Say you’re in a meeting. There’s been an unexpected quarterly loss. Marketing says it’s sales. Sales says it’s the warehouse. The warehouse doesn’t know who it is but it isn’t them, and while they’re here, why has the toilet paper changed? Things are getting a bit tense. There are raised voices and foot stamping. The director decides you could all do with a break. She turns to you. “Go on.” She says. “Be a bear.”
You sigh and roll your eyes, pretending you don’t really want to. You start growling and sniffing and snorting, and in moments everyone is running around the conference room, laughing and screaming.
This, in truth, doesn’t happen very often. The reason is, being a bear doesn’t really work on people after they reach a certain age, unfortunately. That’s how I know that my time being a bear is not going to last forever.
“Be a bear! Be a bear!” The kids at the playdate shout in unison. I sigh and roll my eyes, then I start growling and huffing and sniffing. If I do say so myself, I do a pretty good bear. It may be one of the few parts of parenting that I am any good at. So I make the best of it. I’ve got, maybe, ten more years of being a bear?
It’s bedtime. There is some disagreement about tooth brushing. I want them to do it. They don’t. Things are getting a bit tense. There are raised voices and foot stamping. I decide we could all do with a bit of a break. I start snorting and growling.
“Daddy.” My son says calmly.
“Yes?” I say in my bear voice.
“Stop being a bear. It’s weird.”
Four years old. Four. *Bear sigh*