For a while now, certain songs have been forbidden in our house. Any attempt of mine to break into, say, 'Twinkle Twinkle' or 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' has been met by cries of, "No! That's Playgroup's song! You can't sing it!" This has been particularly awkward when OB has accompanied me to choir rehearsals and got quite vocal about our rendition of Away in a Manger.
It must be Nativity season!
I've been to the Nativity at my son's Playgroup quite a few times now. Various of my friends' children have graced the stage as innkeepers, sheep or whatever over the years, and of course last year, NB had his starring role as a shepherd. Every year it is the same simple, tried and tested format - as the teacher says, five weeks to prepare, five minutes to perform! But they do a marvellous job with this motley collection of 2-4 year olds, and there are always mince pies and other cakes afterwards.
Funnily enough, OB was also a shepherd, and he actually was wearing the same costume that NB wore last year. I positioned myself near the back with the camera so that I could stand up on a chair and try to get some photos (both photos and videos were allowed, along with a heartfelt plea that parents would not post images of other people's children on the internet - I hope they were listening!).
I'm not sure what I was really expecting. OB had sung a few words from the songs in the house when he thought I wasn't listening, but I hadn't heard him sing any of them all the way through. A rendition of Baa Baa Black Sheep I heard about a week before the Nativity performance went something like, "Baa baa black sheep, full full bags, full full master, full full dame" so I didn't hold out high hopes for total accuracy on the day.
He was brilliant.
I genuinely couldn't believe it. He stayed by his chair, stood up and sat down when told to, went off to the manger to see the baby Jesus when instructed, and sang every single word of every single song. I was so shocked to see how competently he joined in with it all that I almost forgot to take photos!
And there was something else that was brilliant about it too. My son's extended family couldn't be there for his first nativity as they live hundreds of miles away. The only family member available to turn up to see him was me. And yet he had no less than six other people in the audience that day who had come to the Playgroup Nativity just to see him do his shepherd thing. It is good to approach our first Christmas as mummy and son knowing that my little boy will lack nothing that love can provide for him.