Clowns, Terrifying Clowns

EDIT: This post has been on hold for weeks while my parents and I searched for an old picture of myself at age 3. It was not to be.

Me: Wake up, Lily! It’s time to go to Circus Camp!

Lily: No! I don’t want to go to Circus Camp. I don’t like Circus Camp, only Bug Camp.

Me: You’ve never been to Circus Camp. You don’t know that you don’t like it. It may be even better than Bug Camp.

(She went to Bug Camp earlier this summer and fought me every morning about going, but always had a fantastic time.)

Lily: I like Bug Camp, not Circus Camp. I don’t like real bugs, only pretend bugs.

Me: Well, Bug Camp is over. Today is Circus Camp. You need to at least try it for one day. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go again, but I think you’ll like it. Besides, your friend Anne-Marie will be there.

Lily: Anne-Marie from school?

Me: Yes.

Lily: But… I just want to be with YOU, Mommy!

Me: You’ll still be with me most of the day. Circus Camp is for just a little while in the morning. And it’s going to be SO much fun! They’ll paint your face and blow up balloons and teach you about animals.

Lily: But I don’t like clowns!

Me: You don’t like clowns?

Lily: They’re too scary!

I can't imagine where she would get the idea that clowns were scary.

Me: Have you ever even seen a clown in person?!

Lily: I don’t like clowns on tv.

What scary clown images could possibly be on tv?

Me: Maybe you’d like them in real life?

*A few days later*

Lily: I like Circus Camp. I don’t like pretend clowns, I only like real clowns.

Given some of the clown images out there, I would understand it if she really was afraid of clowns, but I think it’s funny that she thought she was scared when she wasn’t. When I was about her age, I totally freaked out when I saw myself in the clown costume my parents put me in for Halloween.

It turns out, she had nothing to worry about in regards to clowns anyway. Although a “real” clown came to visit them at camp, she didn’t wear her make-up because another kid at camp was absolutely petrified of clowns. The clown walked on stilts and made balloon animals, and there her clownliness ended. When I asked Lily about the clown, she didn’t even realize she’d seen one.

In fact, most of “Circus” camp was without circus. They colored pictures from “Toy Story” instead of pictures of circus animals. They played random games that had nothing to do with the circus. They never painted their faces or got cotton candy or learned about animals that I’m aware of. I have no idea why it was actually called “Circus Camp” aside from the fact a “clown” who wasn’t dressed like a clown came and made the kids balloon animals for approximately one hour out of the 15 hours the kids were at camp.

The only things I was right about in prior assumptions about Circus Camp was that there would be balloon animals and Lily would have a good time. Phew. At least I got something right.

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