This week was the week of the nativity. It was an exciting week for all involved. The Diva was a star, and a mighty fine star she was indeed. She looked simply glorious in her curtain fabric tabard, with a large star appliqued on by a diligent mum in years gone by. Her chest was swelling out with pride – and so was mine. However I was struck by the alarming similarities between a reception Nativity, and a Mum’s night out on the piss. I draw your attention to the following points:
- The pre-event excitement. Prior to the nativity, all the kids focus on at school is… the nativity. We talked about the “ativity” every day for the last 2 weeks. We’ve sung the songs, we’ve ironed the outfit. We’ve reviewed how marvellous the true star of the show is – and for the record I suspect the Diva has a little crush on him. Prior to a mums night out, it is all I think about. I’m dreaming of beautiful cold glasses of wine. I’m so excited about removing my old snot stained cardigan and putting something sparkly on. I think about it for weeks.
- The frequency of such an event. Its pretty much annual. No more, no less. And frankly I don’t think I could take the excitement of anything more regular!
- If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in. Prior to the nativity starting, we were informed that each child was entitled to 2 attending adults. No more. Younger siblings were not invited. We were made to queue outside the main school door for about 30 minutes before we were admitted into the most exclusive event in town. The noise level in the queue was deafening. Mums and Dads were aquiver with excitement, we jostled for space next to a Christmas tree. We regaled each other with tales of our offspring’s nativity hopes and dreams. We placed our bets on who would be the “waver”, who would cry, who would never make it out off the starting blocks. The lollipop man met us at the door with a clipboard with our names on and ticked us off as we arrived (I made that bit up, but it would have been fabulous). I absolutely felt like I was queuing in a one-in-one-out type nightclub situation.
- The social media warnings. It was made clear that nativity photos should not be posted on social media, to ensure safeguarding of other children. On your big night out on the piss, you can always be sure of an avid facebooker. You fear you will be tagged in some horrendous photo with all 4 of your chins in evidence, eyes closed, with a policeman on one arm, holding a pint of wine, wearing a gormless expression. So someone puts the suggestion to the group that we don’t post any photos. It is met with resistance from some and agreement from others. Someone does it anyway.
- It will be an emotional roller coaster. Someone will cry. Someone will fall over. Someone will leave early without telling anyone where they have gone. Someone might wet themselves (don’t judge me….) Someone will talk loudly in an embarrassing fashion. Someone will become compulsive viewing. The whole thing will have a real air of unpredictability. You just desperately hope that its not you, or yours, who makes a complete tit of themselves.
- You can be pretty sure that someone has just had a baby. Its either that girl in the blue dress with the tea towel on her head. You know the one, she’s holding a 15 year old tiny tears with a wonky eye. Or it’s one of your group. The one with the leaking left breast, who fell asleep in the corner of O’Neills after 2 glasses of wine because she hasn’t slept in 3 months. She only came out because she just wanted to feel human again. No one has the heart to wake her…
I’ve experienced both events in the space of a couple of weeks and I’d struggle to say which one I enjoyed more. To be fair only one of them made me feel proud. And it wasn’t the event which saw me air-guitaring to Bon Jovi…….