Friday, 16 December 2016

The First School Nativity: Expectation vs Reality

Yesterday was Girl Child's first school nativity, and probably the only one where she'll get to dress up and act. She was an angel, which is ironic given how un-angelic actually is, but there we go.
My not-so-angelic angel

The first school nativity has a special place in parents' hearts - it's a chance to see your little one, often in their stage debut, dressed up and looking adorable. As a result there's a huge amount of anticipation prior to the event and your expectations are raised. Only trouble is, the reality can bring you down to the ground with a bump, much like baby Jesus when little Mary decides to drop him mid-play. (I hasten to add that didn't happen in yesterday's nativity, but I have seen it happen before.)

So here's what I expected from the nativity versus what really happened.

Expectation: I would suddenly transform into a crafting genius creating a beautiful angel's costume.
Reality: I am not a crafting genius. The costume consisted of a too-small fairy dress, sparkly cardigan and tights (non-matching) to cover up the fact the dress is too small, wings I hastily borrowed from a friend when I realised with days to spare that she would need wings (why did this not occur to me earlier??! I blame sleep deprivation) and a wonky halo made of pipe cleaners and tinsel. But she looked cute anyway.

Expectation: Cooing at her efforts to learn all the carols and joining her in a rendition of 'Away in a Manger'.
Reality: Clenching my jaw as, instead of going to sleep, she lays in bed singing 'Ding Dong Merrily On High' with gusto.

Expectation: Get there 20 minutes early to grab seats close to the front, affording me a perfect view of my little cherub.
Reality: Get there 20 minutes early to find a horde of people already there and flowing out of the churchyard, squeezing into the only seats I can find near the back, affording me a perfect view of the backs of people's heads.

Expectation: Eleanor would behave perfectly and stand exactly where she - oh who am I kidding? She would shove her way to the front, wander off halfway through or even potentially create a cameo line for herself.
Reality: In this case I was pleasantly surprised. She wasn't perfectly behaved and there was one instance of shoving to the front, but from what I could see she did really well.

Expectation: I come away with an array of heart-melting photos of my little girl in action.
Reality: I come away with a lot of blurry pictures, some with Girl Child in but mostly she'd moved before I could zoom in enough.

Expectation: I glow with pride and hold back the tears.
Reality: I glow with pride and hold back the tears.

At the end of the day, no nativity will be perfect - let's face it, it involves kids!! But it will still be a treasured memory for many years.


  1. Hehe - I always cry, usually the minute I see his slightly frightened little face!

    Try costume looks fab, you totally got away with it :)

    1. Ahh bless him! Mine didn't look remotely nervous, just a bit fed up of having to sit/stand still so much! Thanks re the costume, to be fair pretty much any costume looks cute on a small person!

  2. I love this! Yes - homemade costumes are often more stressful and a little bit naff than if the school just bought them to use every year (our school does this - woohoo!) but the overwhelming pride seeing them up on the stage doing their thang is pretty awesome. I now know what my mum felt like when I was judging her for crying with pride when I was young haha xx

    1. Part of me wishes I'd just bought a costume but I didn't almost out of principle, she had a dress that would work so why should I buy a costume she'd probably only wear once?! I managed not to cry (just) but was very emotional!

  3. Awwww ... lovely post. The expectations and anticipation of wanting it to go well for them and everyone else. I can't be trusted to make costumes; well done for getting something together. I can definitely relate with the blurry pictures and the mixture of emotions with wanting them to nail it and hoping nothing goes wrong. #UKParentBloggers

    1. Turns out I can't be trusted to make costumes either, luckily I don't think she'll need one again! We're lucky that we have our church nativity too which she did really well in and I managed to get a decent video of her part, makes up for the blurry pictures a bit although there is still something social about the school nativity I think.