Miss Catherine and the giant cock

Last week was Rufus’s kinder nativity play. He was a shepherd. I’m pretty sure that’s not one of the stars but at least he wasn’t the donkey’s arse (that was his mate, Alfred). The entire student body was involved (about 100 kids), and the kinder administration, showing a level of foresight we are becoming used to, still staged the play in the playroom. They set up 20 tiny toddler-sized chairs and then opened the doors to the 400 or so parents and grandparents and amahs queuing up outside. I nabbed a prime position only about six rows from the front, and consequently – along with 12 parents’, it’s true – my kid’s head is actually in this photo. He’s the Yasser Arafat-looking one in the middle.

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The play revolved around the three leads – Joseph, Mary, and a particularly well-spoken angel. Of the rest, apart from a few shepherds, some livestock and their arses, one whole class were dressed up in silver as “stars”, and another two classes were more angels. There were notable theological deficiencies in the score, i.e. at Jesus’s birth, the golden epoch of Christianity, when the kids broke into “Mary had a little baby, little baby, little baby” to the tune of “Mary had a little lamb”. There were other awkward adaptations that had me shaking my head and scoffing aloud. I know it was a free show and the actors were aged between 10 months and 4, and the producer was Miss Catherine (previous body of work: writing badly composed notes in the kids’ Communication Books; wearing ugg boots to parent-teacher night) but we do pay a lot of money to send him there. I might have hoped for some proxy actors and a pro lighting set-up. Or at least an adult-sized chair to sit on.

Speaking of Miss Catherine, she’s become a controversial figure in our house. Rufus now attributes her with nearly everything. “Miss Catherine said so!” “No, Miss Catherine said that!” “It’s true, ask Miss Catherine.” Her name is employed with importunate frequency and no regard for veracity. For example, if I say, “Rufus, eat your dinner,” I’m met with, “No, Miss Catherine said I didn’t have to.” Obviously she didn’t say that but I’m one of those unreasonable people who still bears a grudge against even those unfairly misrepresented. I can’t stand the bitch.

Today Rufus and I were having a chat about Father Christmas, who had made an appearance at the kinder break-up party on Friday. I asked if Rufus saw the reindeer: “No, but Miss Catherine did.” I asked him who the reindeers are and he could only name “Rudolph the Red.” Then he asked me to name the rest. I’m often caught out on things I should know in this parenting caper, and here’s yet another example – I could not think of the names of the other reindeers. Disappointing to be caught out so early on such an easy one, but there you go. My kids might as well get used to it now I guess. Time passed. Rufus looked at me with his head tilted quizzically, and more and more incredulously, as I looked searchingly around the room while I waited for my brain to give me something. And then after only about five minutes, I had something: “Donna and Blitzen!” “Yes!” Rufus’s face lit up with pride at his mother’s stunningly unexpected knowledge of Santa’s associates. Then: “And what about the other reindeers, mama?” It took me another five minutes to come up with Prancer, whereupon it was me triumphantly yelling “YESSSSSS!” and putting my hand up for some unseemly skin. But I was met with denial. “No, Prancer’s not one of them.” “I think he is, but anyway…what about Vixen?” I was shaky on this one actually because surely Santa wouldn’t have called two of his reindeer such similar names as Blitzen and Vixen? Rufus also denied me Vixen. In fact he said, “Mama, ring up Miss Catherine and ask her the names of the reindeer.” After that my Christmas spirit (and maternal esteem) was crushed like a sad rope of tinsel being squashed back into its box on 7 January.

[Also, I have just Wikipedia-d “Santa Clause’s reindeer”, and Rufus, if you’re reading this years into the future, sucked in because Prancer AND Vixen are on the list. And I also learned that it’s Donner, not Donna. (And also Cupid, Comet, Dancer and Dasher.) Come off it Santa. They are the worst collection of names I’ve ever heard. That coming from someone who called their kids Rufus and Zadie (which naturally I love but I know are a cause of consternation in some corners.) (Mum.) (And Dad.)]

Apart from naming reindeer, I’m the worst at a lot of other stuff to do with Christmas. I’m constantly alarmed that I might give the kids their presents early, on purpose, because I’m so excited. I am the best at singing Mariah Carey’s Christmas CD though. Everyone* agrees.

*It’s true. Especially my husband. He asks me to sing it all year round. I often do. When you’ve got a voice like mine it’s like an obligation to share it whenever possible; at least that’s my selfless defence for my distinctive renditions of popular tunes. I like to sing all the different harmonies to songs wherever possible (or not), piecing the parts together in masterful arrangements that are a delight to the ear. I remember one time being busted in Footscray at a red light with my window down. I think I made a truck driver’s year with my simultaneous performance, complete with righteous gestures, of both (male) parts of “The Confrontation” from Les Miserables.

Anyway, remember earlier in the year I posted about the Hong Kong Culture and Leisure Services Department’s installation at the local playground of a giant cock’n’balls? (Safe for work. I guess. If the government has deemed it appropriate to take your kids to play around giant hedgen genitalia.) Well, here’s another great C&B. One of the teachers at Rufus’s kinder gave it to him.

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The “testicles” are particularly well rendered photographically but you’ll have to take my word that the top also looks so much like a swollen circumcised bell-end we could barely stand up for laughing when Rufus pulled it out of his bag. As Joel said, turns out Santa was just some old cock with a beard all along. Oh how we laughed.

Hoping to inject some decency into our pre-Christmas activities, we planned to go to dad’s yesterday for a seasonal lunch. He’s heading back to Australia this week for the holiday so it was our last chance to catch up. Actually it turned out I had to cover an emergency injunction which sat late (on a Saturday too! Imagine my graciousness in accepting that job!) so I had this for dinner six hours after everyone else had eaten.

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Christmas dinner, Buddhist vegetarian style (clockwise from the white steamed dumpling you will see faux crab, faux pork, faux chicken in hoi sin with noodles, and roast potatoes/beans and peas with mint sauce). Unusual but tasty.

Then Goong Goong and Penny took the kids out onto the balcony to spit cherry pips off the roof. With apologies to the Wong family below.

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I love this photo because you can see the stunning location of dad’s village, literally on the South China Sea. And also all the Wong family’s jox, which is something we are getting used to in this place where most people stick their wet washing out their windows on long bamboo sticks. We’re not quite so pressed for space out here in the New Territories but sometimes I hoist my jox up the side of the canopy just to show that we really are trying to assimilate. Raising our colours, so to speak.

I hope your lead up to Christmas has been more successful in terms of remembering crucial information about reindeers, and not being gifted giant confectionery cocks.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Rhiannon says:

    Oh you always make me laugh when I am not supposed to be (watching news right – it’s all bad and serious)!!
    Milla has a weird fantasy thing going on with her kindy teacher… she randomly comes out with role play games where I have to pretend to be Miss Anne… and if I talk in my normal voice (and language) she pulls me up. Tonight it happened while I was having a bath with her! Weirdo.
    Thanks for the reindeer names, I wouldn’t have known either. Hopefully they don’t translate in to Dutch!
    Happy Christmas! x

    1. jadeluxe says:

      The fantasy with the kinder teachers drives me bananas. I don’t know if it’s just because of the ugg boots, or because I’m being superseded (rightly so, in light of my reindeer failures) by someone else. Both are equally as valid I guess. Speaking of reindeers, I did see this on Wikipedia:

      # Donner (Dunder/Donder)
      # Blitzen (Blixem/Bliksem)

      Neither of them are Dutch, right??
      Happy Christmas to you too xx

  2. Astrid says:

    LOL the Santa Cock is brilliant!

    Thankfully not too much teacher adoration here. If anything I use the teacher/carer to get things done. “You go to sleep nicely for Heather, so you can go to sleep nicely for me!”

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Haha, I like the reference to “sleeping nicely”. Maybe that’s what I need to do to fix Zadie’s sleep issues…send her to kinder…

  3. Toni says:

    OMG I laughed!

    If I’m gifted any giant confectionery cocks, I’ll forward them to you. They’re MUCH funnier that way.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Hopefully there’s no more giant confectionery cocks anywhere in the world! And if there is, that you won’t get one!
      Merry Christmas Toni 🙂

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