You all know the ones I mean?
With the creepy, goofy looking faces grinning at you wickedly, challenging you... The ones that look just like this.
Everyone knows which clowns I mean, everyone has seen them, everyone has played on them... they are part of our childhood and it doesn't matter how old you are, you played the clowns at least once when you were a kid.
Today, Nicola played the clowns for the first time.
Today we gave the girls a day off school and we all played hooky and we went out to Charters Towers because the Charters Towers show was on. It was much smaller than our local show (which we had decided not to go to), had about a tenth of the rides... but the important stuff was there. There was a Ferris Wheel, a couple of fast rides, baked potatoes... and The Clowns.
It was as we were getting ready to leave that I finally decided to let the girls play the clowns. You know, it wasn't all that long ago, at least, in my mind it wasn't all that long ago, that you got 3 turns for $5... now, at $5 a turn, it is hard to really say yes, especially when you know that they're going to walk away with some cheap plastic piece of junk that will end up in the trash within 15 minutes... but, it's still something that we do... and today, as a random spur of the moment decision, I decided to let Nicola have a go as well.
There wasn't a lot else she could really participate in at the show, she was too little for all the rides, or they weren't suitable for her disabilities... but I thought maybe this was something we could have fun with.
Well, she chose a Pink Panther and that was it. She was absolutely adamant that we had to 'doh dere'. So we did.
I handed her her first ball and I pointed to the mouth of the Pink Panther and I said "here Nicola, in here!"
Her whole little hand, wrapped around that ball, managed to fit inside the Pink Panther's mouth. She shoved her hand half way down it's throat before she let go.
Almost instantly her face broke out into the biggest grin and she threw her head back and started laughing. She clapped her hands and said "Dood! Dood dirl!"
"Yes, Darling, you are a good girl. You did so good! You're so smart!"
And we started again. We would hand her a ball, she would put her whole hand down into the Panther's throat and then she would let it drop. Pulling her hand back out, she would start clapping and telling us what a good girl she was.
And she was... she was a good girl. She was an incredible girl. She did so very, very well, and I am so very, very proud of her... but mostly, I am just so very happy that she got to experience this, she got to share it with her sisters, whom all cheered her on and clapped with her.
And after all of that, even though she only got a total of 14 points (the minimum to win the cheap plastic toy was 22) she walked away with a beautiful big pink and purple plush unicorn.
Apparently the person who was running the game was so suitably touched by Nicola's excitement and her participation, she wanted to give her something that was really good that she would be able to love.
All in all, everyone had a wonderful day, including Nicola. Lots of memories were made, including Nicola... and now, with four children in bed, I am sitting here reflecting on the day... and I am so, so, so very glad that we did it.
We just simply had fun...
All of us...