The 12 (Interminable) Days of Christmas

>> Wednesday, 5 December 2007

So, yesterday was the big day. Now don't be coy - I know you're just desperate to find out how the hottest event in Kensington and Chelsea went down, but fear not, I'm here to pass on the good bits...

I suppose I should explain what on earth I'm talking about. Yes, it was Boy#1's Nursery Christmas Show. For reasons known only to themselves (I think they have a new and slightly over-enthusiastic - no, scratch that - a completely over the top drama teacher. But then again, when aren't they?), the theme this year was 'The 12 Days of Christmas' and each class was required to go up and represent one of the verses. Boy #1 was a piper. Hence the kilt. Yes, you heard me - kilt (just in case you missed that nugget a few posts ago). But frankly, looking at the line-up yesterday, I think we got off lucky.

V1; The partridge looked as if the costume had been ordered from Angels Theatrical Costumiers, it was so professional. Except, of course, the partridge was 3 years old...

V2: 2 turtle doves - bulk standard coat hanger wings. I think the ground-swell of parent opinion was 'compared to the partridge, could do better'.

V3: 3 French Hens. Except it wasn't 3 - it was 9. Dressed in breton t-shirts, berets, strings of onions, and doing a turn singing La Marsellaise...

V4: 20 calling birds. Lots of room for variation with 20, as you can imagine. And not much room on the stage, so for healthy and safety reasons there were actually 2 'hits', so we got the same 'show' - 10 children dressed as robins, dancing to Rocking Robin - twice. Hmmm.

V5: 12 gold rings. Lots of gold lame, probably the easiest option as most mums seemed to have simply made a poncho out of sparkly material. Can't remember the turn they gave as I was struggling with Boy#2 who was trying to make a bid for freedom at this point, scattering raisins as he went...

V6: 16 geese a-laying. Hilarious incident with one little boy who's mum had clearly gone to town with his costume, even giving him a padded stomach for authenticity, hogging the limelight and elbowing all the other children out of his way to give himself centre-stage. He was eventually restrained by the teacher and given a good talking to on the sidelines. Was rather losing the will to live by this stage, to be honest.

V7: 8 swans a-swimming. This provoked naked envy on the faces of all the mummies whose little girls did not form part of the 'swan' tableau, as they arrived dressed in tutu's, twirling a pirouette or two to the famous bit from Swan Lake. Sometimes I'm so glad I have sons...

V8: 11 drummers drumming. This did what it said on the tin. Yes, the power-crazy drama teacher had instructed hapless parents to go out and find a drummer costume for their boys. To their credit they had made a pretty good job - and the imitation beaver-skin headwear had to be seen to be believed. Mind you, this being Kensington & Chelsea I was rather disappointed that there was no real fur on stage...

V9: 8 maids a-milking. Consisted of the girls from Boy #1's class complete with mob caps and sand buckets, singing 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary' and crying because they had lost their cow. This segued seamlessly into...

V10: 6 pipers piping. Boy #1 and classmates following an honest-to-goodness Scots piper, bag-pipes wailing, up onto the stage. (All sense of proportion had clearly been lost by the drama teacher when she planned this one). They did a little dance and then tried to help the milk-maids find their cow and followed up with a Scottish reel. Boy #1 was grabbed at this point by one of the girls (who was half a foot taller than him), and they then capered around the stage dancing the reel. Not sure who instigated the choke-hold, him or his partner, but it was a relief for all when the dance finally ended without injury...

V11: 7 ladies dancing. Dressed as flamenco dancers and performing that authentic spanish number - you guessed it - the Macarena. By this stage the audience had been flagging, but this perked them up. Or got them riled - not sure which...

V12 (Thank the lord): 7 Lords a-leaping. Boys dressed as frogs, capering onto the stage, leaping around and then dancing with the flamenco-clad lovelies. I was past caring by now, as were Husband and Boy #2...

All this took around an hour and a half, by which time the audience of eager parents had had enough, stampeding out of the venue before the final hymn was even finished. Never has 'O little town of Bethlehem' been treated so caverlierly outside Midnight Mass...

Other Points of Interest:
Boy #1's kilt stayed up. Thankyou, Mother-in-law. Your skills with the needle know no bounds. Really, I mean this; my home ec teacher at skill used to just tut and walk past my table as I struggled to make a patchwork cushion, so I am grateful, grateful, grateful, that you were able to step into the breach. (Husband and I once had a huge falling out when he asked me to sew on a button. He was horrified that I refused. I was horrified that he had had the nerve to ask me. Really - if he wanted to ruin a perfectly good coat he could just have let the boys at it with a pair of pinking shears)

I also had a fit of the giggles whilst standing in the queue waiting to be let in to the church where it was all happening. (Oh yes, they couldn't let us in early. I mean, who knows what might have happened? We parents could have ended up throwing pews and everything. Lighting the votive candles, using the holy water, you name it. There is no end to the devilry that could have ensued). I was having a perfectly normal conversation with the parents of one of Boy #1's classmates when a mutual acquaintance approached us and asked them "Do you like caviar?" Well, that's a conversation stopper if ever I heard one. And more to the point - why wasn't I invited to this apparantly swanky dinner party? Obviously, Dulwich Mum, had she asked me, my answer would have been "only Beluga, sweetie - and of course it does rather depend on which champagne you are serving..."


dulwichmum 6 December 2007 at 13:34  

Oh Potty Mummy!

Always remember; "no Krug - no thanks!" Thank you for the name check!

Potty Mummy 6 December 2007 at 14:56  

So true DM, one must keep one's standards up - and just realised I forgot to put the link to your blog on there; I will go ahead and do that right now.

Iota 6 December 2007 at 18:22  

An hour and a half? That's FAR too long for small ones (and the parents).

You need to get yourself to a rather more earthy set-up where they discuss brands of fish finger (can't beat Bird's Eye in my opinion) rather than caviar.

Potty Mummy 6 December 2007 at 20:17  

You are so right, Iota. Birds Eye IS the only way to go. And after 1 1/2 hours yes, both parents and kids were ready to blow. I sense rebellion in the air though - it seems some of the parents are planning on demanding a 'proper' nativity next year - watch this space for stories of handbags at dawn in the streets of Kensington...

Tattie Weasle 6 December 2007 at 21:41  

We've got the "rock the baby" nativity play tomorrow and I just hope that this year The Boy doesn't decide he needs a solo - Goose boy has nothing on him! Sorry I've been away for so long - work commitments/builder's tea...I laughed 'til I cried re Tommy Zoom I know exactly all about that!!! Fantastic, still laughing as I write....

Tracey 7 December 2007 at 02:28  

I feel your pain. One and a half hours?! Actually, I've sat through similar, for then 8 year old last year. BUT, to give the teacher credit, the costumes were mostly organised at school, nothing expensive (a lot of paper used very cleverly) and everyone in a group was dressed the same. No showing off. And definitely not that long! It was actually so cute it brought tears to my eyes, and I am definitely not usually that way inclined.

Caviar?! I think I would have just snorted.

Potty Mummy 7 December 2007 at 12:58  

Hi Tattie, good to have you back, and has the builder's tea stopped yet or are your mugs all destined to be stained a dark brick colour for ever more? Tommy Zoom is still here - it seems he has taken over from Steve Irwin, so we have a temporary respite from crocodile wrestling. Long may it continue.

Tracey, your school sounds a great deal more sensible than ours. And did you find yourself rummaging around for an old crusty tissue when you got a bit emotional? It's those moments when I realise I have nothing of use in my handbag at all...

Pig in the Kitchen 7 December 2007 at 13:58  

Oh that was hilarious! What a feast of pushy one-up mum ship it was! And ohmigod, how much did the drama teacher overreach herself?!
Only 360 days to go until the next one!

Potty Mummy 7 December 2007 at 16:47  

Pig, 'one-up-mum-ship' - I love it! You will definitely see that one appearing in a post near you sometime soon - it perfectly describes what goes on around here.
As for the drama teacher, I have my suspicions that there is a delegation of prada handbag carrying mums meeting in Pat Val's (so non u to call it Patisserie Valerie's, you know) right at this moment, plotting her demise and working out how to demand a 'proper' nativity for next year...

Elsie Button 8 December 2007 at 09:46  

one and half hours! bloody hell - that is one ambitious drama teacher.

Reading this i am already stressed about the whole costume making thing for school plays. i am no sewer either. button anecdote was funny - been in similar situations myself.

Potty Mummy 8 December 2007 at 18:34  

Hi Elsie, I would hope there aren't too many drama teachers with such grand designs for 3 and 4 year olds out there, and that you will manage to escape that particular joy - although in her defence, I should say that none of the children were on-stage for more than 10 minutes.

It was the parents who went through it... I mean, really, once you've seen your own offspring, you just want to skedaddle, right? (Not very Christmas spirited, I know, but let's just say it like it is...) The last thing you want is to then sit through another hour of other people's little cherubs showing off. Luckily for us, Boy #1 was towards the end so the whole thing managed to hold our interest. Just.

dulwichmum 8 December 2007 at 21:30  

Lovely Potty Mummy,

Please could you do me a favour? I have tried on 3 separate computers to leave a comment for Omega Mum at keir Royale, and her security keeps kicking me out. I believe others may be having the same problem with her site, I have honestly tried to leave over a dozen comments between yesterday and today. Her site has accepted a comment from you yesterday, could you alert her to the problem. I can't find an email contact address to alert her myself.

Best wishes,

aims 8 December 2007 at 23:16  

Oh Potty Mummy!! Where have I been to miss this sort of hilarity? I come back and apparently all hell has broken loose over here!!

I laughed until tears softened my leathery cheeks -

I apparently don't know what I'm missing in life as I am childless...

You are spreading the holiday cheer very nicely I see....
As for the drama teacher - how - um - ..........

Potty Mummy 9 December 2007 at 11:01  

Hi DM, no problem, I put a comment on her site last night so she should know by now.

Hi Aims, good to see you back, has the craft-fest finished? And I, too, am without words regarding the drama teacher...

Frog in the Field 9 December 2007 at 16:37  

Brilliantly written Potty!
Heck, you have school plays very early over there! our suffering begin this week, thankfully only the middle child is taking part in anything. Phew!

Potty Mummy 9 December 2007 at 18:07  

Hi Frog, thanks for the compliment and yes, that would be the problem with 3 kids, I can see that now. Not only would the birthday parties be multiplied but so too would school plays, concerts, playdates, dates (!), etc etc etc... Hope I haven't depressed you - just have to keep reminding myself why we're sticking at two!

Post a Comment

Go on - you know you want to...

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Customised by Grayson Technology

Back to TOP