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Redster: Eight

Cutester: Five at last

As we loaded up the children’s stockings on Christmas Eve (sorry if I have shattered any illusions there), up in Ganny and Gandad’s place, we had to carefully step over a small outfit that had been laid out on the carpet for the next day, with everything from hat to boots in the right position. The Cutester does like to pay careful attention to her wardrobe. On the actual day she was bombarded with clothes and got through about four outfits, sometimes wearing them simultaneously…

The Cutester knows full well that the Santa idea is not strictly factual. But the stockings, as well as keeping both girls busy until 7am, inspired her to reciprocate. The next evening I found both my pairs of Christmas slippers under my pillow. The following night I found this:

The parcel

Inside was this:

Parcel contents

The shoes were a bit grubby, to be honest, but it’s the thought that counts.

Ganny was delighted to discover a child’s hat and a pair of nail scissors on her pillow the next night, but it turns out that I put them there myself by mistake. Maybe we should just all give each other stockings. I haven’t had one since I was 34.

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The Cutester: Nearly five
The Redster: Eight and a bit

Our school does its infant school Christmas plays on a strict three-year rotation, so the Cutester performed the same show, ‘The Magic Box’, that her sister performed in her first year at school. To her disgust, however, the Cutester was not cast as a snowflake like her sister (even though she’d memorised the dance perfectly) but as a Christmas cracker. I don’t know if it was in protest, or if she was just overawed by the serried ranks of mums and dads, but on the big day she declined to sing a single word and performed all of her actions approximately ten seconds after everyone else. (She was nonetheless the cutest character on stage, bar a tiny black girl dressed as a snowman in an over-sized top hat.)

I remember shedding the odd tear as the Redster and her tiny peers came on stage back in their Reception days, wearing their star-spangled pillowcases – but here’s another example of second child, second fiddle; the repetition of the show made it feel jaded, plus I was sitting in the worst possible place to actually see her, and practically had to stand on my chair when it was time for the Christmas cracker dance.

In the foyer afterwards, I looked out for a review by the Redster – all the Juniors are invited to write one after seeing the Infants’ show dress rehearsal. It didn’t seem to be there, and I was just wondering despondently why they hadn’t seen fit to display it, when my eye fell on a fun-looking review tucked away behind the door. I read it to the end, impressed by the writer’s empathy for the younger ones – only to discover it was written by the Redster herself.

So here it is (click to enlarge):