Tuesday, November 09, 2004

T. Edward the Onboard Bear

In case you haven't noticed I'm a staunch supporter of the importance of non-relations in the lives of kids. Could be an only child thing. Could be just weird parents. I don't know, I don't question. Just know that I'm trying like hell to uphold the tradition.

When I was born my dad was the band director for the local high school. No shortage of babysitters in a situation like that. I could tell you so many stories about what it's like to grow up with legions of teenage brothers and sisters who dote on you. But I won't because it'd surely come across as creepy.

Two of my babysitters bought me a teddy bear. I don't know how kids get attached to certain toys and not others, there's probably a study out there somewhere with a theory and I bet it's a bunch of crap. This teddy bear, a tall, stiff panda, became my favorite. Despite the fact that my family named everything I refused to name the bear. He was just bear.

He still is.

My dad can't stand that. He tried everything to get me to slap a name on my teddy bear. But I couldn't do it. He's just Bear, it's all he has to be. PapaKizz has contented himself with naming Bear T. Edward the Onboard Bear and religiously uses the name whenever my Bear is referred to. I have steadfastly refused to take up the name. We agree to disagree and pretend not to notice the other's glaring error.

The name comes from the fact that Bear has accompanied me to many different states and on at least one trip to the UK. Until I was probably 12 I took Bear everywhere I stayed longer than a day at school. He rode in the car, he slept in the bed, he sat outside and watched me play, he even came to New York to do sightseeing back when King Tut was staying at the Met. And I'll admit it, even now, on a particularly bad day or night (November 3, 2004 anyone?) I'll curl up with my Bear.

On Saturday my 3 year old friend, Alita, stopped by. We were just dropping off the pooch. While I was peeing she wandered into my bedroom and emerged with Bear. Glommed onto him might be more accurate. She insisted that he come with us to the diner for lunch and everything. It took all I had as the cool pseudo-aunt not to scream and grab Bear and hug him tightly to me when she laid him out on the grimy floor of the diner and almost let waitpeople stomp all over him. I think I was remarkably restrained.

As we walked home, though, I had to resort to the old saw, "Bear has to come home with me. If you take him home what will you play with when you visit me?"

Through the green film of consuming possessive jealousy I'm really glad that she loves him. It's fun to share him with her. And it makes me feel less guilty about neglecting my traveling companion.

Plus, now I've got an excuse to bring him out to eat again!

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