Pushy mothers know no bounds especially when it comes to the Christmas Nativity play. Up until now The Boy has in effect been a bit player, an extra, but now at the tender age of 6, and in Year Two to boot, stardom beckons. This is HIS year to shine.
There has been great expectation in the playground; one hopes that not too many will be disappointed, however, there is an inevitability about it all. I mean, let’s face it the Christmas Story doesn’t give that many lead characters – well not enough for the whole class anyway.
Ever since half term there has been an air of anticipation, suppressed excitement and in some cases hysteria in the car park. The Yummy Mummies have been ever so attentive to our class teacher; little bequests are brought in; a case of freshly pressed apple juice here, a Cath Kidston car rug now the days are getting colder there. Suddenly Miss M is feted in the playground her opinion now more eagerly sought out than ever before. Some Mummies opt to bring in the big Guns and there is a marked increase in the number of Dashing Dad’s appearing at drop off. It’s a major charm offensive.
Will the class princess land the role of Mary? Will the richest kid on the block, whose parents are rumoured to have pledged thousands for a new music room, secure more than the one line he really deserves? Will the weedy nerdy one be relegated to herding sheep and being upstaged by a ringletted dancing snowflake? And what of The Boy?
Of course he should have a leading part, I mean he’s perfect, he’s beautiful, he’s already a damn fine actor – especially when it comes to making up excuses not to go to bed. But, I’m nothing if not realistic, The Boy has a hard time reading as yet and with his Absence Seizures, dramatic pauses might go on for a tad too long and be in the most inappropriate of places or he might just totally forget what he is doing and just wander off or even ad lib something from Merlin or heaven forbid Power Rangers which might not go down to well in the annunciation to the Virgin Mary.
I wait with the rest of the parents in the playground and look expectantly at the children as they file out trying to read in their expressions whether any of this is as important to them as it seems to be to us.
I do not quiz him there and then – I wait until we are in the car and then subtly I think, casually drop into conversation questions appertaining to what part he has been allocated.
Him, suffused with pride: I’m a King and Mummy I’ve got lines to learn! And Mummy we’ve got to get my costume right and I need a sword and a crown and Mummy don’t you think you ought to buy me a costume and not do it yourself and will you listen to my lines…
He’s taking it very seriously indeed and in fact we’ve even got a back story so that he’ll have the right motivation for his pronouncements – all three of them!