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Angel in nativity play flips off audience for 20 minutes

About 10 minutes into the school nativity play , 5-year-old Ella Legge spotted a hangnail on her middle finger. That nagging boo-boo bothered her so much that the girl started inspecting it mid-play. First, she raised the injured middle finger and stared at it. Not satisfied by looking at the finger in isolation, she lifted the other one to compare and contrast the middle fingers.“I was horrified and trying to tell her to put it down without interrupting,” mom Carla Bovingdon, 33, of Essex, England, told TODAY Parents , via email.
Ella Legge had a hangnail on her middle finger in the middle of the school nativity play. Upset, she spent about 20 minutes of the play inspecting her middle finger and accidentally flipping off the entire audience. Courtesy of Carla Bovingdon
For the next 20 minutes of the play, Ella, dressed as an angel complete with a gown and a glittery tinsel halo, examined her finger in great depth as the holiday program continued on behind her. Her mom suspects the girl kept her fingers up to make absolutely sure her parents knew about the offending hangnail. Though Bovingdon felt slightly embarrassed, she snapped some pictures of Ella because she and others got a chuckle from it.

By acknowledging small improvements in behaviour you make it easier for big improvements to follow.

“A few of the older kids in the audience were commenting, a couple of teachers noticed it, but we all tried to ignore it,” Bovingdon explained.

She shared the photos online and they quickly went viral. People love seeing the sweet angelic Ella seemingly flipping off the crowd. But Bovingdon says her daughter doesn’t know what raising a middle finger means or what she was doing.

“It’s a bit upsetting some of the comments that she’s rude as she had no idea what the gesture meant as she’s not seen it before,” Bovingdon said. “She didn’t know it was rude.”

At first, 5-year-old Ella Legge inspected just the offending hangnail during the nativity play. Then she inspected both to compare and contrast the difference. Courtesy of Carla Bovingdon
While they’re surprised by how popular Ella’s pictures have become, Bovingdon knows why so many people relate to it. Ella looks so sweet and is clearly oblivious that she’s doing something mean or offensive.

“It’s her innocence that makes it so funny,” Bovingdon said.

Ella “loves that lots of people like her pictures” and her hangnail has, of course, healed. This isn’t the first time that the girl made a big splash during a performance. When she was 3, she spent some of her ballet recital “with her hands over her eyes as looking in the distance shouting, ‘mum, dad’ and waving frantically.”

Let them read what they want. Kids who read for pleasure excel academically—not only in language arts but, as recent research from the Institute of Education, in London, found, in math as well. So while you wish he would pick up Dickens, don't make him feel bad about a graphic novel. "A 'junky' series can be good if it gets kids hooked on the habit of reading," says Mary Leonhardt, a former high school English teacher and the author of Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't.

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Bovingdon shared the pictures online because she thought many parents could relate and thought the images “would bring some light-hearted Christmas fun.”