This afternoon as Ellie and I were taking a leisurely stroll across the way to play ball on the Malieveld (that's Dutch for the big grassy field near our house), who should we run into but Papa returning home from work on his bicycle! He had a day of training that ended early, so he hot-footed it home to see his girls. Although we had gone to the Malieveld to kick around a little pink ball, there was no neglecting the huge red circus tent that has been there for over a week. The Circus Hermann Renz is in town, and we have been debating catching a show (would there be Disney-level trauma or would Ellie really enjoy it?). Well, it just so happened that a show was starting in less than 30 minutes, so Papa raced home to stow his bike and change clothes, and we went to the circus!
The first moment we stepped into the big tent, our hearts were gripped with Ellie's panic as, you guessed it, Disney-level trauma set in. Oh the trauma! The drama! The woe! The...popcorn. Hmmm...they have popcorn. And a carousel. Hm...this needs reevaluation. So the panic ceased, the interest was piqued and to our seats we went. It was just a small traveling circus, so no big animals to report (though there were some impressively trained white horses, three goofy white geese, two sea lions and a couple of penguins). Markus and Jennifer were wowed by the trapeze artists (their athleticism was truly amazing!). Ellie quickly decided that the circus was almost as good as music class because they play music all the time, and everyone claps along. She took almost as much interest in the other kids in the audience as she did in the show. Close to intermission, we noticed that our little party girl was pooping out. The circus can be a very overstimulating place, and she was getting tired. As fate would have it, a clown came along and picked Markus and three other grown-ups out of the audience to "help" with the next act. This caused Ellie no undue amount of apprehension (though no tears of woe); she decided as long as she could see him, she could allow it. Yes, Markus joined the circus today, just for one act. Where are the pictures, you ask? Don't we wish we'd had the camera, but as the subject line reads, it was spontaneous Monday fun. We thought we were going ball-kicking, so the camera was at home. Incidentally, Markus was instructed to play a gong as part of a musical act. He was supposed to beat his chest and yell like Tarzan first, but a day of software training must have made him too reserved. We'll have to work on that.
When the lights came up for intermission, we headed home with a worn-out toddler for some hot chili and homemade biscuits, a perfect ending to a very fun, very COLD day (around 40 degrees by nightfall!). If only every Monday could be this fun!