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):

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