On Friday Ladybird came out of her classroom grinning wildly. In her wake came a Peppa Pig suitcase that she pulled air hostess-style.
‘Jasper has chosen me this weekend,’ she announced with glee.
The class bear is a new one on me. When a friend asked, ‘Are you doing anything exciting with him this weekend?’ I felt relief that yes, as luck would have it, we would be showing Jasper a good time this weekend. But what if we’d planned a quiet one? Would we feel obliged to change our plans just to show Jasper a good time? I’d like to think we wouldn’t go that for far for a stuffed toy, but I can’t guarantee it.
DH said he’d read that parents did just that, one-upmanship leading to the class bear being whisked off for lavish and exotic bear-cations. I sniffed disapprovingly at this revelation, while closely scrutinising Jasper’s scrapbook; counting the number of photos and stickers carefully added by his previous hosts. Like it or not, I’d been sucked in.
Jasper is a cute, if a little solemn, bear. He comes with three pairs of shoes, toothbrush, several changes of day clothes and some red, snow flake design pyjamas that we were all eyeing up jealously. He also brings a storybook, a game of snap and the dreaded (for me at least) scrapbook. On the plus side, no dietary requirements, he didn’t even hint at marmalade.
Ladybird was concerned with his upkeep, changing him for bed and including him in our activities. I was concerned with the scrapbook. Snapping away all weekend on my phone, Jasper was pictured at firework displays, up trees, at ballet, in the pub, scaling rope ladders and flying on magic carpets.We took him to Wilderness Woods to choose our Christmas tree and in case you’re wondering, no, he didn’t, he’s not that sort of bear.
I hate to admit it but I did get a bit stressed with the printing. I needed to print all the photos at my inlaws as our printer gives the photos a bleached, poor man’s sepia effect. But my phone’s battery gave up before I’d emailed all the photos to myself. It ended up as a team effort, the grandparents roped into it and even DH’s cousin had to leave his Sunday lunch to sort out the printing and prevent the bickering between DH and I escalating.
Jasper himself didn’t ask for much and Ladybird was in heaven hosting him for the weekend. She walked all the way to school today without a whimper and it’s all down to the contents of the suitcase rumbling behind her.
As I snapped Jasper’s completed scrapbook shut with a sigh of relief, DH delivered a cruel blow:
‘You do realise Pickle could be bringing Jasper home again as early as next weekend.’
Let’s hope it’s a busy one.