The Circus, State Fair and Flu are in Town

Momservation: Why is the arrival of a much anticipated fun family event a virtual guarantee your kids will come down with the flu?


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I want to know what I did to upset the universe so that my kids come down with some sort of ick the first week of school.


I’ve been a good mommy. I played with them all summer and executed fun family trips and events from June to August. I kept a smile plastered on my face and didn’t let on when I’d had about enough of togetherness even when the long days of summer began to drag on.


I deserved that first week of school and the glorious empty, silent, puke and diarrhea-free house that I should’ve had.


Alas, it was not to be.


On top of that, we had two much anticipated fun family events to coincide with Back to School. We were going to celebrate the end of summer with our annual trip to the California State Fair and Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus. Both happened to be in town the first week of school.


We go every year to the fair and circus (though not usually in the same week) and had bought our discount passes well in advance. The kids had been talking up what rides they wanted to ride first at the fair (the Giant Slide and the roller coasters) and what their favorite part of the circus would be (interacting with the clowns before the show and the human cannonball).


Then Whitney, 8, comes home barfing the first day of school. With fingers crossed, rest, chicken soup, and manic hand washing we tried to nurse her back to health and keep the rest of us well for the fair on Wed. and the circus on Thurs.


We got Whitney back on her feet Wed. and though not ready for a deep fried Twinkie, we headed with much anticipation to the fair. After the first three rides, she was done. Too much, too soon, and we were just grateful she didn’t puke in the car on the way home.


Ah, but then the barf baton was passed to brother and early Thurs. morning Logan, 9, was now in charge of holding the toilet down.


Though he hoped he’d make a miraculous recovery and be ready for the circus that evening, it ended up just being me and Whitney while Hubby took over doctor duty.


As usual it was a great show. Ringling Bros. and B & B do something every year to keep it fresh, and this year it was magic. Literally! Made elephants disappear and tigers appear. There were amazing horse tricks, dog tricks, elephant tricks, and tiger tricks. We saw more people flying through the air than at an airport. It was equal opportunity ooh and ahh for adults and kids.


But it was sad to have my son miss it. So I brought back pictures, a clown nose, a stuffed tiger and a keepsake program. I know it was overkill, but I felt bad that he’d have to wait a whole ‘nother year to see someone shot from a cannon and a tiger poop a pile as big as his head (if you have boys, you get this).  


So, I just bought plane tickets to go to Montana for Thanksgiving with Gammy. I better go get the kids their flu shot now or hope Delta airlines has those barf bags stocked and ready.




Tickets for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Zing Zang Zoom circus are still available. The show is in town through Sunday at Arco Arena. Get discount tickets at the box office or through with Promo Code: MOM. Four tickets for $44 – not a bad seat in the house.

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