Thursday, 11 November 2010

Running Away to the Circus

The circus has come to town. Me, I haven’t been since I was eight, and a fire-eating clown scared me half to death. It’s an event here though, and when I find discount ticket vouchers at the local cafĂ© I ask my daughter if she’d like to go.

‘Of course, daddy,’ she says, looking at me as if scarcely able to believe that my forty-odd years haven’t equipped me to come to such conclusions on my own. ‘It’s bunny’s birthday. It’ll be a special treat for her.’

Saturday comes and my daughter arrives downstairs in the morning with bunny.

‘How do you know it’s bunny’s birthday?’ I ask, as I pour her a bowl of some cereal which is more-or-less just a packet of sugar-lumps.

‘It says on her bottom. Look,’ she says, tipping bunny up and showing me a label with a date of birth printed on it.

‘Oh yes,’ I say. ‘She’s six, like you.’
‘I’ve made her a card and a cake,’ my daughter says, rummaging in her book bag and pulling out a card with a picture of a cake on the front and a cardboard cake, which she stands next to it on the table. ‘Happy birthday,’ she says, hugging bunny. ‘I made you a card and we’re going to the circus later. I bet you’ve been looking forward to it for ages.’

At the circus I buy my daughter some candyfloss and we sit inside the Big Top amid the smell of sweat and damp tarpaulins. My daughter finishes eating and puts bunny on her lap to enjoy the view. I’m half-scared to death again, this time by the gymnastics of the trapeze artists high up in the canopy. But as the show goes on I begin to enjoy it.

At the end we walk out and I ask my daughter what she thought of it all.

‘Good,’ she says, as she does when I pick her up after school.
‘Oh,’ I say, disappointed.
‘Don’t worry daddy, bunny liked it. That's what's important.’

I smile and put my hand on my daughter's head, wondering when I’ll ever go to the circus again.

15 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Out of the mouths of babes, eh? What a lovely sentiment!

Stay at home dad said...

Hello The Dotterel. Yes, exactly, you've got to admire the honesty...

Stephanie said...

Writing from Toronto...happened upon your blog via Elise Buttons via Party Time via Party Pieces 'cuz I was intrigued by a multi-million dollar party accessories biz run out of a barn that led to the marriage of a beautiful "Commoner" to a handsome Prince...throw in some fairies and it would read like a story that perhaps, Princess Pink would tell her Bunny.

Just wanted you to know that "I get" your writing...am not a parent but fortunately, have a fondness for children, childhood and anything "top secret" or written in glitter.

I can also relate to the changing workplace and those crazy, non-stop texting twenty-somethings...it's taken me about 3 years to figure out how to work with them...basically, forget about telling them anything about your past work exp, education, etc. they seem to only live in the present...authority, gender, age, income, etc means little to them...which is maybe good, no?....keep your beard and long hair and when in doubt let Princess Pink/Daughter do the talking.

Keep writing...

Elsie Button said...

this so so reminded me of betty - she does/says exactly the same things via her 'duckie'. i love kids! their imagination and diplomacy through a soft toy is amazing - i love it!

Stay at home dad said...

Wow, Stephanie! Interesting... thanks, I will.

Hey Elsie. Hope all is good with you. Agreed. Clever little things...

Stay at home dads said...

Hello,
it reminded me to Betty she said the same thing through his Duckie.I love children! their imagination and diplomacy through a plush is fantastic .

Stay at home dad said...

Hmmm...

ghostwritermummy said...

What a lovely post! Kids are so honest, aren't they? My daughter found some of her christmas presents in a toys r us bag the other day and when I asked her what she'd seen, she shrugged and said 'just boring stuff'!!! I thought they were great presents!!
Great blog xXx

Jan said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPPPY NEW YEAR....and I was delighted to meet you in the Sunday(??) Times recently....!!

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Helen@Soft Leather Baby Shoes said...

It takes a lot to impress kids these days!

Edie Mindell said...

Your daughter has such great imagination. I'm always amazed at the childrens' imaginations. They can make simple things beautiful.:-) I'm glad you had somehow overcome your fear of the circus.:-)

clavel said...

that is one tough daddy...following your blog hope you can visit and follow mine. tnx!

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