A Last-Ever Milestone

17 Dec 2014

Like lots of parents up and down the land, today The Boss and I sat through Mini Minx’s nativity and all 3 minxes’ carol concert. Well, The Boss endured them – he’s not feeling well at all and is varying between looking grey and looking pale.

Maxi’s similar, but has occasional bouts of energy (eg the carol concert). Also, the poor child has been embarrassed by burps that smell of rotten eggs. They really do. Proper fill-the-room-with-stink ones. Wee soul! Whilst I questioned her about how much water she was drinking and whether she was pooing enough, The Boss actually bothered to look in her throat. And instantly recoiled: red, swollen, with yellow pus-filled blisters. Bluerghy tonsillitis (bleurghy – it’s a technical term; a polite form of ‘minging’). No wonder she feels sick, has a cough and is smelly! That’ll be a trip to the GP tomorrow, then, to check whether she needs antibiotics or not.

So, today we joined with the rest of the school community in pooling our germs by sitting amongst the most effective bacterial vectors in the known Universe: small children.

We watched the nursery kids do their nativity play. Mini had a lot of talking to do in her part as the Innkeeper, but surprisingly she seemed shy of the older kids and parents watching her, and could be barely heard. As with other minx nativities, it struck me that the staff had obviously put in tons of effort and time, but many children seemed to stumble through the motions, not enjoying it, enduring it like The Boss was, and not understanding what was going on. Why do we do this every year to our kids? I get that for practising Christians, subjecting small kids to nativity plays is part of teaching them about their religion. But my logical little mind doesn’t really get why we all do it. Yes, yes, children learn lots of skills through taking part, such as being able to speak and sing in front of an audience, it’s a memory test, and it’s a wee introduction to drama. But why is it always the youngest pre-schoolers who’re made to perform whilst we parents coo over them? Perhaps the kids would engage in those new skills a bit more enthusiastically if it was in a setting that they understood or empathised with a bit more, like the older children are given? Like an interpretation of the latest Disney film…? Ah well, though, never again – the youngest minx has taken part in her last nativity. I guess the next nativity I attend and smile at will be for my grandchildren (gulp!)

The carol concert that evening was also lovely. It’s only a small school so all the children fit on the stage at the same time. Maxi tried hard to “engage enthusiastically”, whilst Midi giggled her way through the entire concert with her best friend. Many of the children got to speak a line in front of the audience, saying what they were most looking forward to about Christmas. Both older minxes talked about their Daddy being home for a whole week and seeing their grandparents. Awwww!

The older kids were asked to dress in a Victorian style for the concert. Maxi asked originally for a flat cap, breeches and waistcoat. I poo-pooed that idea and came up with middle partings and scraped back hair, severe dress (school uniform), a bit of tied lace as a kind of collar, another strip of wide lace pinned over the top of a minx head, and a folded over frilly pillowcase tied around the waist to form a sort of apron. It took 5 minutes and was a bit tenuous, but all I could manage without spending money.

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