The Owl and the Villager

It is the last week of school/nursery before Christmas, and thus, it is the Season Of The Nativity Play. Or, in the case of Barnaby’s school, the  Season Of The Scarecrow In A Meadow. Something fairly odd and autumnal, anyway.

So last week, Noah was cast as a head-scarf-wearing Villager in the nursery play which was all about Jesus in the manger. Rarer than you may think, this staging of the Jesus story. So, anyway, he was dressed in white, and had a most excellent tartan teatowel on his head. He did a bit of singing, quite a bit of playing with his shoelaces, some yelling of “Mum! Come sit over HERE!” (pointing to the space next to him on the stage) and then, when it all got a bit much, he found a stray pillow and lay down and had a bit of a snooze. I was extremely proud.

Today Barnaby had his turn. The Scarecrow In A Meadow performance was at 1pm, which was awful timing, so I had Susan come over to watch the sleeping Custard while I took Noah up to school. Noah came down with a shaky fever but insisted he come with me, so I said that was ok. We decided we would race out the door and get a cab as it was snowing and with the fever and my enormous girth it seemed the best idea. Unfortunately, Noah, known for impeccable timing, did a poo in his corduroy trousers about 12 seconds before we needed to run out the door. I changed him, crossly, then we raced out to grab a cab in the snow. There were no cabs, though, or none that were happy with my choice of pick-up zone. So I grabbed Noah, all shaky and ill, and waddled about a block and waited and realised with Maternal Doom that it was 12:57. Three minutes to go before my Firstborn performed as an Owl in his FIRST SCHOOL PLAY! I decided crying wasn’t going to help, nor was swearing, so we waited, getting colder, and wetter, and sadder.

Of course, a cab did come, and got us there about 8 minutes past one. After I thrust a fiver at the taxi man and told Noah to hop out quickly, he decided that he preferred the cab to the Cruel Outside though, and shrank back into the bucket seats. I had to grab him by the leg and drag him out and carry him running to the reception with him crying about the lovely warm taxi. So I run puffing to the reception, all wild-eyed and panicky, only to be met by The Evil Evil Office Lady (she of the Mean Glare and the Cranky Sigh). She calmly told me that yes, the play had started, and that I had to pay £1 before I went in. I thought that maybe she would let me pay on the WAY OUT when I wasn’t TEN MINUTES LATE FOR MY FIRSTBORN SON’S FIRST PLAY but apparently not. (For this, Dear Reader, I shall forever hold a grudge). So I scrambled around in my broken wallet looking for a stray pound holding a whining Noah, while she watched me and helpfully remarked that “He looks sick.” Indeed.

Up the stairs (two flights, two sets of heavy firesafe doors, writhing sweaty three year old in arms, huge belly, big coat, bag and scarf in tow) and then, through the last set of doors, I whack Noah’s head against the edge. He starts screaming, we enter ONTO THE STAGE interrupting a magpie reciting his lines. All parents stare angrily, Headmistress does a rolling of the eyes. I mouth “Sorry” and get off the stage, through the audience with a wailing Noah who is shrieking “You hit my HEAD!” and dump him in the library. Barnaby is dressed in brown tights, brown tee shirt, owl mask, and big feathery owl wings. He is singing, earnestly, and swaying to and fro clearly doing the Wees Dance. He keeps fiddling with his willy, obviously about to pee all over the floor, but does so in a very relaxed, owlish manner. He says his lines, I cannot contain my grin, or the little proud tears that squeeze out a little bit. He is quite clearly the most talented, genius child in a cardboard meadow of wildlife. I do wonder why he wasn’t cast as the Scarecrow, but figure happiness is not to be found following this line of enquiry. So I charitably Push Them Thoughts away.

I retrieve Noah, who has a very pale lump on the side of the head, and who, thankfully, appears to have been knocked into some sort of quiet stupor. I love him again this way. We marvel at the costumes, the singing, we wonder what is going on in the unfeasibly difficult-to-follow-plotlines, we applaud, and we leave. Christmas is clearly on its way.

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4 Responses to The Owl and the Villager

  1. mum says:

    I loved it JOdi.I can just imagine you appearing suddenly on stage.Wish I’d been there!

  2. jennie james says:

    Hi Jodi, It is such a treat to read your blogg.
    I treat myself to a late night glass of wine once in a while and just catch up with your recent events….I can relate so well to the Xmas play .
    In my case, when Sarah played Mary….the rush to get there late, dragging James- who wasnt being particularly amenable that day and my misty eyes . I did notice during the performance that Sarah appeared a little stage struck ,which I intepreted as shyness at being centre stage for her first public performance….. in actual fact she didnt like the look of the baby Jesus doll she had to hold!
    Jennie NZ( Sarahs Mum)

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m laughing, holding my stomach and groaning “oh NO” as I read this.

  4. Lisa says:

    Oh how I have missed your posts. Have just had a good catch up and loud giggle at the stage entrance, the wailing child and the willy holding. Only you, yes you, could write this with such beauty that we neither cringe nor shake our heads, but instead we crack up laughing and console ourselves that we are not alone in our parenting disasters. So glad you had a wonderful Christmas. xxx

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