It was only a matter of time. BB has finally come home from school armed with the class teddy bear and a daunting looking diary, in which we’re supposed to record his stay at our house with words and pictures.
Thankfully Benji’s visit coincided with the Easter holidays, meaning we’ve had two weeks to get our act together, as opposed to just a weekend like some mums and dads.
This isn’t the first time we’ve been responsible for a class bear – BB had one at nursery called Timmy, who had a lot to answer for – and I’ve come to the conclusion that class teddy bears are a BAD idea.
1. They encourage competitive parenting. Google ‘class teddy bear’ and apparently parents snap into ‘competitive, aggressive survival mode’ when it comes to take-home teddies because they spark ‘class wars’ and ‘social divide’. You’ll find pictures of class teddies sunbathing on yachts, grinning at Mount Everest base camp and living it up in the Hollywood Hills. It’s not the other kids you’ve got to impress when you’re filling in the diary, it’s the parents.
2. You’ve got to think of something ‘fun’ to do. Let’s face it, Benji helping to empty the dishwasher or going to the swings isn’t really going to cut the mustard. Thankfully the entries prior to Benji’s stay at our house are fairly normal (with the exception of a trip to New York and Barbados – I’m not jealous, honest!) I’m not even going to try and top that.
3. It’s like getting homework all over again. You’ve got the bear, you’ve got the diary, all you have to do is take pictures of it doing things, print them out, stick them in the diary and think of clever things to write next to them all by the time it’s due back at school. This isn’t just homework people, it’s a project.
4. The should-you shouldn’t-you wash it conundrum. Did you know that 25% of cuddly toys are harbouring poo? Or a bacteria linked to poo, anyway. Not to mention traces of the pet dogs you’ve seen it photographed with, or the siblings it’s been tucked up with in the aforementioned diary. And apart from what the thing might have come into contact with before arriving at your house, there’s what it’s been in contact with since. My lips are sealed. With a bit of luck a sponge bath with Dettol laundry cleanser ought to do it.
5. The responsibility is like a great weight on your shoulders. You find yourself saying ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ lest something untoward happens to the bear. Worst case scenario is you actually lose it, which has already happened to poor old Benji. As already mentioned, one of BB’s classmates took it on holiday to Barbados where, according to the diary, it ‘went to a spa and had a complete makeover’ (top marks to the mum for creative thinking). During this ‘complete makeover’ Benji acquired a whole new skin tone (fake tan?) and spaniel-type ears were miraculously replaced with traditional teddy bear ones courtesy of Build A Bear Workshop. I’m so glad it didn’t happen on my watch.
Have you ever been in charge of a class teddy bear? Was it a responsibility you could do without, or did you enjoy it?
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