backyard? : )
The flight attendant/carnival ride operator helped each tot off the plane. Angelo was of course last to deboard the plane/ride. I wish I could have gotten photos that were a little less blurry but you can tell he had fun none the less.
The circus seemed to have it all. Elephants, clowns, trapeze artists, beautiful dancing ladies and more. On a side note, we received our tickets free of charge from Angelo's daycare. The tickets read "Daddy's Club." So every time the beautiful dancing ladies arrived I would say, "Oh, this must be for the Daddy's Club!"
One of the first acts was ponies dancing in the show ring with little stuffed monkeys on their backs. I'm not sure why but Angelo thought it was hysterical. He laughed and laughed when they were in the ring. He didn't seem as impressed with the clowns, he couldn't quite figure them out. Grown men with make-up and goofy clothes, I guess it would seem strange to a toddler. I always liked clowns as a kid, I even had a collection. Now when I see them up close and personal they kind of freak me out. I can't help but wonder, who is under the make-up...yeeahk!
Halfway through Angelo started to lose his focus on the people performing in the circus and began to focus on the people in the audience. So far he's picking up my nosey habit of eaves dropping on complete strangers. However Angelo takes it a step farther and throws in the direct stare as well. I've noticed people either love it and begin talking with him or they try to avoid direct eye contact.