It’s showtime. The hottest ticket in town. The must-see extravaganza. The performance where absolutely nobody, including the choreographers, can predict what is going to happen next. It’s an emotional roller coaster, it’s a tear-jerker, it’s… …the nursery Christmas show.
OMG! Your first nursery Christmas show, that must have been so exciting. It was. It was exciting, it was enthralling, but, most of all, it was eye-opening. And what I mean by this is: here are 8 things I learned at my toddler’s nursery Christmas show.
1. Parents get there really early
And I mean really early. My son’s performance began at 10.45am, and there was already a significant queue when we pulled into the car park at 10.05am. Was this because everyone was concerned that there might not be enough free croissants to go around? In my case, yes. In everyone else’s, no. They wanted to secure a seat in the front row.
2. Nursery don’t have a lot of adult-sized seats
I’m not sure what I expected to rest my bot-bot on while watching my son’s nursery Christmas show. But I do know that it wasn’t a red plastic chair that’s designed for a 2-year-old. The good news is the legs didn’t buckle under the weight of my dad bod. The bad news is I had to be helped back to my feet by a trio of good Samaritans.
3. Grandparents play a huge part in the lives of today’s toddlers
I’ve written about the major role played by modern grandparents in the past, and the battle for tickets in the build-up to my son’s nursery Christmas show proved this. Yes, I did say battle, and here’s why.
Initially, there was a ‘two tickets per child’ ticket allocation, and it caused uproar. Parents stormed the office, letters were written to MPs and the #downwithnursery hashtag began trending in our local area.
Okay, okay, so I’m exaggerating a little, but people were genuinely upset about the prospect of the grandparents missing out, so an “extra ticket request” sheet was introduced. It featured just about every child’s name, and, given the number of “oldies” waving at their grandkids during the big show, I believe most requests were successful.
4. Everyone watched the show through phones
I’m not pointing fingers, because I was as guilty as every other parent and grandparent in the room. I’m just saying that at one point in the middle of When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney, I glanced around the room and noticed mobile phones obscuring the faces of just about everyone in the audience. It was like a Coldplay concert, only with more atmosphere.
5. Teaching toddlers is a really hard job
Making the YouTube series Live From The Nursery Run (note: new subscribers always welcome) gives me some insight into the frustration of attempting to produce an entertaining show starring a toddler. But I cannot imagination how exasperating it must be to spend two months teaching your class Christmas songs, and then watch on helplessly as they eat their hands/burst into tears/sit doing nothing/clutch onto their comforter for dear life during the final production.
Given this, I’d like to take a moment to a) raise a glass to all the nursery teachers out there and b) encourage you to make a special effort to say thanks for all the hard work when you next pick your kid up.
6. It’s a great opportunity to meet other dads
At times during your kid’s early years, it can seem easier to spot a snow leopard in your garden than a potential dad mate in the nursery car park. So it was fantastic to chat to so many other fathers at the Christmas show. I even, whisper it, got three names and one number. #dadtribe #squadgoals
7. You can draw an inordinate amount of pleasure from the word “whoosh”
Especially when a dozen 2-year-olds shout it in unison, while making the correct arm movements and singing “5 little elves on Santa’s sleigh, flew round the world one day. They looked left and right, but they didn’t like the sight, so one elf flew away… …whoosh!”
Two weeks on and I still have goose bumps.
8. My son is a star
Sure, every parent says this, but I have the evidence to back it up. First, he was positioned in the centre of the front row. Second, he belted out the songs, nailed the actions and wore a huge smile on his face throughout. Third, at least two other parents have told me that he “stole the show”. Fourth, I am hugely, hugely biased.
Until next time…