Nappies, sleepless nights, stretch-marks, tiredness, more nappies, first steps, sick bugs, toilet training, tantrums…
All of the expected obstacles you sign up to when you become a mother. Like a rite of passage, and society as a whole does its best to prepare you for these inevitable challenges. There is however, an unspoken chapter that I had never been prepared for. The sodding school bear!
You may be naively chuckling to yourself right now if you haven’t come across this monumental ball-ache in your journey yet, but let me tell you, you will. Unless of course you own your own laminator and enjoy crafts. I would rather stick pins in my eyes.
Firstly, you have to wait 25 disappointing weeks to see if you are lucky enough to bring him home and then one fateful Friday your lovely cherub bounces over to you with a glimmer of excitement in their eyes and screams at you that it’s finally their turn to entertain Rainbow Bear for the week. Here are your thoughts:
2. What on earth am I going to do with the stupid bear?
3. Bollocks. I have already planned my weekend to a T and rather embarassingly it involves very little family time and rather a lot of drinking.
Rainbow Bear came with me to the salon to get a patch test, and then to Sainsbury’s to buy pick and mix for bribery and the essential bottles of Sauvignon Blanc needed to get me through the weekend.
Rainbow Bear then enjoyed a night in the house alone whilst everyone went for a sleepover at Grandma’s and forgot him. We then popped for lunch and discovered George Michael’s memorial shrine. The brilliant weekend was topped off with a hungover Domino’s pizza.
The rest of the week followed, with us forgetting to drag Rainbow Bear around our daily tasks and actually losing him for a worrying 48 hours.
Before you know it, it’s Thursday night and you have the earth-shattering realisation that not only did you get the responsibility of the bear but also the sodding diary to accompany it, a fact that has inconveniently slipped your mind leaving you now in a panic and rush. Casually flicking through you notice that some of the entries are extraordinary. We are talking laminated photos, pages of documentation, days out at theme parks and nutritional family meals. Somewhere down the line it’s clearly become a contest to see who can have the most elaborate fun with the bear, one that I was very blasé about, bordering on ignorant in fact. These mums are the ones who enter the baking competition and Easter Bonnet competition every year FOR FUN. My poor children will be burdened in making their own ghastly hideous creations forever because:
1. I don’t have time and…
2. I don’t care enough to cheat them into winning.
Anyway, I digress. Upon reading through the book a sudden feeling of inadequacy fills your being. You slowly realise that over the whole week you’ve taken very few pictures and just want to be rid of the damned thing.
So, you are left with two choices; burn it or conform. Regrettably but obviously, I dutifully conformed and rushed about like a loony making up fun stuff that we did that won’t make me sound like the real life Eddy and Saffy [side note: I miss Ab Fab like you wouldn’t believe]. Printing off photos and trying to wing it in the hope that I could fake a week of quinoa-eating, crafting, and harmonic bliss.
I failed. And we receive the bastard thing back that afternoon to add a bit more. I shit you not!
So MOLOs, beware and be prepared for this day. And have something up your sleeve or just wing it like me. Sod the pressure, sod the expectations and sod the bloody bear.
*Disclaimer: my daughter LOVED receiving Rainbow Bear and it was such a happy week for her. Like lots of mothering – we do it all for them.*
A normal mum living a chaotic, gin infused life with my two daughters, lovely Fiancé and our two sausages. Spending my life standing on My Little Ponies and Shopkins. Instagram and scented candle-obsessed. Occasional hippy and serious shopaholic. Passionate about politics and lipstick.
Image credit: Rowan Lawfull