Tales from the Watercooler: Can you bear to be boring?


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Often, a news story’s worth can be dictated by our mood at the time of reading it. If your Saturday glee is pronounced, you may not be too fussed about another banker salary revelation which, on a wet Tuesday morning, may have you grinding your teeth to a fine powder.

So I must have been in a real mood this week when I read a Times Educational Supplement story about problems with the PTA. No, not the parent/teacher association, but Parental Teddy Anxiety, obvs.

In some primary schools the class cuddly toy is given to a different pupil every Friday to take home. The kid then keeps a diary about what their house guest “did” with its foster family at the weekend.

It won’t shock you to hear that some parents view this as a chance to brag about how their weekends were packed with worthy cultural outings and the odd trapeze class.

Mr and Mrs Never-Watch-The-Telly then send Junior to school on Monday with Teddy’s Diary resembling a cross between the Time Out Edinburgh Festival supplement and Bear Grylls’ memoirs. Next Friday, Mr & Mrs We-Really-Like-The-One-Show have to compete and end up traumatised. People… stop this! If we all do as little as possible, no-one need feel inferior. Anyway, if God wanted us to be attentive parents, he wouldn’t have invented Netflix.