Still bitter about the clown lady

Scary clownVanessas son aged 2

You know how sometimes an incident can occur which, in the great scheme of things, is really rather trivial, but for some reason you just can’t let it go? Even years later you still feel angry every time you think about it? Well let me tell you about the clown lady…

When my son was two (that’s him aged two in the picture) we went to a children’s Christmas party. At the party they had a clown lady to entertain the children. At the end of her show, she announced that she had some balloon animals that she had made earlier to give out but there weren’t enough for everybody, so she would give them out to the children who sat the most quiet and still and just put their hand up. My son, who was probably the youngest there, sat there quietly and raised his hand. All around him the older children started jumping up and down, waving their arms and shouting “Me! Me! Me!”.

One by one, my son watched the clown lady give out the balloon animals to all those children who were jumping and shouting the loudest. The whole time it was going on, he didn’t move. He didn’t wave his arm. He didn’t call out. He didn’t even rise up a bit taller on his knees. He just sat there very good and quiet with his arm in the air, no doubt confident that he would eventually be rewarded for doing as he was told. As I surveyed the scene, I too remained confident that he would be rewarded, I even thought perhaps she was saving the best one for him as he was sitting there so good and quiet as he had been told. At one point the bitch the clown lady even reached over the top of him to give one to a girl who was waving and shrieking particularly loudly behind him.

When the final balloon animal had been given out, my son slowly lowered his arm and turned round to me with a look of disappointed confusion. I was furious. He had been taught a terrible lesson – do as you’re told and get nothing. It sounds silly, but I really felt like he lost a little bit of innocence that day. How dare that woman teach him that life can be cruel and unfair when I wasn’t ready for him to learn that yet? I know she was just an entertainer, but when she had set a rule like she did, she had a responsibility to follow it through for the sake of all the children there.

There is a slight chance that the clown lady may have looked a tiny bit friendlier than the one in the picture at the top of here, but in my memory she looks like that.

My son is now 10, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t suffered any long term consequences from it, so why can I still not let it go?


28 responses to “Still bitter about the clown lady

  1. Lol Vanessa, we do often take slights against our children more personally than they do. Perhaps we are the ones that should learn a lesson?


  2. Aww poor love! I would be angry too!


    • I think mostly I’m angry at myself for not having said anything to her about it afterwards. I wanted to say something, but she had lots of kids and parents gathered around her afterwards so we just left, but I think I might have been able to let it go sooner if I had hung around to give her a piece of my mind!


  3. Nope, I can see how you are still upset about it. I would have gone up to the clown lady and told her if she didn’t make an animal balloon right now for my son, who was sitting quietly and doing exactly as he was told, I would punch her in that bulbous red nose of hers. (Which I assume she had.) Giving away a piece of mind probably would have worked, without the violence, probably would have worked too.


    • Can you imagine if I bumped into her now after 8 years of feeling like this. I’d pull that bulbous red nose off the front of her face and, well, let’s just say I pity the nurse that would have the job of retrieving it!


  4. Children ARE affected by things like that. I am still bitter about a teacher who didn’t choose me to carry a candle at a Candlemass service when I was about seven. She chose all the other girls and it was just me and some naughty boys left to watch while the others paraded about with pious expressions on their faces. It’s no wonder I subsequently preferred the company of naughty boys!


    • I know what you mean Teresa – it always seems to be the times where something has been unfair that we take the longest to get over it. I’m just hoping that at two years old he was too young to remember it! And what’s this about naughty boys? 😉


  5. Life can be harsh but at a Christmas party for children?? I’m sure the clown did look like the picture, inside at least 🙂


    • Yes indeed. A lot of people don’t like clowns anyway do they, and if this is how they behave it’s not surprising! Although I’m sure most of them are perfectly lovely (if my friend Suzanne sees this blog post though, she will comment otherwise, she really hates clowns).


  6. I think you are still angry because you didn’t defend your son. And maybe it stands out for you because it’s the first time something like that happened.

    I can just imagine your feelings, as a mother, in this situation. At first, you were probably a little confused as to why your son wasn’t picked first, then you tried to see the good – that is, you hoped she would give your son the last and best balloon, when she didn’t you were filled I’d guess with shock, disbelief, sorrow for your son and then anger towards this entertainer. As you said in a previous answer, she left and the opportunity to approach her was taken away

    I find situations where I lose control, as in I can’t stand up for myself or my child and do the right thing are always difficult for me to reconcile in my head.

    You’d invested in your son for two years, taught him the right ways (as clearly shown by his behaviour) and then that heartless woman messed it up.

    Forgive yourself. Everything you did was right. None of what happened was your fault.


  7. Suzanna Hughes

    As the official auntie of said 2yr old… I am now also furious. Curse you clown lady


  8. Suzanna Hughes

    As the official auntie of said 2yr old… I am now also furious. Curse you clown lady… I’ve just seen my shout out and yes I hate clowns…. They are evil, and just paint their faces happy to hide the horrors within. Oh and never ever buy a car from one, the doors will fall off!


  9. I agree not a great way to help kids learn about life, not sure how you managed to keep your temper, I never did like clowns!


  10. You can’t forget because you’re a Mother! We stash these things in our memory –only to revisit them years later when it’s least expected. Just ask me. My kids are adults and I still haven’t forgotten…just ask anyone who reads my blog.


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