Mila’s nursery have given us a toy bear named Rupert to take home for a week. We are to take photos of all of the wild and rambunctious fun that Mila and Rupert shall share during this magical week and write in a journal about their innermost thoughts and feelings.
It’s now Thursday and I’m starting to sweat beads of panic. To date we have taken exactly zero photos of Mila and Rupert’s fun-packed week and written a grand total of zero innermost thoughts or teddy bear feelings. I have decided to act and so I’m now in the midst of concocting a most enchanting scene. Mila has been skilfully plonked on her rocking horse with Rupert expertly positioned in front of her. An array of soft creatures and funky toys are combining to create a most fantastical backdrop. Happy with the mis-en-scene, I dash across the room to the perfect spot and grab my camera phone. The lighting is perfect. I prepare to capture this beautifully natural moment. However, nanoseconds before flesh touches phone, Mila picks up Rupert and flings him from her horse.
For the fourth time.
“Oh for fffffffffff…”
“What are you doing honey?” comes a voice from behind me. It’s Zsuzsa. I know this as she sounds uncannily like herself.
“What’s going on?”
The sigh of a broken man escapes my lips.
“We’ve got to take some photos of Mila and Rupert!” I say.
“So Mila keeps messing up the shot! She thinks that Rupert is a dickhead.”
We both cast our eyes at our infant child. She has now dismounted from her steed and is using Rupert as an implement to destroy my perfectly sculpted backdrop.
“Come on honey. It’s just a few photos and words. It’s no big deal.” Zsuzsa says.
“But have you seen the book? People have taken Rupert on holiday with them! He’s been on airplanes! He’s been to the beach! The fucker's been everywhere!”
“Are you being unnecessarily competitive?” asks Zsuzsa judgementally.
“No.” I reply, staring at my feet in shame.
“What have I told you about being competitive?”
“Not to be.”
“Are you sulking now?”
“No.” I reply, making an effort to tuck my bottom lip back in.
We sit in reflective silence while Mila continues to destroy worlds with her fluffy battering ram.
“I know!” says Zsuzsa excitedly. “What if Rupert goes to a funeral? I bet he hasn’t been to one of those before!”
We are to attend a funeral next week.
“Yes! Brilliant! That’s an amazing idea!” I yell, a smile breaking across my face!
Ten seconds later, after we’ve both mentally processed the idea of photographing a teddy bear in various poses during a sombre funeral, we both come to the realisation that it’s actually an awful idea.
“Oh I don’t know. Just go and feed the ducks or something honey. Take Rupert and take some photos. Move on.”
I sigh, pick up my tiny child.
“You want to go feed the ducks little lady?”
Mila nods enthusiastically.
I pick up Rupert. Mila sees this and gazes at the bear with disdain. I don’t know what the bear has done to Mila in the past, but the one thing I know about my cub is that she’s an excellent judge of character. There is little doubt in my mind that Rupert is obviously a prize winning twat once you get to know him.
“Come on sweetheart. Lets go and have some wonderful, forced, staged fun.”