It happens to the best of us. It’s inevitable. I’ve done nothing wrong. Yet during the course of the reception year, you cannot escape it. And my day has come. I find myself returning home from the school run, weighed down with the bag of doom. Other parents glance over at me with a look of pity, as my offspring comes skipping out of the classroom, with the smug smile of lottery winner. I am handed a tatty old carrier bag containing Toby the Tiger and a large scrap book. Oh bollocks.
Toby the tiger is a large, cumbersome, slightly musty, grubby and a bit faded stuffed tiger. His head is a different colour to the rest of his body. I suspect that it might have been a bit bleached after a 4 year old vomited on him. I have an overwhelming desire to Febreeze him, but the Diva wont let him out of her sight.
We read the instructions, and it would appear that Toby the Tiger has high expectations of his weekend with us. He wants to come with us everywhere we go, he wants to take part in everything we do. It sounds like having another toddler. He’ll probably be scratching at the door to get in the bathroom when I’m having a shit. He also wants his every move to be documented with photos and explanations. And this must be completed by Monday Morning when the whole class will read the book and talk to my daughter about her fun weekend….. Send help.
We flick back through the book to discover that Toby’s in more selfies than Kim Kardashian. Mr Mess, Stress and Fancy Dress is wittering on in the background about how we should have been warned. What if we’d been going away? How can we reasonably be expected to document our weekend and have photos taken on Sunday, stuck in a book the same day? We don’t have a printer so we’ll have to go to get photos printed in a shop. I point out that we are not going away, and that my concern centres more around how dull we are. I can see Toby has made educational trips to museums. He has been to National Trust properties. I don’t know if a weekend watching us trying to potty train the Hulk whilst playing hours of highly competitive Hide and Seek was what Toby had in mind.
So while my process driven husband is mentally designing a spreadsheet to manage the rotation of Toby Tiger more efficiently, I am scanning the Tourist Information centre of my mind to think of something interesting we could do. We have to do this “interesting thing” on Saturday because we will need to get the pictures printed out in town on Sunday. My mind is suddenly blanker than Toby Tigers expression. It’s Friday night so I quickly give up and drink gin instead.
And this is how it came to pass that Toby did nothing much on his trip to our house. The most exciting thing he did, was to go with us into town, so we could spend £50 buying a printer, to print out the millions of pictures of him doing nothing of interest. What a vain little shit he is.