February 07, 2013

The Day I Killed the Class Bear

Never underestimate the power of good lighting and a mediocre camera. He almost looks soft here.
There is this bear that resides in Silas' preschool classroom. His name is Buddy. And he goes home each Thursday with a chosen student to be loved on for the weekend. Buddy loves to snuggle in bed with each girl and boy; he loves to have tea parties with real jam sandwiches; he loves to get lots of sloppy kisses.

Which is why Buddy is currently in my freezer. For the weekend.

Silas: Where is Buddy???
Me: I put him in the freezer.
Jannika: Yeah, Silas you remember when I came home with a stuffed Littlest Pet Shop cat from a garage sale and mom put it in the freezer for a long time? Like a super long time?
Me: Like a month at least.
Silas: Oh yeah! Alright!

Am I the only one to see the weirdness in all of this?? (The concept of Buddy. Not the act of stuffing a bear the size of an actual human toddler into our freezer. Or the kids' acceptance of the normalcy of doing so.)

I'm sorry, but three-year-olds are gross. They just are. I love mine, but he picks his nose. He rubs his snot on couch. He loves to keep his hands warm inside his underwear. He occasionally burps up food from a previous day, fishes a chunk out of his mouth, looks at it in disgust, and then wipes in on the wall.

And then he loves on Buddy. Or he would, I guess, if Buddy weren't doubled in half against a frozen pizza and a box of edamame, his poor, broken cotton heart beating slower with each passing minute.

Apparently, the kids often come back to preschool on Tuesday with actual photographs of Buddy's weekend adventures. a) Behind this are probably the same parents who bring Pinterest-inspired snacks that coordinate with the preschool learning theme of the week. I bring raisins, cheese cubes, and Great Value crackers, not caring whether it's "I love snow!" or "I love Texas!" week. It's a snack. Kids will eat it. b) Finding my camera is about four steps too hard. c) I just don't really care enough to be an overly-involved, creative mom. If my kid is fine with this possibly bedbug-infested, probably snot-crusted bear hanging out in our freezer, then so much the better for me. And our rugs. And the bill for an exterminator.

I lied. It was worth finding the camera after all.
I'm not quite sure what to say when Silas goes back Tuesday with a half-thawed bear, no photos of adventures (save the one above), and some cockamamie story about bugs, garage sales, and a freezer. I love his teachers dearly - I want them to love me back. But I have this sneaking suspicion they might be a little miffed that Buddy went into deep freeze for five days. If nothing else, Buddy will be completely sanitized for the next excited kid to drool on. (This counts as being a classroom helper, right?)

Am I wrong? Really, let me know. I still have until Tuesday to redeem myself and my "I'm not a freak of a parent" status. Even Monday night might work. How long does it take viruses and insects to freeze?

Post-publishing addendum:
My mom read this story and sent me an email that started with "You are the child of my loins (can a mom say that?). Well, at least you had the guts to freeze it."

Because what did she do when faced with the same dilemma last year? She bought an identical bear and left the mange-infested one in the trunk of the car.

Apparently my littlest sister had a classroom bear last year, too. (Different school. Different state. I would assume this is some underhanded government plot to make sure all preschool kids who skipped the chickenpox shot get immunized the old-fashioned way with real germs from real spit/snot/pee. Like we sucked it up and did growing up when our moms told us it was just a bunch of mosquito bites and sent us to school for two days until the school nurse was informed we kept itching and finally pulled up our shirts to confirm, yes, it was chickenpox, not damage from a harem of mosquitoes having a blood-sucking orgy on our bellies.)

Where was I?

Oh yeah. When it was Keera's turn to take Corduroy Bear, my mom couldn't bring herself to bring the bear into the house, allowing Corduroy's TB-infected bear body into Keera's bed. (I swear I didn't know this story until this past weekend.)

I can't quite decide if this is completely brilliant or just (way) more insane. Either way, one more example that I AM my mom.

She, at least, faked a tea party for a photo to add to the "Adventures of Corduroy" journal. I just followed Silas around for 45 minutes this morning, shoving Buddy into every scene.

Me: Look, Silas! Buddy is eating breakfast with you!!
Silas: His bowl is empty. That's not real.
Me: Silas, why don't you let Buddy watch you guys play? Look, he's trying to see!
Silas: I don't want to touch him - he's freezing.
Me: Whatever. That'll go away. Just take him. DO IT.
*5 minutes later*
Silas: Mooooom! I'm done! Wipe me!
Me, walking into the bathroom: Okay-- WHAT IS BUDDY DOING HERE??
Silas: You said take him!
Me: Not to straddle the base of the toilet while you pooped!?!

And that's when I gave up. I have no idea what he said when he stood up to give a report to his class this morning. Buddy went into the freezer and then I pooped with him, I suppose.