Full disclosure – I do not like clowns. I like the Three Stooges – but I wouldn’t enjoy that physical humor if they were wearing white greasepaint. I don’t watch scary movies, so I haven’t been influenced by that – I just don’t like the way they look.
When my daughter attended Headstart, the end of year picnic included a clown. Now this clown was a man that helped on the transport bus, a nice man, a man my daughter liked, but a man that did not usually have his face all painted up.
The screaming started when she saw his face. We walked away from the activities and waited inside. She was hanging on me like an octopus on a fish. I don’t believe I gave her the fear or dislike of clowns – I don’t think I reacted to that clown at all, since I recognized him – I even tried to explain that it was just Mr. Helper with his face made up. But she was NOT buying it. We ended up leaving the picnic celebration early.
My daughter had similar reactions to Santa, the local baseball team mascot, a Hokey Pokey Elmo doll and the robot rat at Chucky Cheese.
Chucky Cheese. That is not the place to take someone with sensory issues, I know. My daughter had so desperately wanted to go to the birthday party of a classmate – and it was at Chucky Cheese. So we went. As long as the automaton Chucky was not singing – she was ok. But anytime that robot rat started talking and singing, she stopped playing and ran to me. Of course, I was never very far away from her because I needed to keep an eye on her to keep her from wandering off. Overall, the party was a success. The fallout after – well it was like the day after Christmas – exitement withdrawal.
She has largely outgrown her fear of mascots, battery operated dolls and Chucky – but clowns? No, I don’t think I will take her to see a clown anytime soon.