I may not know all their names, but I know their faces! These are my little friends at another local day care. I was asked to clown on their first day in September 2014.
I made sure the teachers introduced me as Mimi the Clown to the children and not ‘Mama LeeAnn’. (It is my own fault if they call me by my real name and I answer!) I like when the younger ones don’t see anyone but Mimi the Clown.
And of course it is fun when the older ones see me again and they are looking at me weird. I know they are trying to figure out if I was Mimi!
I had mixed feelings about clowning in my neighborhood. In a way, it was easier to clown at the refugee camps. I didn’t know how to clown in a foreign country, or if they would think I was funny. Out there in the desert there was nothing for entertainment so whatever I did would be fine. It is sad, but that is what I thought. (Am I being too honest?)
But the kids in the neighborhood had seen clowns before, and I wasn’t like the Tunisian clowns they had seen. Maybe I was concerned because I was getting paid; I didn’t want to disappoint them. (I’m not the only insecure clown in the world, am I ?)
So there I was, sweating in the heat of September in North Africa, in a day care full of 2-5 year olds, competing with a slide and a teeter-totter for their attention.
I was amazed that they sat and watched Mimi! We all know the attention span of kids that age! I had fun, and they did too.
I think Mimi’s presence was a great idea for their first day of ‘school’. It helped the new children enjoy being there. It gave them something to focus on for a while besides the fact that they were not at home with their mothers.
Okay, so maybe that little girl was still thinking about home. At least she wasn’t crying anymore.
Those are two of my favorite kids. Sadly, now they are school age and I will only see them when I walk through the neighborhood. Good news is, I meet new kids every year, and some have already heard about ‘Mama LeeAnn’ from older siblings!