The Trouble With Bernard

Before we start I would like to say that I have unashamedly pinched the idea for this post from the magnificent Antonia.  Her original post is hysterical, and is better than mine, but I was so tickled by the idea it had to be done.

This is Bernard:


Bernard has been given to us by Oscar’s teacher for the weekend.  Each weekend he is given to a different family in the class, who all take turns in looking after him and writing in Bernard’s ‘Buddy Book’.  You fill it with pictures of your child and Bernard doing whatever activities you happen to be doing that weekend and the child writes about their time with Bernard.

It is a huge privilege, and the children all really look forward to taking Bernard home.  I would say that the parents are probably less enamoured, as you are required to at least pretend that you don’t spend all weekend slumped on the sofa in your onesies, a la the Royle family, eating chocolate digestives and watching ‘Who’s Been Framed?’

It is however, infinitely preferable to having something live to look after, like the school hamster, should you be blessed with livestock.

At least you don’t have to worry about Bernard’s imminent demise, or sucking him up the hoover pipe, or treading on him.

I have found though, over the course of the weekend, that despite him being very well behaved when Oscar is around, his off duty activities are a little less savoury.



I came into the kitchen late on Friday night to find Bernard knocking back a bottle of Shiraz.

He was quite drunk:



As you can see when he woke me up in the wee small hours, banging about downstairs, and forgetting to a) shut the toilet door and b) put the toilet seat up before he went about his business.

I had hoped this would be the end of the matter, as he was rather more decorous during the day time, helping the children build their snow man:



and embracing one of the family traditions in this household:


having his hair nit combed.

Although I should have guessed something was up. You can clearly see he is a bit unsteady on his pins in the snowman picture.

Last night things got worse:



After being caught stealing the last of the Christmas biscuits, he got a bit weepy



and moved on to the gin and pills



before trying to stick his head in the oven.

I tried to explain that it was an electric oven, not a gas oven, but he kept weeping and mumbling things about Sylvia Plath.  I’m not sure I got through to him.

I tucked him up in bed to sleep it off, but he might have to spend a few days at The Betty Ford Clinic before his next weekend away.

I shall send a note on Monday.

8 responses to “The Trouble With Bernard

  1. Loved it…thanks for the giggle

  2. I’m sure he had a splendid time. Much more exciting than going to the nearest shopping mall or trundling around Sainsbury. And what’s a small drink problem between friends anyway 😉

  3. Too funny! And too bad Oscar couldn’t hand this in! Imagine how tickled his teacher would be to get something so – um – unexpected! (Most teachers of small children have a terrific sense of humour, of course!)

  4. Oh send it in, go on, please – these things are hideous in their promotion of Competitive Parenting, everyone would be massively grateful as well as amused.

  5. Our friend Sarah’s stufties had a Vick inhaler-stick habit – and used to have all night drinks parties with ours when we went there on holiday. But then you knew we were barking…

  6. Bernard is not allowed to play with us any more!

  7. i don’t know… i think you were exemplary hosts… especially in the midst of all the moving bruhaha… He seemed very at home and able to let his hair down, so to speak… as for the so-called ‘suicide’ attempt, it’s my belief he just wanted to lay his head on your bosom, katy and have you pat his back and say, ‘there, there. There, there…’ so you obliged and all is well. I’m sure what happens at Boo house, stays at Boo House.

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