‘Oh, yeah, Noodles got given this bag at the end of nursery today,’ Eve informed me as she passed me a large The Hungry Caterpillar bag that had been hanging from the back of Teddy’s buggy and that I’d assumed was a new changing bag for him. Inside was a teddy dressed in a jumper and knitted trousers, a toothbrush, flannel and towel, pair of teddy-sized pyjamas and a journal. Roy Bear had come to stay the night!
‘I’ve come to stay the night,’ it said in the front of the journal. ‘Please could you draw a picture, take a photograph or write in the diary about the things I’ve been doing so that I can share it with my friends in nursery.’
There’s no way on Earth that Noodles would draw a picture and I have no way of printing off hastily-shot pictures, so (like the other parents) I’m left to write an account of the day. Unlike the other parents, mine shall be a work of ‘constructed reality’. (I know that the people mostly interested in it will be the nursey staff and the other parents. It’s already reading like a case of oneupmanship. ‘Got left in the bag and then Noodles showed no interest in me,’ isn’t going to cut it. And he’s already thought to be a square peg so it’s probably best not to add flame to the fire.)
However, if Roy told the truth it would go something like this:
– Monday 11th March –
Jeez! Is there a support line for toy bear cruelty? 0800-TED TALKS maybe? I’ll give it a shot once everyone’s gone to sleep and us toys can wake up. (Toy Story wasn’t joking you know! It was cold hard fact, which is why you must NEVER EVER throw your kids’ old toys out or donate them to the nursery. It’s abuse everywhere, I’m telling ya. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.)
But onto me. Poor me. I couldn’t have gone back to the house ‘so big I nearly got lost’ after riding in the ‘shiny black car’ again could I? Oh no! I got used to that lifestyle far too easily, but today has been a trip from the stars to the gutter. What a comedown!
I mean, how can anyone forget about me?! I’m adorable! But whereas other families have taken me to the park for a go on the swings or fed me ‘special treats’ of ice cream and chocolate (like these kids don’t eat these things every day? Pull the other one!) today I’ve just be abandoned! Left in my bag for hour after hour after hour. And on the hottest day of the year so far. And there I was – dressed in knitwear for crying out loud! – alone in the dark. I didn’t sign up for that!
It’s cruelty I tell ya! Cruelty!
You can take this as a formal complaint!
At the very least there should be a fine. I can spend the income on more weather-appropriate clothing. Who wants to wear a jumper more fitting of an 80s kids’ TV presenter day in day out? And those red trousers sit up higher than a pair of Simon Cowell slacks! Do you know how hard it is to remove a wedgie when you’ve got paws?! Has no one heard of Build-a-Bear? Man I could get me some sweet sweet threads from there! Sheesh!
But no wonder the mum panicked when she found out about me! I’d been abandoned, left to overheat and not even provided with an imaginary cup of tea from the play tea set!!! That in itself contravenes basic soft-bear rights. Disgusting!
But what’s truly shocking is that rather than tending to my stuffed toy needs the only thing she was concerned about was not being judged by the other mums/staff. Everyone knows that the other parents revel in finding out whose had chips for tea or who lets their kid play on the Playstation/watch CBeebies all afternoon. And tonight I didn’t even get anything to eat (not even the standard chicken nugget, when surely everyone knows bears prefer salmon, marmalade sandwiches, honey and picnic baskets!) or to indulge in lazy-parenting techniques. No, after today even the McDonalds-for-dinner-whilst-watching-back-to-back-DVDs parents look like goddamn Mary-frickin’-Poppins!
Except, the piece of fiction she’s come up with is shocking! Pure propaganda! Yeah, sure, I got taken to the supermarket with cutesy pictures of Noodles pointing out the buses down his street or counting the numbers down the aisles.
Never mind bare-faced lies; these are are bear-faced lies! Lies with MY face on them!
Because it’s all a lie all for the sake of looking like an engaged parent, rather than someone whose worked all day and whose childcare arrangements don’t stretch to after-school bear care. It’s a wonder she can sleep at night! Actually, she may not sleep tonight as she tries to print out said photos when it’s going to require transferring them from her phone to her laptop and then fixing the printer. Ha! Obviously without actual photographic evidence of our ‘adventures’ it’s just her word against mine. It’s how you tell the true yummy mummies from the rest. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before one of them sets me up with my own Facebook account for all of my selfies. Now, that’s how you go the extra mile in parental over-striving. They’re amateurs, the lot of them at the moment. Even the shiny car/massive house participant. If you want to be a Tiger Mum you’ve got to think outside the box.
Today though I didn’t even think I was going to experience things outside the bag!
As a result of today’s horrors, I would like to apply for a transfer. An international teddy transfer placement up in Alaska. My woolly pants will actually be appropriate for the winter months and I may finally get some goddamn salmon!!!