So, remember last month when I was all giddy about
my Mayor Bee’s “special” invitation to the circus?
We had a fabulous time. Not without my reservations, however. One of the biggest was getting everyone piled into the minivan and getting there by 5:00PM. On a Friday. Going into our lovely nation’s capitol. And, as it turned out, in the rain. But we got there. Not before paying “special event parking” underneath Verizon Center. Of course, it is worth every penny if we didn’t have to deal with Metro. In rush hour. With two kids and making a transfer. Just saying.
Did I mention that Mayita just the other day was at the doctor with a 103 degree fever? Luckily, no strep or flu, just a regular ole virus.
We made it to Verizon Center on time. Even with sitting in traffic. We found the “right” entrance to get into (we got to go through the special Press Entrance, ooh la la), got my diaper bag searched, and checked in. We went downstairs (into the belly of the beast, so to speak) and into the Dewar’s Coaches Club, where Autism Speaks had a low key reception for us. Popcorn and potato chips, because essentially it was to tide us over until the concessions open. B definitely enjoyed the popcorn. Unfortunately the bar only served soda and water, and B refused water…so he had a little bit of Coke. I really should have thought of bringing another juice box in addition to the one B had in the car. I’ll remember that for future trips.
I guess there were about 40-50 people total at the reception.
Anyway, I got a cool bag as my “award” for being a Top Team in last year’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks. I got to talk to Ann Gibbons, the Executive Director for the National Capitol Area of Autism Speaks. She gave me a big hug and thanked us for coming. She is truly a darling!
After about 20 minutes, the group was led out onto the floor of Verizon Center. Now, I haven’t been to the circus in a LONG time (probably when I was a kid…oh 30ish years ago) so I’m a bit out of the loop. Before the circus even starts, there is a public pre-show on the floor, where you can go and see the performers up close, try on outfits, etc. But we got a PRIVATE, intimate pre-show.
It’s not as flashy as the regular event, but that was the point. It was toned down for our audience who may have difficulty in a larger, more distracting environment. There was still so much to see up close. We petted a horse and mini pony, tried on outfits, watched a juggler, and walked on a “low” high wire. Oh, and the hula hoops. B LOVED spinning the rings.
But what was really cool was the performers that took the time to meet with us. The ones that loved watching kids that would normally struggle enjoy petting the horse or trying on an outfit.
Afterwards, we went back to the Coaches Club, and then went upstairs to find our seats. Well, that was after having to go OUT of Verizon Center, then back into a different entrance. First, we went back to the “regular” entrance and even I had a panic attack about the massive line waiting to get in. Then I remembered passing a family that was going to a different entrance. The disability entrance. Duh. So we whipped back and followed them and was able to get in MUCH easier.
We found our seats (great lower level seats) and I went out for the food. I keep forgetting that food is some expensive shit at Verizon Center. It’s a small fortune to snack at that place. I was strong enough to only cave to B’s demand for a sno-cone in a clown mug (which still kinda freaks me out sitting in our cabinet). I passed on a huge spinny flashy doohicky that was like $25 and got him a little flashy necklace so he could play with it during the show though.
We waited for the show to start. While I was glad for not rushing, I was getting a little impatient (I think it was maybe 45 minutes until the start). We watched the “real” preshow, and boy I was glad not to have gone down into that! There were so many people that it would have been overwhelming, probably for all of us. 🙂
But the show started and went…relatively well. Once again, Mayor Bee demonstrated his curiosity by asking all sorts of questions, which then prompts me to say, “shhh watch the show!”. I kept pointing out clowns and the acrobats because that was why we went. NOT for the animals. Notwithstanding PETA’s argument about the treatment of the animals, I just cannot grasp my thinking that elephants will do tricks like roll over. Or tigers that rear back on their hind legs do NOT attack.
Anyway, we lasted through the show with no major incidents.
Mayita had a grand ole time in the first half of the show. She really dug the music. She fell asleep somewhere around intermission and woke up again at the end of the performance
It was a really late night for us – we didn’t get back home until 11:30PM. With that said, most of Saturday was wrecked because of the change in routine. Was it worth it? Absolutely!