Grandpa Webb's blog

Monday, 11 March 2013

Thomas is unmasked as a fraud

Find out more about Grandpa WebbOur house has an old resident teddy bear called Thomas. He is much loved by our two granddaughters when they visit, although the grandsons are not so keen.

He’s getting a bit fragile now, and wears a small size baby two-piece to keep his arms and legs from falling off. Despite this, he is taken on regular rides in the car, and on good days is propelled around the garden at high speed in a toy pushchair. Along with other soft toys he has often been part of a make-believe ‘class’ taught (ruled) by my granddaughters, and because of his alleged bad behaviour has been sent to the headmistress many times, or made to sit on the naughty step.

It’s hardly surprising that in the midst of all this, Thomas has evolved a personality of his own. For example, he gets around. In the past if you were quick enough, he might have been seen on TV in the crowd at Wimbledon, Ascot, Henley, the British Grand Prix, the Olympic Stadium, Old Trafford – in fact anywhere where a small grey bear could mingle with the audience.

Thomas, dressed for the outdoorsWhen our granddaughters were a little younger, they would look hard at their TV as grandma would say: “There he is - just behind that lady with the sunglasses – look – did you see him?”  They didn’t, of course, because he was still at our house in the toy box, but I think they believed grandma. One day I had a call from my eldest granddaughter, then aged three: “Grandpa, can I speak to Thomas please?” she said. “I’m sorry, he’s out – I think he’s gone to the rugby at Twickenham,” I told her. “I’ll tell him you called.”  There was a stunned silence at the end of the phone.

Now, after a long period of not quite knowing whether Thomas was able to magically come alive or not, reality is beginning to creep in. My daughter tells us of a discussion about Thomas this week in which her daughter, now a wise schoolgirl, said she realised Thomas was just a soft toy and wasn’t really alive at all.
“But I know grandma thinks he is alive,” she went on. “And I don’t want to upset her, so I pretend to her that I think he is alive too – but I know he really isn’t.”

I suppose that’s the end of the magic of childhood for her. And for grandma.

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