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.