Last year, Little T had only just turned 3 when he was in his first nativity play. I couldn’t actually attend, which was heartbreaking at the time, but I got over it in time.
The teacher explained (I didn’t ask her to) that the younger ones tend to get given the small parts & then – when they’re in the older year – they get a bigger part. Except this didn’t happen for Little T.
Last year he was a horse. This year he was a cow. When the letter came home telling us what he was & that he needed a costume, I was away & Mr T reassured me over the phone that he thought a cow was definitely a step up from a horse. I remember my reply being something along the lines of ‘is it bollocks’.
What happened next surprised me. I felt disappointed. I was disappointed for Little T that he wasn’t something better, but I was also disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to say he was Joseph or something more prestigious than a cow.
He didn’t mind at all, by the way.
When I spoke to my best friend, who’s little girl goes to the same preschool, she told me she had been given the part of Mrs Claus & I was even more gutted. I was pleased for her & knew she’d be fantastic, but started to wonder whether the teachers disliked Little T for some reason, or whether me losing his library book may have had an effect on the part he was given?
Then I realised: he’s 3. It doesn’t matter. It’s not like he hasn’t got a role in a RSC production, it’s the pre-school nativity.
What worries me is that I am turning in to the competitive & pushy mother I always hoped I wouldn’t, but secretly knew I would end up becoming; always pushing him to do one better than he has done.
I was brought up like that & I constantly have the feeling that I am not living up to my parents’ high standards & I do not want him to feel like whatever he does isn’t good enough, but I don’t know how to stop it before it starts.