Tonight was the annual Christmas carols for Master6 and Miss8 at their Gympie West school. What an adventure! The kids were all dressed up in tinsel and big Christmasy smiles.
We walked down to the school where we were to meet up with my mum – Tracey pushing Miss1 in a stroller we’d hoped to keep her contained in for the bulk of the evening, and me carrying two of the three camp chairs we’d be needing. I say two of the three because I accidently left one on the balcony.
“That’s okay,” said Tracey, when we discovered my stuff up, “you can have my seat.”
“No, no,” said my mum, “I don’t need a chair.”
Yeah, right. Like I was going to claim a chair, making either my 68 year old mother or my 7 month pregnant wife sit on the ground or stand up for a couple of hours. I opted to risk the bull ants.
On the way through to the oval where the carols were to be sung, the school had set up a few games and lucky dips to make the evening even more festive and fun. Master6 and Miss4 played the Coin Toss (throw a 50c piece and try to make it land on chalk squares on the ground to win). Given the kids’ mum is awesome at throwing away money I really thought the kids would have done better than they did, still they managed to win a couple of lollies.
We hadn’t even made it to the field of play when our evening was further aggravated by Miss1 hiding her ice cup in Tracey’s handbag, on top of the cameras. At this point I may have managed an eye-roll of withering proportions. I’m pretty good at them.
On the other hand, I did manage my first descent cup of Joe at a school function ever from a mobile coffee vendor who set up, I presume, for my sole benefit. Though I did share. Clearly my whinging from past years (all thirteen of them) has paid off.
While our kids’ performances of All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth and I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas were, of course, newsworthy, it was Master6’s performance as he came off the stage which really cracked us up. That boy swings like a pendulum between ‘strictly by the rules’ and ‘shake my bum at the crowd’. All of a sudden our kids’ performances were over and we were free to flee. Actually with the lack of ivories in Miss8’s mouth I think maybe they should have swapped songs – she could have starred.
I’m very glad we had the extra help of Grandma and Miss16 tonight, because while Tracey was up front taking film and photos (without attracting the attention of security this time) I was left to mind the little tikes, and I have no night vision to speak of. They quickly became my spotters when one or another of the kids tried a runner.
Stating apologetically “Miss1’s bedtime is 7.30” we slipped out quietly. Or at least we tried. Both Miss8 and Master6 were at odds with our decision, but chose to voice their objections in ever so slightly different ways. Master6 loudly demanded we change our minds while Miss8 loudly cried at us.
With no corners to put them in, and too many witnesses to smack ’em, I settled for a firm word, which instantly changed nothing. A chance meeting with our near-neighbours on the walk home changed their moods where alternating threats and concessions couldn’t.
Arrived home and all the little kids in bed asleep by 8pm. We’re not even in December yet and I’m already exhausted by Christmas. But Jeez I love it. Time for a beer.