A tale of two Christmas plays
DigressionsNothing conjures up equal parts of hope and fear into a parent's heart like discovering that their offspring will have the opportunity to display their charms and talents in a public forum. My husband and I were cautiously optimistic when we learned that our two children would be performing in our church's Christmas play and that our daughter would also be onstage for her school's holiday production.
Published: December 25, 2010
Published: December 25, 2010
Since our son is 10 years old, we were fairly confident that he could manage to sing a few songs with his peers, but our 4-year-old daughter is a loose cannon who doesn't take direction very well. "Away in the Manger" was the only song she would be expected to sing, so Daddy decided to conduct brief practice sessions in an attempt to teach her the correct words. She would have no part in the learning process and stated that she was sick of hearing the song at all. This persistent obstinacy is the reason she still calls the infant Jesus "baby Cheeba."
We were filled with trepidation by the time we dressed our children in their Sunday best and handed them over to the poor soul who would have to coach them through the performance. My daughter still had fresh tears in her eyes because I made her wear tights even though she said they were itchy. This decision came back to haunt me when she got onstage and proceeded to wiggle and scratch her way throughout the production.
I looked to my son in hopes of seeing a seasoned professional making something happen, but I only caught him in the midst of a humongous yawn which he chose not to politely cover with his hand allowing me a clear view of his healthy tonsils.
When my little girl's big moment arrived, she was paired with a 5-year-old boy to wow the congregation with their duet of "Away in the Manger," but instead, she decided to inspect the operating capacity of the microphone and did everything except sing while holding baby Cheeba by his neck in the crook of her elbow.
By the end of the production, my son had yawned at least 20 times and my daughter had left the stage three times for wardrobe adjustments followed by a fourth and final exit to go blow her nose.
Three days later, she was onstage again with all her classmates. My husband and I had allowed ourselves to be hopeful because we knew her school had been practicing every day for about two weeks. Little did we realize our child's steadfast adherence to insubordination.
Since she had requested to wear tights, I thought she would manage to get through the program without so much wiggling. I was proven wrong when she lifted her dress in front of everyone and executed a Michael Jackson-style crotch-grab maneuver in an attempt to adjust the fit of those tights. After the third time, she spied me in the audience frantically signaling her to put her dress back down. She responded by crossing her arms in front of her chest, sticking out her bottom lip, and hiding behind a little boy who also refused to sing with the group.
She took off her shoes twice and sat down a few times, but she only made it offstage once because her teacher shooed her back on which resulted in her pouting for the remainder of the program. With any luck, she'll be a bit more cooperative next year, but I don't think I'll be holding my breath just yet.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Contact Damara at: email@example.com