On Friday Sonny brought Toffee home from school. Toffee the bear.
He was really excited, Luca was jealous, and me, well I kissed goodbye to my weekend of doing nothing.
Let’s face it, nothing inflicts some culture on your weekend quite like your child bringing home the class teddy.
I mentioned him on Twitter and discovered I wasn’t alone. I also discovered a world of competitive parenting. Of bears abroad. Of quad biking bears and teddies in theatres. I hadn’t signed up to this!
I’m a competitive person. Ask me to play scissor, paper, stone and we’ll still be playing 48 hours later if I haven’t won. Sleep deprivation will get you long before I admit defeat.
Thankfully my competitiveness doesn’t cover parenting. Not on moral grounds I should add, it’s just this parenting malarkey is already hard work and my laziness will always trump anything akin to extra effort.
Now had Toffee stayed with us last weekend he’d have reported back on me swearing at the football and a draft of excuses as to why I couldn’t take the Christmas tree to the tip.
Fortunately we had plans this weekend. Mandotots!
Songs and stories in Mandarin; or just your typically culture-laden weekend in the Bryce-Yang household *ahem.
To be fair to Janet (and not just because she insisted I put this in writing), Mandotots was booked long before we knew of Toffee’s arrival. No honestly it was!
Now this is a first for my blog. I have something that’s been written by Sonny and Luca themselves.
It’s not the first time they’ve asked me to write on their behalf mind you.
“Can you blog it”,
is something they often say, but thus far I’ve always resisted.
That sounds heartless given what my blog is called but I need to retain some editorial control, and besides, you can’t put an actual bogey on the blog anyway.
Or take this week for example. Sonny asked me to blog about Luca growling at his cornflakes? He wanted it on record that he wasn’t happy with his brother, and that he wasn’t going to be his best friend for forty thousand and a million weeks!
Well there you go, he’s got his wish. Turns out I am a ghost-writer for the easily offended breakfast eater after all?
On Saturday I took Toffee to Manchester on the train to Mandotots where we sang songs and listened to stories in Mandarin. Toffee didn’t understand Mandarin, but I let him into a secret, neither did I. It was a lot of fun though.
Afterwards we went to a Chinese restaurant. We had my favourite, dim sum and noodles. Toffee found using the chopsticks tricky so he just used the spoon like me and Luca.
We then visited our Great Grandma. She’s 96 years old and lives in Chinatown, next to the pretty arch. We taught Toffee how to say hello in Chinese (Ni Hao Ma).
Great Grandma thought Toffee was very smart and polite and wanted to keep him but I said he had to go back to school on Monday.
We then stopped at a Chinese bakery to buy some cakes. We chose egg tarts and a custard bun to take home to daddy. Custard buns are his favourite.
We had a treasure map with an ‘X’ that marked the spot where they were buried so found them again.
To teach Toffee the Terrible a lesson we made him walk the plank. Luckily he swam faster than the sharks and made it back to the beach.
It was nice having Toffee stay with us. Next year Luca will be in my class and I’ve told him that if he’s good he can bring Toffee home again.
Now all sarcasm and cynicism aside it’s been really nice having the teddy for the weekend.
Since starting school not a Friday’s gone by without Sonny wishing he’d been chosen to bring Toffee home. To share in his excitement has been lovely and he was really proud of the reasons behind why he felt he was chosen this week.
It also acted as a welcome reminder of how easily a weekend can disappear under a cloud of housework. It’s all too easy letting the kids be entertained by a multitude of screens whilst you do other things, and yet something as simple as a teddy bear can ignite their imaginations and bring a whole new array of family adventures.
Also Toffee didn’t want to play on my phone therefore I concur with Sonny wholeheartedly, he’s welcome back any time.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes the Christmas tree is still in the front garden two weeks on.
I’m not proud.
Next year I’ve decided we’ll be having a Christmas laylandii. That way come February it’ll look like we have a mature garden rather than one filled with the horticultural equivalent of a discarded washing machine.