If you’re looking for a much-needed laugh today, this sweet anecdote will help out.
Mum Nikki Tarney was delighted when her son Frankie was given the role of a wise man in his school Nativity play.
But the youngster didn’t quite live up to his role as he ended up swearing at the audience – in a mistaken belief that it would stop his mum from looking at him.
The cheeky lad, then six, repeatedly up the ‘v’ sign during the play and came up with the ploy in a desperate attempt to leave the stage as soon as possible.
His mortified mum said poor Frankie was feeling ‘under pressure’ at being in the limelight when he made the rude gesture to the audience blissfully unaware of its meaning.
Red-faced Nikki caught his swearing on camera and in between bouts of silent giggling with his dad Steven, desperately mouthed at him to put his hand down.
Nikki, 39, said some parents were left open-mouthed at his antics but thankfully none of the teachers at the catholic school he attends noticed.
The nurse shared the hilarious snap from Frankie’s 2019 nativity play after it popped up as a ‘memory’ on her Facebook page.
Since sharing it online, the picture of Frankie, now eight, has gone viral racking up more than 11,000 likes, shares and comments.
Nikki, from Littleborough, Greater Manchester, said: “He’s not a very social little boy, he likes his own company.
“He didn’t like being one of the main stars, he’s used to being a sheep or a donkey.
“Just after a song finished all his nerves got to him – he thought people were looking at him – I had my camera out and I just happened to catch him.
“I looked at him and was thinking ‘what’s he just done?’. It wasn’t a quick ‘v’ it was a very long drawn out ‘v’ like ‘don’t look at me’. He stayed there for quite a while [like that].
“I remember thinking ‘oh god’ and I quickly scanned the room to see who was looking. I mouthed ‘no that’s naughty, put your hand down’.
“I was mortified, you obviously don’t want your kid swearing in front of everyone. It’s a catholic school and they’re quite strict.
“We clocked a few faces looking at me open-mouthed as if to say ‘has your kid just done that?’ some people didn’t notice as they were too busy looking at their own kids.
“I couldn’t concentrate for the rest of the play, I was thinking ‘please finish, hurry up and get him off that stage so I can tell him off’. It felt like forever.
“I think it was just all the pressure and being embarrassed and that was the first thing that came into his head. I’m just glad he didn’t pull his pants down.”
Nikki, who lives with marketing executive partner Graham Sunderland, 48, and 12-year-old daughter Sophia Tarney, said she knew it wasn’t an accidental peace sign, but a deliberate two-fingered salute.
The red-faced mum claims he’d seen older sister Sophia, then 10, using the gesture as a joke when messing about.
Nikki said: “It wasn’t a mistake like a peace sign [gone wrong] and he hadn’t done it before.
“I think he picked up the ‘v’ sign from his sister when messing about in the playground, it’s her fault for teaching him that.
“I remember thinking ‘oh my god let the ground swallow me up’. A couple of mums started giggling as they could see me and his dad Steve shaking and wobbling up and down.
“I didn’t want Frankie to see us – it would have caused a ruckus if we kept looking at each other.
“I did mention it to one of the teachers and she said she didn’t see anything, I remember thinking ‘thank god for that’.”
Frankie now knows that the gesture isn’t one to share at school, and had a good giggle about it when Nikki showed him the photo.
Nikki said: “I showed it to Frankie on Tuesday and he was laughing as now he knows how naughty it is.”
Nikki shared the picture on Facebook with the caption: “Don’t they just make you proud.”
Social media users found the snap hilarious, reminiscing about when their children had gotten up to similar antics.
One wrote: “A wise man indeed.”
Another commented: “This is comedy gold classic, what a photo.”
One wrote: “This has made my morning!”
Another commented: “You need to keep that photo for when he’s 18.”