The chosen one?


“He’s going to be Joseph in the nativity play,” one of the lovely Reception staff told me as I picked teeniest up from school.

“Joseph”, I gasped, struggling to take the momentous news in. “JOSEPH?”

My youngest son was not going to be the usual sheep. Or goat. Or even donkey. During his first year at big school he had been picked to be someone a tiny bit special. Joseph.

In one split second all the trials and tribulations which go hand-in-hand with being a mum in the run-up to Christmas suddenly seemed to disappear…

All those hours spent surfing the internet for Christmas presents, and then the franctic regoogling when discovering the precious item I was after was out of stock.

All those trips to and from the Post Office to collect packages which hadn’t been delivered because I was out (Christmas shopping again, this time for things I couldn’t find on the internet), and the chase-up emails and calls to companies when parcels failed to arrive.

All those vain attempts to reason with a five-year-old who had decided to write a card to every child in his class of 30. Trying to persuade him that perhaps for sake of speed I could at least write the names on the envelopes. And then realising that the reason he wanted to send them in the first place was not because he wanted to wish his classmates a happy Christmas at all, but rather because he then got to post the cards in the class post box.

All that time patiently listening to middle son present me with all the evidence he had collected to prove Father Christmas does not exist. Since bravely announcing in October that he didn’t believe in Santa any more, he had spent hours doing extensive calculations based on the number of children in the world, distances, travel speeds, numbers of chimneys etc to back up his theory. Funnily enough though, his trump card was more simple. The fact that he had noticed the labels on his presents are always written in my handwriting.

All those arguments on where the Christmas tree was going to stand in our new house. Previously every decoration, every piece of tinsel, had its own place year after year, with no discussion needed. But in our new surroundings, the tree and all its lights and decorations had to be moved three times before finding a final resting place everyone was sort of happy with.

But now.

Did I care about present buying? Did I care about cards, written or unwritten? Did I care about family arguments over where the Christmas tree was going to stand?

Suddenly all this became mere trivia, mere pish-posh.

My child had been chosen to be the one and only Joseph in the nativity play. And I was feeling like the proudest mummy in the whole wide world.

My load suddenly lighter, I skipped through the Reception playground, teeniest staring at me quizzically.

“Tell him not to worry about his part”, I heard the teacher shout as I headed for the school gates.

“We’ve decided to have four Marys in the play this year. So there will be four Josephs as well…”

A big thank you to everyone who reads mumtwothreefour and gives me encouragement and support. I wish you all a very happy Christmas with your lovely families. And a special thought for Aunty Mary who always liked listening to how the children were getting on in their lives.


Winding down? It’s a wind-up!

“I expect you’re winding down now it’s nearly the end of term,” someone said to me the other day.

I paused for a moment. Winding down?

Like a lot of parents I’ve had a few extras on recently. Extras such as:

  • Cheering on the children at sports’ day
  • Attending parents’ meetings at the children’s new schools for next year – and trying to remember all the DOs and DON’Ts
  • Manning a stall at the school fayre on a hot July afternoon
  • Being the proud parent at the school play
  • Taxiing the children to and from one-off summer sporting events at other schools
  • Figuring out how to order that precious end-of-year class photo online
  • Walking around the school field at a snail’s pace with my toddler at his end-of-term sponsored charity ‘Toddle Waddle’. Every time we reached what I thought was the finishing line he shouted excitedly: ‘AGAIN, AGAIN!’
  • Remembering to go to the cashpoint so I can contribute to the teacher thank-you collections going around the children’s classes
  • Reading and digesting the children’s reports – and mulling over what to write on the reply slip
  • Frantically filling in forms and writing cheques for summer holiday camps and clubs.

“Well”, I reply, very politely.

“I suppose winding down’s one way of looking at it…”