crying babyBefore I begin, let me just reassure you that there were two showings of the great production. So I didn’t give up my chance to see my son (then aged five) do his bit in the play.

However, when I did go to see him ‘do his bit in the play’, he actually did very little singing. Choosing instead to stand craning his neck over his friend Nathan’s head and miming that I should video him, much in the style of Lionel Blair announcing, “It’s a film,” in ‘Give Us A Clue’.

I was advised to get to the crèche early because if one arrives at the school after the queue has begun to form, one will be booed and heckled by the ‘keen mums’ who have fought tooth and nail to get to the front. I was told to be sure to shout, “I’m not here to watch the play, I’m here to look after your babies!” But I decided it was better to just get there early and avoid the whole queue, keen mums, “What are you doing pushing in?” thing.

To begin with there were only three of us ready (and sort of willing) to help. I made a point of announcing, as I entered the room, “I don’t do nappies!” To which the other two immediately replied, “NEITHER DO WE!”

We all smiled sweetly at each other and laughed. Secretly we all thought, “I mean it, I’m not bloody doing them!” I was well and truly out of practice at the whole dirty nappy thing by this point and had no intention of renewing the skill.

Fortunately some more helpers turned up. Well, I say turned up, they were kind of dragged in, kicking and screaming. It was a case of, “Do you have a current CRB check? Do you have experience of caring for small children? Are you free for an hour? – You’re free, excellent – one out of three ain’t bad!”

So we ended up with about thirteen children, many of whom were under the age of one. I say about thirteen – I guess we should’ve counted them really.

After an hour of us all rattling out the usual phrases; don’t put that crayon in your mouth, don’t stand on the chair sweetheart you might fall, please don’t put that crayon in your mouth, don’t jump off that, WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT THE CRAYON? It was time for the parents to return and take their little ones home.

With a quick reminder to “Sign here, please?” we ensured that all the children were returned to the correct parents – at least, I’m pretty sure we did!

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