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.


Dear Father Christmas…

Dear Father Christmas
I’m sorry my letter is so late this year, but for some reason life has been a bit hectic in recent weeks.
The good news is that my wish list for Christmas is very straightforward.
The bad news is that as I’ve left it so late you might find some of the things on it may be out of stock. I fear there might be a few other parents who are after the same things…
Here goes.
Please may I have:
A patience gene – with all the preparations for Christmas mine seems to have disappeared somewhere along the way, and I need a new one – fast
A good night’s sleep – children feeling sick in the early hours, husband coughing all night, me lying awake worrying about how I am going to get everything done. All I ask for is one night when I get my much-needed seven or eight hours without any interruptions
A spare sense of humour – for all those times mine fails me. Recently this has included the time I went on a Christmas shopping trip only to burst the front tyre of my car when accidentally mounting a kerb, managing to get all the children into bed early one night so I could wrap their presents – and then running out of sticky tape, and buying some beautiful twinkly lights, spending an age arranging them carefully on the tree, gathering the family together for the grand switch on…and not as much as a flicker. Nothing. Faulty lights.
The ability to be in two places at once – there have been difficult decisions to make recently with the nursery nativity play and work on the same day, two separate school concerts organised for exactly the same time, and a mums’ Christmas do and husband’s office bash on the same evening.
A couple more hours in the day – to sort out the Christmas credit card bill, work my way through the pile of ironing which is currently staring me in the face, and maybe, just maybe, having the time for a long, relaxing bath.
Oh, and one more tiny thing please.
A plan – wrapped in tissue paper and put in a pretty box, with a beautiful bow on top, I would like a detailed plan on how to successfully manage this parenting thing until at least this time next year.
Thanks in advance for your generosity. Merry Christmas!
A very ordinary mum x

A big thank you to everyone who reads mumtwothreefour and who has given me so much encouragement and support – as well as sharing their own parenting experiences with me – this year. I hope you all have a very happy (and possibly even relaxing!) Christmas with your families.