Have managed to get to work every morning this week.
I think this means I am one of those ‘hard-working parents’ we keep hearing about. Come rain or shine, mental breakdown or karmic peace, I am THERE people.
Actually it’s just because my job is so silly.
I’m a clown. No, not one of THOSE clowns – I’m not a goddam messed-up teenager…well, not anymore…
I’m also not a circus clown because we all know they are psychotic dream-abusers with childhood issues.
No. I am a true clown. The type of clown the Cambridge Dictionary describes as:
“An entertainer who wears funny clothes, has a painted face and makes people laugh by performing tricks and behaving in a silly way intentionally”.
My funny attire is mainly worn on my head in the form of comedy hair-bands, deely-boppers, wigs and hats, accompanied by an assortment of hilarious socks and leg-warmers.
The painted face is just Boots No.7, but plenty of it, in garish colours.
The tricks include making balloons stick to my face, puppets come to life and my voice do absurd acrobatics.
But the last bit is the most important. Making people laugh by being silly on purpose.
It’s hardly a job really, is it?
And how many people go to work everyday KNOWING they will have more groping opportunities than Donald Trump at a High School Prom?
YAK, that comparison has made me feel a bit icky…
This morning, Lewis got up and made his way across the room precisely in order to grab both my boobs and bury his face in them. (To clarify: he is 18 months old). Cleo took every opportunity to smash her tiny button nose into my bum. Charlie spent most of the morning with both little hands grabbing onto my obligingly squidgy tum. And all the way through, between bouncing and singing and flinging tambourines around, there are cuddles and tickles and strokes.
‘Tis a smashing way to earn a living.
Until you get a bit confused and whilst chatting to a mum, realise you have been absent-mindedly stroking her left breast…thinking it was her baby’s bottom.
I’ve also been known to accidentally pat adults on the head and on one memorable occasion, tickled a Daddy’s inner-thigh…
Them’s the perks!
Babies have an innate need for physical contact; stroking, squeezing and tickling to reassure them that we know they are there. As adults we learn to substitute those physical needs with other things like talking, smiling, frowning or shouting, but the need for recognition must be met every bit as much as when we were babies.
I knows this shizzle coz I is mental and have had loads of transactional analysis (TA) where you talk about ‘strokes’ alot but don’t mean actual stroking because that’s reserved for sex-therapy.
A positive stroke is lovely; your boss smiles and says you did a good thing. A negative stroke is shitty; your boss frowns and says you’re a total clown (NB only negative if your job is not being an actual clown).
And us humans would rather have ANY stroke than none at all.
Then you get the kind of strokes that relate to who you ARE, not what you DO. These are a bit deep. A positive one would be your mum smiling and saying “you’re brilliant”. A negative one would be your mum shouting in your face that “you’re a stupid arsehole”.
Again, we’ll take our strokes where we can get them and if we hear we’re stupid more often than we hear we’re brilliant, we’ll naturally seek out more of the stupid strokes.
I reckon it’s almost certain that these kids who are dressing up as clowns and terrorising their neighbourhoods haven’t had a lot of positive strokes in their lives and have given up trying to get them.
By giving them so much attention for being stupid arseholes, we are providing exactly what they seek deep-down; negative strokes. Really powerful negative strokes all over the place; on TV, radio, national papers and social media. These clowns are feeling more stroked, more acknowledged than they probably ever have in their lives, albeit anonymously behind a mask.
All the world loves to hate a clown.
I’m lucky that my kind of clowning gives me so many positive strokes, both actual and psychological. My plan, if I meet one of these so-called killer-clowns, is not to scream and run away, but to open my arms and hug them.
And if it turns out they really did have a knife after all, can you please inform the world’s media that I died trying to reach out to the disenfranchised, radicalised minority who give our clowning community such a bad name…
May your weekend be very happy-strokey…xxx