Traditionally, the kindergarteners at our school have a class mascot. Super Bee. Mighty Duck. Mighty Monkey. This year it's Buddy Bear.
He sits up in a corner surveying the classroom and at the end of the day, whispers into the teacher's ear the name of someone who tried really hard, or who did something very kind, and asks to go home with that child.
He comes home in a little box, along with a pencil and a notepad. The idea is that at the end of the day, I record all sorts of fun activities my son shared with the animal, and we return Buddy Bear the next morning. I'm not exactly clear on how it all works, but at some point the teacher shares Buddy Bear's adventures with the class.
Traditionally, Buddy Bear has a great time. He watches movies, visits Grandma's and eats at McDonald's. Or so I hear.
When he goes to my sister's house, he gets a full-on spa treatment. Bath, trim if he needs it; a photo session even. The notepad comes back fully illustrated with a fancy cover.
At my house, we are doomed to break with tradition.
On his first visit, Buddy Bear didn't make it out of the backpack.
On his second visit, he emerged, but nobody paid any attention to him. I completely forgot the notebook.
On his third visit, Buddy Bear had some incredible adventures. Ones I didn't hear about until this morning when my youngest sees Dad writing in the notebook about Buddy Bear's fourth, and most recent visit of yesterday. The kid freezes. Gets this look on his face like . . . I don't know. Like whatever Dad wrote about last time, well, apparently it was scarring.
Dad–what are you writing?
Oh . . . just that Buddy Bear played in the fort. And other stuff.
Other stuff. See, that's the troubling part. I have no way of knowing what other stuff Dad wrote unless Buddy Bear comes to visit us again, and judging from the look on my five-year-old's face, I'm not betting on that ever happening. I also caught something vague about Buddy being bored without television and having his first original thought, which scared him at first, but he adjusted.
I'm hoping that some other parent (Nena–is Buddy due any time soon at your place for a treatment?) will fill me in when they read it. Also hoping Mrs. S learned her lesson last time Buddy returned from our house, and reads the entry silently to herself first, applying liberal censorship as needed.