Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

9 December 2015

A Very (Cute) Important Star That Stands On The Stage

In good old Blighty (the UK)....
... Odds are, if you have a terror child in reception (first year of primary school) they will be doing The Nativity.

The Nativity being the story of Christmas three kings geohashing the housing shortage of 0BC/0AD Bethlehem the birth of Christ. 
Great story, happy ending, especially like all the animals lowing.
I did The Nativity when I was young, so did Mrs. Amazing.
Team Parents ooo'ed and ahhh'ed and wept (not me) at Boy8's nativity.
Today it was Miss4's turn.

Whether or not you agree with schools doing the Nativity doesn't matter for now. It doesn't.
Just ignore any religious leanings you have for this tale. Pop it to the side for a few minutes. You can pick it back up on your way out. Please make sure you remember where you left it though, and make sure you don't grab anyone else's. We had a few people do that last time... it got shouty... very quickly...
I normally leave a little light sabre with my name on next to mine.

But if the Nativity was removed... What would you replace it with?
Really. If you ditch the Nativity from schools, what do you replace it with?
There is a very clear, and serious need for a simple, well known, play to be done by four to five year old's, near Christmas time. 
Parents, IMHO, need it badly, to keep us going. It's like a quick reminder of what all the hard work is for. Basically... Cuteness.
And the Nativity fits that bills pretty darn well. It's short, well know, and has a few good numbers attached to it.

The only other story / play that even comes close, that I can think of, is 'The Muppets Christmas Carol'.
Think about it. 
Agree? Yes of course you do. It's Muppeting brilliant.
It was written by Dickens and it's got Michael Caine in it!!! MICHAEL BLOODY CAINE!
What more do you want?
'You were only meant to blow the bloody stable doors off!'
It would be the perfect replacement, as any Muppet could tell you.

(Michael is unhappy to be caught on camera getting Kermit's autograph...)

Anyhoo... back to Miss4...

Miss4 was 'Very important star that stands on the stage'.
She was one of three.
She didn't have any lines or anything. Lines went to children that had shown clear Thespian abilities already at school (I guess). You gotta remember we are talking about children aged 4-5. You find one that can talk loud and clear in front of a lot of adults, without crying, or wetting themselves, you stick them centre stage and give them all the lines you can. Singing skill doesn't really matter.
At that age they all sound utter crap cute anyway.

Each child got chose their role.
Miss4 went with Star. Miss4's mate choose Sheep. Both were cute as.
I would guess that key roles were 'presented' to the more talented children and the more background roles were suggested to the less talented. But considering there were three Marys, a few Josephs and a surprising large amount of donkey / camels. I don't think there was a hard limit.
Everyone got to be what they wanted to be (within reason, no Hulks, or Lady Death Strikes).
Which is a good thing.

Did you know this would be the only primary school Nativity Miss4 does?
Coz I bloody didn'tNor did another Dad I spoke to. 
And if he didn't know, then I am absolved also. They need to make a point of telling Dads this stuff, they really do.
How has this information passed me by?
How did I not get this when Boy8 did his Nativity. I took time off work and attended. But no one said 'Make the most of it, it's all you get'.
Had that been the case... well... I wouldn't have done that much different. I would have still been there. I still would have still giggled all the way through. But maybe I would have engaged Brainzilla a bit better, put the old girl firmly in 'LIFE MEMORIES' mode. Really absorb the situation and drama.
I think I'm more shocked I didn't know.

'Can you take the Xth off for Miss4's nativity?'
Done and done!
'Oh! You've already done it?'
No... But I will
'Oh. Good'
Do I need to take time off for Boy8's nativity?
'He's eight!'
Are they doing Scrooged (starring Bill Murray) instead?
<Crosses fingers>
'He doesn't do a nativity'
But he was so cute as a star! <Weeps a little>
'Was...' <Gives me knowing look>

Boy 8 is too old for cute? Shows over, he's over the hill, no one wants to see eight year old's doing the nativity because that would be crap? Really? Seems a bit harsh. He's got some cute in there I am sure somewhere deep, deep down, under all the attitude and ganglyness.
Four or five only. Full stop. 

Bouncer (?): 'Sorry mate, you're too old'
Bouncer: 'It's project based assemblies for you...'

(Can stop you entering a club...)

Who decided that?
I was looking forward to Boy8 walking on stage dressed in a stupid star costume. Or as a donkey again. It would have really made me smile and mock him.

Miss4's Nativity started at 9:30.
My plan was to get there at 9:25. Five minutes is plenty of time to get a seat. Or so I thought.
Mrs. Amazing's plan was to start queueing up for the Nativity at 8:45. Just after we dropped Miss4 off.
Guess who was very wrong, and hadn't thought it through to the nth degree?

You wanna get there when?
'Straight after we drop Miss4 off, to queue!'
TO QUEUE! For a NATIVITY?... Queue for thirty minutes? Really?
'Yes, so we get good seats'
OK... Which are the 'good' seats then?
'Centre aisle, near the front, best for photos'
Sounds a bit nuts
Is this one of those moments where I should shut up and just agree with you?
'If you want to live, yes'
'As opposed to... When? <Does very wide arms>
'It's your choice' <Eye twitches just a little>
<Salutes> Ma'am

As normal Mrs. Amazing was right damn it, damn it! WHY?!!!.
Queueing was a good idea. 
Mrs. Amazing may will deny it, but I am pretty sure whilst we waited she was visualising how she would dart for her seat once we got inside. I imagine her plan was to get two seats, but I suspect that if one persons seat was to sacrificed to ensure getting one better. I'd be sat on floor.
Now as you would expect for Britain, the queue was very orderly and polite. But with a clear invisible positional structure and obv. no cutting.

'Teacher! I'm a teacher, I have the keys to let you in'
<Is scared> 'H-H-Here'
<Pulls out U.V. scanner>
And you... are... <Hits scanner> going...
<Scan completes> ... LIVE!
<Is disappointed>
<Shouts>Let her through... Teacher coming through...
[Parents part]

(Where are the parents In the what?... The walls? They are everywhere?)

They opened the doors at 9:10!
It's lucky we were there early! What a good idea of Mrs. Amazings mine.
It was all quite civil as we entered the school. Everyone politely chatting. Whilst there was no options, or shorter ways to get to a seat, decorum and manners were maintained. 
Quite right too.

However once the space of the hall and the golden front row chairs were in sight...
There was a marked, yet still very British, increase in pace, spacial analysis, spacial calculations, and a overwhelming desire to sit. Each parent as they entered the hall evaluating the seats gone, the seats to be taken by those ahead, and which path would get to the best seat they could claim, fastest.
And of course whether or not knocking the old dear out of the way would be worth the better seat.
So worth it.

How did we do?
3rd row back (boo!), but aisle seats (yay). That's a win in our book. Clear view, good photos, no one had to be decked or shoved by "accident".
A clear Team Parents (yay!) win.

And of course Miss4 was brilliant and adorable.
She did her actions to each song with gusto, she sparkled and twinkled just like a very important star standing on the stage should do. 
She refrained from too much nose picking on stage, but did yawn every other minute as her sleeping the night before had been crapo. We were / are very proud. 
At times it was heart poppingly cute, others times just plain hilarious as tiny voices strained to reach those high notes, and missed.
Twenty lovely minutes of parental indulgence in our children, organised by adults whose job it is teaching our children, for the parents of those children. Weird. Indulgent. 
But great fun.

Mrs. Amazing cried at least three times from cuteness overload. I cried on the inside manned it out and grinned with fatherly pride from start to finish.
Miss4 was brilliant.
She is brilliant.