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Daddy’s magic touch

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

Daddy’s magic touch

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Pedro Arthur has made a living making kids laugh, smile and have a daring good time. Through his company Imagine Entertainment, the former stiltwalker and model has made a living doing magic shows, playing super heroes, clowns or jugglers, mascots and entertaining children at parties or functions.
“I deal with a lot of children,” Pedro says smiling. “One of the reasons I got into the business too was that I love to see children happy.”
But these days, Pedro is happiest when he’s watching his eight-month-old daughter Savanna.
“I’ve been with my wife Lea, for 14 years but I’ve been married for two years,” he says. “We planned Savanna. When we first saw the pregnancy test I was in shock . . . it was surreal. But when we heard it from the doctor,it was a mixture of fear and excitement. I knew it was going to change my life. I had dealt with kids before but when the hour or two is up, then I’m back to my life. I was really excited and afraid at the same time.”
Pedro’s fears were heightened as he went through his wife’s pregnancy. Along with feeling helpless as she dealt with bouts of morning sickness, Pedro had to watch as she battled with the effects of having a rare blood type.
“I was more concerned with my wife’s health and the baby too because she had a rare blood type that could affect the baby and she had to go through special treatment,” he said.
As as the months went by he started to enjoy the process much more.
“I was a little concerned because she didn’t have a big tummy,” he recalled. “Leah voiced her concerns too, because she worries a bit more. But I tried to set her heart at ease. I have a newfound respect for women and my wife after seeing what they have to go through for those nine months.”
For Pedro, his family is a chance to do things differently from the way he was raised.
“My mother was a single mother. My dad was in the picture too, but he was overseas a lot,” he said. “When he came back he would be here providing different things for me financially and helping; we weren’t close but he wasn’t completely out of my life.”
Perhaps that’s why Pedro is determined to reverse the trend he grew up with.
“I know for sure I want to spend as much time with daughter as possible,” he said. “I don’t want to miss the small simple things with her, I want to cherish them. I don’t want to be a dad that’s too busy or too caught up with other things to miss out on some of the most beautiful things in life.
“My dad and I got closer when I was an adult because he was a performer. He was a juggler, fire-eater, still does ballroom dance, contortion work. I actually hired him through my business and we started performing together. But we got closer via the entertainment circuit. So that was kind of ironic.”
Pedro credits his marriage withr being the glue that has kept his family together.
“One of the things that allows me to be here for Savanna is that my wife and I are married. If we weren’t married it would have been easy for somebody to walk away.”
 Pedro recounts a particularly trying period after his daughter was born. When he was ready to bask in the glow of fatherhood, Savanna developed a bad case of colic.
“It was three months of non-stop crying. You can’t stop them, you don’t know what’s wrong. It really goes to the core of your heart and it really affects you mentally,” he said of that experience.
“You feel helpless because there’s nothing you can do to stop the pain. We tried all types of things with Savanna. We went to numerous doctors. I went on the Internet and tried different exercises with her, which helped a little bit. I even went to a chiropractor. Eventually it went away and that was a blessing.”
Pedro says going through that period was trying for his wife and him. But now things are great.
“I’m not saying marriage is the only way to have a happy family,” he says. “But it’s a better, stronger bond. You’re meshed in a different way than if you’re not married. That is my experience.”
 “Fatherhood has made me a more humble person. I actually had a temper problem before that I had to go to anger management for.
“My wife wouldn’t allow me to get a baby before I had it under control. In fact she wouldn’t marry me unless I had it under control. But with Savanna I’m not stressed the way I would be before.”