Would you like to take Boo home with you this week? I don’t know how to answer that because firstly i have no idea who Boo is and secondly I need to know if any additional work is involved before I agree to anything.
This was the question that my daughter’s key worker asked me last week when picking her up from nursery. They have this teddy bear Boo, which the children are invited to take home and share their adventures over the weekend. He comes with his own set of clothes & you are encouraged to take pictures and then write in his diary what he has been up to. My mouth says ‘yes’ and my eyes say ‘do i have to ?’ I just saw hard work stamped all over it.
Instead i dug deep and did my parental duty and carried Boo around with us, along with everything else that weekend.
As it had been Belle’s birthday we were planning to take her to the zoo for the first time that weekend and naturally Boo would now come with. I thought this would happily take care of the task until i opened his diary and read the entries other parents had written when Boo came to stay with them.
Some of them had really pulled out all the stops. He had been treated like a five-star guest, tucked up in his own bed and showered with home comforts. He had been to craft fairs & on steam trains, hikes, trips to local cultural points of interest, many of which i haven’t even got round to visiting yet. This Bear was clearly living the dream.
By nature I am uncompetitive about most things. I have no desire to be first or win or bask in accolades. What I do desire though is to not come last. Averaging somewhere in the middle or just above is where I like to shoot for in the main, it means I don’t have to put in too much effort but just enough. A psychologist might argue I’m afraid of failure, i would tend to agree with them, that and being lazy.
I did what was asked of me though and carried this camouflaged coloured bear around with me all weekend, as my daughter had zero interest in him. I engineered all sorts of photo opportunities for the bear and my daughter while ignoring the weird looks from other parents as i manically tried to balance the bear, get my daughter to smile and take a photo at the same time.
We took photos with the animals at the zoo, at the park, going for a walk to the river near us, making breakfast, having lunch, helping a neighbour build a garden wall – it went on and on. I felt like i had to make our life sound far more exciting than it actually is, so those reading our weekend diary entry wouldn’t think we were the dull family Robinson.
By the time the weekend was over I were exhausted and glad to see the back of Boo. He had out stayed his welcome. I just needed to get the half a dozen photos printed off and write-up his exploits and i could hand him back.
I popped into Snappy Snaps in town, which with two babies squirming in the pram both fighting to free themselves is an adventure in itself. I stood waiting for the prints to be developed in the shop rocking the pram back and forth like i were on boat. Anything to distract and unbalance the babes in their quest for freedom.
As the young boy behind the counter handed me my Boo photos he smiled knowingly at me. Clearly he had taken a look at what was being developed.
I felt like i needed to qualify why a grown woman wanted lots of pictures of a bear in different scenarios. You would question their mental state wouldn’t you. Before i got a chance to say anything he said ‘your bear looks like he had a wicked weekend’.
I laughed out loud, while inwardly acknowledging I have just added another thing to the long list of things I promised myself I wouldn’t do as a parent.