An embarrassed little lad failed to be 'wise' during his nativity, as he spent it swearing at his mortified mum – as he thought holding up the 'v' sign would stop her looking at him
Nikki Tarney claims her embarrassed son Frankie Tarney, then six, was desperate to get off-stage while playing one of the three wise men.
Feeling 'under pressure' at being in the limelight, the schoolboy made the rude gesture to the audience, blissfully unaware of its meaning.
The red-faced mum-of-two inadvertently caught Frankie's swearing on camera and, in between bouts of silent giggling with his dad Steven, furiously 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?'
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"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 remarketing 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 pointed the finger of blame squarely on Sophia, then 10, for teaching him the gesture.
Nikki said: "It wasn't a mistake like a peace sign [gone wrong] and he hadn't done it before.
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"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."
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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 got up to similar antics.
One wrote: "A wise man indeed."
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