Parents, I have a warning for you. There will come a day when you will be tempted to cram too much fun into one day. It will end in tears. Resist! You cannot do two exciting things on one day, even if you really want to, and you cannot do even one exciting thing on a major travel day. I mean, you can. We just did, yesterday in fact. But it will end in tears.
Now that my recital is over (it went very well, by the way, thanks for asking), the family and I are going to take a nice long weekend and relax. And by relax, I mean cram as much fun into one weekend as we possibly can. The first fun stop on our journey of wonders was the Big Apple Circus.
The Big Apple Circus came to Vermont every year when I was a kid, and we always went. I loved it. It was the only circus that came to Vermont, and it was a thrill every year. Now, sadly, their touring schedule no longer includes the Green Mountain State, so I figured my kids would not get to experience the same joy that I had experienced as a child. But wait! Their schedule did include, weirdly enough, the Big Apple itself, New York City, and opening night happened to be the night after my recital! We bought tickets immediately.
This seemed like a great idea, especially when the original plan had the family coming down to the city the day prior, for my recital. As it turned out, that was not possible, so my family started yesterday with a long drive to Albany. Oh, how we wished the boy would sleep in the car, but alas, he did not. They hopped a train in Albany for a two and a half hour Amtrak ride into the city. Surely he would nap then, right? Of course not. When I picked them up at the train station, they were all already exhausted.
We decided to drop their stuff off at our car, and then walk across Central Park. Edward always falls asleep on long walks in his stroller. Oh, unless he is in a giant new place, full of exciting people, smells, sounds, dogs, and pigeons. Then he does not fall asleep. He just gets crankier.
We had some time before the circus, so we decided to get some dinner. Simone and Ruby waited at a restaurant while I walked Edward several times around the block, praying in vain that he would finally nod off for an hour or two before the main event. No such luck, and by this time even Ruby was getting whiny. Her feet hurt. Her knees hurt. Her toe hurt. Lovely. And we still had to walk to Lincoln Center.
In a case such as this, when you are at a long and fun event that takes place late in the evening on a day when your children are exhausted, there is only one thing to do. I went right to the cotton candy stand and sugared them up good. This worked well for most of the evening. Edward spent his time running back and forth, up and down our row yelling and pointing at things that may or may not have been there, and Ruby stared wide-eyed at the acts that were being performed in front of her.
Ruby made it through the whole thing. The trapeze artists were her favorite, but she seemed to enjoy it all. The night was a huge success. Edward made it until the final act of the evening, and then burst out screaming and crying, for apparently no reason. Well, he did have a reason. He was tired and exhausted. Simone took him out of the tent, and five minutes later the show was over. We strapped him into the stroller and walked out of the circus, where he immediately fell asleep, and stayed that way until we got back to the hotel. Then we put him in his bed, where we woke up, and then screamed at length until we were all crazy.
So we had a good time, and we loved the circus. But it was a travel day. I'm just saying.