DADDY UNCOOL: The dizzying highs and exhausting lows of parenting two little girls.

6. The Nativity 

As 2016 draws to a close, I think anyone would be entitled to feel stressed out. However, as scary as the idea of President Trump is, we’ve had a more pressing concern, and that’s how Blondie would deal with her third Nativity. Okay, I’m exaggerating, we’re not the sort of parents that think their child performing is the be-all and end-all, but as I’ve touched upon before, Blondie has shyness issues and it’s fair to say they have affected her acting career to date, which is all the more frustrating because at home she is constantly entertaining us.

 

Her first role, as, ironically a star, was a disaster. Then only two, poor Blondie was waylaid with a bad ear infection in the run-up and never got the chance to rehearse. Putting a toddler up on stage with no preparation for the first time is always going to be a sink-or-swim situation, and as she was led to the stage by the nursery staff, she looked like she was being led to the electric chair. An old video captures a brief two seconds of a smile as she looks out from the stage for us, which turns into floods of tears and cries of “It’s mummy, daddy and nana!”, as she spots us. She then sobbed until the bitter end until Mummy Cool, 5 months pregnant, rescued her from the stage. So yes, that was a magical event and we all got a lot out of it….

 

Last year, Blondie got to play an angel (again, ironic really), and although she seemed well up for it in the weeks beforehand, performing the songs in front of us at home, we knew stage-fright would probably be an issue, and just hoped she could get through it without crying. And she did. This time though, the stage-fright made our poor little girl shell-shocked. While all the other children sang their carols and spoke their lines, Blondie stood still and stared ahead, no doubt inwardly counting down the end of that year’s yuletide trauma. Ah well, still an improvement…

 

This year though, our hopes were higher. Blondie’s first school term has been a real eye-opener and her teachers tell us of a child completely transformed from her nursery days. She loves school and a month after starting she left Mummy Cool and I in tears when she took part in a presentation of what her class had learned so far. There she was, smiling, singing and speaking into a microphone. It was one of those moments I won’t ever forget. However, the week before the big day, a stomach bug hit more than half her class, which left us a little nervous, but Blondie somehow avoided it and was very excited on the morning of the show.

 

And how did it go? Well, compared to the previous two years, this was a masterclass worthy of the greats. The concentration on Blondie’s face as she picked presents up and put them down was awe-inspiring, but she still had time to give us a cheeky wave and grin when she spotted us. She even managed to stay in character as she solemnly carried a candle by me in the dark, despite me getting a bit too excited and saying hello to her like a dozy idiot, causing her to break character. Okay, she looked a bit shaky by the end, but she’s never been in front of a crowd that big before, and she even managed to sway to Shakin’ Stevens, albeit like someone who’s being forced to dance at an office Christmas party they don’t really want to be at.

 

So the days of stressful nativities have come to an end for us. It’ll probably be Red’s first go at it next year, and all the signs suggest the problem then will be making sure she doesn’t knock all the scenery over, or try and hog the limelight too much. And if Blondie reads this when she’s older and is cross with me, she’ll enjoy reading that the only nativity I featured in consisted of me, playing a fisherman, because I was too crap to be a main character. And I looked so ridiculous and miserable, the audience laughed at me, so I stood glowering at everyone in silence for the rest of the show. Now, that’s entertainment.

DADDY UNCOOL: Parent Blog has been written by a local East Riding dad, check him out on Twitter @Daddyuncoolblog and daddyuncool on Facebook