Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Trip To The Circus

When I saw an advertisement on a local selling page for special-priced tickets to see Russells International Circus locally, I knew I had to ask J if he wanted to go.

I know for some people it seems a bit odd, asking a five year old if he wants to go to the circus. Due to the fact that J doesn't like surprises, has issues with loud noises thanks to his hyper sensitive hearing and has trouble coping with large crowds, it was something I knew I had to ask him about - I couldn't just book tickets and spring it on him, nor could I presume he did want to go.

He was very excited about it, and kept saying yes. I asked him if he was sure, because it would be loud, and he said yes; I asked him if he was sure, because it would be very crowded and busy with lots of people, and he said yes. So I booked the tickets, and as the days went by he was counting them down til the day we went to the circus.

He asked me what kind of things they would have, and I really couldn't tell him much. Last time I went to a circus I was a child myself and I don't remember much of it to be honest. I said I wasn't sure but suggested there might be acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns.

The day finally arrived - Friday afternoon his Nana picked him up from school and brought him home. He went straight upstairs to get changed, then we ate a quick dinner of spaghetti on toast before we headed off in the car. J was as charged up as a fire cracker, firing questions at me from the back seat and asking if we were there yet. Then we pulled into the carpark and he saw the Big Top.

There was quite a crowd milling about outside and as expected we saw a few people he knew from school - it's a small town really and when the circus is in town you know you're going to see some familiar faces when you go - it's the same at the annual fireworks funfair, the Christmas night market and many other things. J was very excited and wanted to talk to and play with his friends, but he was very good and didn't go too far away from me, and made sure I knew where he was. After he had a few minutes running about outside it was quarter to six and I decided we had better go in and find some seats before it got too crowded inside. I allowed J to choose where we would sit. I was surprised when he chose the seats furthest back, but we had a good vantage point of the whole Big Top and he bounced in his chair excitedly.

From the moment it started, with smoke and lights and thundering music, I worried it would be too much for him - but he sat there staring, unblinking, totally absorbed in what he was seeing. There were acrobats, and trapeze artists, and one clown, as well as a motorbike high wire act, a magician who made his assistant disappear and reappear, a knife thrower, it really was a brilliant show. A couple of times J said to me it was too loud but I hugged him close to me and covered his ears with my hands until the music calmed down a bit and he was fine again.

Kizzy - the trapeze artist that stole his heart -
 J wanted to see trapeze artists, and she 
didn't disappoint with her amazing performance.

The motorbike on the high wire, with
his glamorous partner on the trapeze
swing underneath

The "Wheel of Death" was impressive

Alex the Clown played two of J's favourite songs
during one of his sketches - "Happy" and "Gangnam Style" -
which pleased him no end and had him standing up
clapping and singing along!

After a 2 hour circus performance, J was chatting non stop about it all for the car journey home and despite getting home at half past eight (his bedtime is normally 8pm) he was on a high and chatting away til half past nine to Daddy P telling him all about it and how brilliant it all was. When we did finally get him upstairs and into bed he crashed completely and was asleep within minutes, and on Saturday morning he said he just wanted a quiet day because he was still so worn out from the circus.

All in all, I was so pleased I took him. It was a brilliant evening of entertainment, (if you ever see Russells International Circus are in town I highly recommend you go along to the show, even if you don't have kids, it's a fantastic display) It was lovely to spend some time just me and J, without me having to tell him I was busy working / with the baby / doing something else - I could just focus on him entirely and soak up his wonder and amazement as he watched the show with shining eyes. It was brilliant. It was loud, it was packed, he did have a couple of "whirly" moments, but he handled them like a pro and instead of bolting he came to me and hugged me tightly (at one point in the show he was sitting on my lap). He was grateful for the break at the halfway point and had a run around in the fresh air (it was so hot in that big top!) but on the whole it really was a fabulous evening and we both had an absolutely great time.

You can find out more information about Russells International Circus by clicking here and check them out on YouTube too.

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