Christina M. Currie: A bear of a day

"That short girl whose pants never fully cover her butt is taking me home today. She's quiet, so I don't know what to expect. I'm thinking it will be OK because she does smile a lot. She's pretty sweet to the guinea pigs, too, and that means a lot in my world.

"She fought with her mom about who got to carry the little bag I ride in. She won, which meant I was dragged and kicked all the way to the car. I used to be white, but this isn't my first slumber party and this isn't the first time my care has been entrusted to a 4-year-old.

"I'm tough.

"Most kids change my name. This one didn't. I'm still 'Teddy, though that's mostly because the big one bullied her sister into it. Her sister's tougher than she looks though. She wouldn't even let the big one touch me.

"Oh, the big one is called Katie and my keeper is Nikki. I could hear the mom yell that, even though I'm still stuffed in my bag. Evidently, Nikki is supposed to share, and Katie is not supposed to grab. Even I'm confused about how they're supposed to carry out both of those directives.

"It's a good thing I've got fluff for lungs, because the big one is squeezing the tar out of me. She's only doing it because the little one said not to. I wish one of them would realize that the other will drop me in a corner and forget about me soon enough.

"No, that's not the way with sisters. They only want what the other has and only when the other cares that she has it.

"Nap time. Big surprise. That's always the first thing I get to do with my keeper. This one snores, but at least she doesn't kick.

"When we woke up, we got to have snacks and watch cartoons. We didn't play because Nikki was sick.

"If you ask me, she doesn't take advantage of the fact that she's got the babysitter wrapped around her finger and can have anything she wants. I'm all for the chocolate milk thing, but coffee? No wonder she's the little one.

"The mom's back. Grocery store? Now we're talking. What do you mean I have to stay in the car? Do you take kids on a field trip and leave them on the bus?

"Evidently you do, because I'm still in the car and stuffed headfirst in my sack to boot.

"Ahhhh, it's about time. I was getting lonely. Were you stocking shelves? Baking free samples? What could possibly take an hour and a half in the grocery store?

"Gosh, the mom's pretty and she seems smart*, but she sure talks a lot. Maybe that's what took so long. The mom was visiting.

"Maybe not. She doesn't seem to need anyone else to carry on a conversation. Did this car come with a radio? Anybody skilled in turning it on?

"What do you mean it's almost bedtime? We just got home! This bites. What am I going to tell everyone that I did if what I did didn't start until 8 p.m. and ended at 9?

"OK, 9:40 p.m. The mom's kind of a pushover.

"See, what did I tell you. Forgotten. I was tossed to the side the minute we got in the door. No good night, no sweet dreams, no snuggling.

"Well good morning. Nice of you to remember me. Hmmm, back into the bag, not even a fight over who gets to carry me."

OK, so I cheated. This month's preschool version of show and tell means each child gets to take home a stuffed teddy bear, a book and a notebook where I'm required to write about all the things the bear did during his (her?) 24-hour visit.

I'm 26 years old* and I'm being assigned homework?

Please. I know I can write. What I want to know is whether Nikki can.

Yeah, yeah, I know. She's 4 years old; she can't write. But what about the art of verbal story telling? Pictures? Re-enactments?

Nope. Instead, the task fell to me, and I dragged you along.

I like to think of it as being efficient, even if I am two days late in handing it in.

  • Author reserves the right to take full literary license in all cases of self-description.

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