A mother's weekly dispatch from the pre-school frontline

"But I like Jesus," my daughter notes while slurping cereal loudly across the kitchen table. Not so much an expression of ideological commitment as code for "BUT WHY AM I NO LONGER SANCTIONED TO EAT CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST?".

Ever since its arrival in our lives, the chocolate advent calendar – now dearly departed – has caused nothing but grief, my mother having ruled against the traditional Hello Kitty version in favour of a nativity scene because "while you might not follow the religion, you cannot question the history".

"They've got lots of pets haven't they?" my daughter notes as she gazes at the cartoon Biblical scene before her. "They're not pets, they're the farm animals," I explain calmly, making a mental journey through the story of Jesus and Bethlehem in order to pre-empt any awkward questions.

"A farm? But that's smelly!" she guffaws, flicking muesli across the room with her spoon as the involuntary laughter wracks through her tiny body. "Err, people do live on farms..." I reply. "Don't be silly!" she wails. "Of course people live on farms. What do you think a farmer is? Who do you think got you that milk?! Oh, never mind," I shrug, throwing the cat off the table.

The four-year-old is quiet, deep in thought for a moment, and then creases her forehead: "Was Jesus a famous singer?" I gawp back at her, dumb-struck. "No, darling, Jesus was the Son of God. Apparently." She rolls this around her mind for a moment and then nods: "Oh yeah, I mean Elvis. Is that his brother?"