Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

July 31, 2012

Creepy Clowns

I've written before about how I try to present topics very openly to the girls.  Certainly I hope to instill particular values, but I also want to encourage them to develop their own opinions.

This approach has led me to champion some pretty creepy-crawly critters.

If you were to overhear some of the conversations in our house over the past six or eight months, you might think I was a huge fan of mice and rats, for example.

Upon hearing a friend talking about how she "hates" mice and rats, I spent weeks upon weeks telling the girls, "We haven't met all the mice and rats in the world.  I'm sure some of them are very nice."

And at the zoo last month, I even laboriously extolled the virtues of some gigantic cockroaches.  There were a couple of grown women squealing at how "gross" they were.  I hope my, "Wow!  How cool!  Look how many there are in there!" drowned out some of the gagging noises the women were making.

One species I haven't moved to defend, though, is clowns.

I don't remember having thoughts about clowns one way or the other as a child.  And it was only as an adult that I realized some people find them creepy. 

I think the only exposure the girls have had to clowns is in a Curious George book, when he goes to a Halloween party.  They never remarked one way or the other, only to acknowledge the different costumes.

Enter the new bouncy house into town.

We took the girls as a special treat on their half birthday, on July 5.  They were having an absolute blast...until they caught sight of a clown making balloon animals in the corner. 

Both girls clung tightly to me.  Baby A actually asked me to pick her up.  They refused to go down the slide that emptied into the clown's general vicinity.  And they were exceptionally speedy in crawling into the entrance to the obstacle course not far from the clown's table.

I acknowledged the girls' feelings.  "It's OK to be scared," I told them, "but it's OK.  It's only a person who has on a silly outfit and has paint on his face.  Some people think it's funny."

But that's it.

My kids don't like clowns, and I'm OK with that. 

They may one day be asking for a pet rat or an aquarium full of giant cockroaches for their birthday...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  But on the upside, I'm thinking we won't have to contend with a clown rental fee for their birthday parties.


Holli said...

I give you credit for seeing the upside to a future cockroach aquarium. You are a brave woman. :) Found you today via Multiples and More and following via FB.

Julia said...

I meant to comment on your cockroach post. I, too, try to give my girls an unbiased look at all God's creatures, even the less desirable (in my opinion) ones, so that they can form their own conclusions.

One day we were walking at our local nature reserve, and this snake was right in the middle of the path. I HATE snakes! I tried really hard to remain calm, but it reared up his head, you know, like a cobra ready to strike? Yeah. I screamed!

Brad came over to inform me that it was only a garter snake (it may or may not have only been about a foot long, and really skinny), picks it up and throws it in the grass.

So, I felt like a failure for my lack of remaining neutral on snakes. Maybe I'll do better with clowns :)

championm2000 said...

I really thought when I saw bounce house you were going to write about the creepy germs...that's what gets me (even more than the clowns)!

Barbara Manatee said...

I was terrified of clowns when I was kid for until age 7 or 8 even! ha! My kids have recently gotten over that fear as they are trying to conquer their fears of anything in costume in hopes of going to Disney in the near future. ha!

Cecilia said...

I totally agree with your parenting stance. I've put aside a lot of my fears to show my girls that creatures can be amazing forms of life. But clowns and me don't get a long. Yuck.

Johanna Baker said...

So, we won't be going to the circus together when we finally get to hang out, I take it? ;)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Teehee! I love your stance too - but I just let loose. I've totally screamed at MANY squirmy worms and cockroaches before and have no doubt I'll be screaming at the snakes too!