The elephant in the room (that’s actually a bear)

I, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, really needed to get something off of my chest. Something that had been bugging me for a while. I needed to sit down and talk to my partner, like proper grown ups, and discuss the elephant in the room.

At Christmas, my daughter Jasmine received a gift from her Auntie and Uncle. It was her first Christmas and we knew she was going to end up being a tad spoilt by friends and family. And she was – she received beautiful clothes, stacking blocks, an interactive shape sorter, books… the list goes on.

But this particular gift from her Auntie and Uncle? …It’s totally f**king useless.

It doesn’t serve a purpose.

It won’t help Jasmine perfect her hand-eye coordination.

It doesn’t play music (small mercies).

Jasmine won’t take it to bed every night to snuggle up with it.

It does nothing.

Because this particular gift… was a 3ft tall brown teddy bear.

I’m sure, as I unwrapped it  helped Jasmine unwrap it, I was unable to mask the look of sheer horror on my face. The look that said “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?!”.

I tried to think what it was we could have done to deserve this. Had we annoyed them in some way?

We live in a small house, every square foot is precious.

Why would our own family do this to us?

No, I was being silly. Their intentions were good, they just got a bit carried away.

They weren’t thinking straight.

So why couldn’t I get the image of them chinking wine glasses and throwing back their heads laughing at us. “We got them good!” they would snigger. “A giant bear… Muhahahahaha!!”

I know, I know – I’m being silly.

Of course, I made a big mistake that morning. A very big mistake indeed.

I gave that bear a name.

What is it with my compulsion to name everything?

Because now, now there’s no way on earth I could ever get rid of Jeffrey.

That’s right. I named that giant, useless teddy bear, Jeffrey.

Why was it a mistake? Well, you try taking “Jeffrey” to the charity shop.

You try eBaying “Jeffrey”.

And you just try and sell “Jeffery” on your local Facebook selling page.

Because I can’t!

I gave him a name and now I can never get rid of him.

(Besides, I don’t think I could pay someone to have him even if I wanted to, because as we’ve already established, he is genuinely a giant. waste. of. space.)

For over  months he’s has taken up residence in our bedroom because Jasmine’s nursery is tiny. (Auntie and Uncle knew this!) So I curse Jeffery every time I try to open my wardrobe because his big, fat fuzzy head is always in the way. And then he looks at me with his big brown eyes and I feel guilty for snapping at him… and then we secretly hug it out. (It turns out he’s pretty hug-able).

One dinner time I finally had the courage to bring up the subject with Stephen (who’s brother and sister-in-law were the ones who oh so kindly gifted us the bear in the first place).

“What should we do about Jeffery?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he’s kinda big, don’t you think….”

“Yeah, he’s just like the one I bought for them when N was born!”

And there it was. Suddenly it all made sense. Jeffery was a revenge bear.

Stephen was the one who, all those years ago after becoming an uncle for the first time, got carried away. Whose intentions were good. Who didn’t think straight. He went out and bought a giant useless f**king bear. And now we’re paying the consequences!

But, now when I look at Jeffery, I think about Stephen rushing out to buy a bear, just like him. Carrying him under his arm at the hospital, to go and meet his nephew for the first time. And Jeffery is no longer useless… because he (and what he stands for) makes me smile.

And as for me? I feel so much better for having talked about the elephant in the room… that’s actually a bear.

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  1. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    Hahahaha I love this!! He isn't useless! Me and my brother both received steiff bears when we were born and although they are useless, admitted, we both still have them and they will now be passed down through my future family! Don't talk about Jeffery like that!!! Xxxx

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 5:49 pm

      Oh Steiff bears are gorgeous… but I bet they're not 3 ft tall?! I think teddy bears are a lovely thing to share down the generations. I love them all the more when they all look battered and bruised.

      I love Jeffery, really! ;) x

  2. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    hehehe! That made me chuckle….My girl has 2 2ft bears which she takes to bed every night….There's barely any room for her in the bed….They were both gifts. It's got to the point now where we can't get rid. Shes too attached…lol

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 5:50 pm

      Haha, that must look adorable. :)

      Oh no, I hope Jasmine get too attached to Jeffery! xx

  3. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Hahaha love this post!! I am glad you learned to love Jeffery in the end! (I hope no one ever buys one for our house though!!) x

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      Thanks, Anna. :)

      Hmm perhaps I'll send you one for Sophie's 1st birthday! ;) xx

  4. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 2:31 pm

    haha this is so funny poor jeffrey x

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      Ah, he does alright – he gets our bed to himself all day because there's no room for him anywhere else! x

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      hehe, thanks Hayley. x

  5. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    You are going to think I am nuts but I burst into tears reading this. 1- you are back!!! Hurrah, this is you at your best! And 2- I bloody love Jeffrey- love his name, love that he is massive and I love that he is a revenge bear because your sweet sweet man bought them one all those years ago. Love this and love you! x

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 9:18 pm

      Aww, Katy – that is one of the sweetest comments I have ever gotten. :)

      Love you too, misses. :) xx

  6. Avatar March 9, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    LOL! I would totally adopt Jeffrey only there's no room here either. I love that he's a revenge bear, it gives him a certain je ne sais quoi. :-)

    • Avatar March 9, 2015 / 9:19 pm

      Just as well then as I'm not sure I'd be able to find a box big enough to send him in! Hehe. :) xx

  7. Avatar March 10, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    This post is hilarious and kind of sweet too, how could you ever get rid of Jeffrey now?! Laughing along reading it as we have all been there! Good intentions and all that but you are counting the weeks until is is acceptable to get rid of the crap presents :) xx

    • Avatar March 10, 2015 / 9:33 pm

      I know, looks like Jeffery is here to stay!

      Heh, people definitely have their hearts in the right places…. but still end up buying useless things! :D xx

  8. Avatar March 10, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    From an outsider of your tiny house I couldn't help but laugh…. If I was an insider, I'd be peeved! We have a very small house too, I know all about every nook and cranny being precious space.

    Jeffery is quite cute though :-P
    Life’s Open Pages

    • Avatar March 10, 2015 / 9:34 pm

      Exactly – you value every inch of space you have when you live in a small house. Baby stuff takes up a lot of room as it is!

      Oh and Jeffery's cuteness is what saved him from the dustbin in the first place! ;) xx

  9. Avatar March 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    Ha ha I laughed out loud when reading this Jenna, I love Jefry the revenge bear, but I too hate people buying bears. Joe has a room full of build a bears he is obsessed with them xx

    • Avatar March 11, 2015 / 11:29 am

      Glad it made you laugh, Sarah. :)

      Don't get me wrong, I love teddy bears more than a grown woman should but 3ft bears? Not so much! ;) xx

  10. Avatar March 11, 2015 / 11:10 pm

    Ah Jenna, this made me laugh so hard! I read it when you first posted it and re-read it to Jim just now. I was literally in tears – imagining you trying to get into your wardrobe with Jeffrey's giant fuzzy head in the way. We have been kindly gifted a similarly large toy for R (not 3 ft tall, but maybe 3ft round…) so you have given me a brilliant idea, mwahhaha! xxx

    • Avatar March 12, 2015 / 8:39 am

      Oh Jess, I'm so pleased this made you laugh. Now Jeffery has another use… he's bringing joy to people. He's still a pain in the ass though! I'm intrigued as to what R's gift was?! I hope you get your revenge! ;) xx

  11. Avatar March 12, 2015 / 6:40 am

    Haha Jenna this is so funny! Poor old Jeffery! ;) I always see those in shops and wonder who buys them! Now I know. ;)

    • Avatar March 12, 2015 / 8:39 am

      Thanks, Katie. I used to wonder about that too! o_O x

  12. Avatar March 12, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    This is absolutely hilarious Jenna I had tears coming down my cheeks! Love that your hubby bought one first. just love it.

    • Avatar March 12, 2015 / 4:07 pm

      Oh yeah, laugh it up – it's not you who has a 3ft bear encroaching on your personal space! ;)


  13. Avatar March 12, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Aaah poor Jeffrey!! Can't believe you've been so mean about him!!! ;) I'd ask them if Jeffrey can come and stay with them — say you all LOVE him but you just don't have room and Jasmine would be gutted if you had to get rid of him. At least this way she could still come and visit him!! LOL!

    Caro |

    • Avatar March 12, 2015 / 4:10 pm

      Caro, that plan is simply GENIUS! :)

      Aww, I love Jeffery really, I'm all talk! ;)


  14. Avatar March 13, 2015 / 9:51 am

    We've got two huge soft toys, both lions, obviously. And they have to travel everywhere with us, even my 8 year old refuses to leave hers at home when we go on holiday, sighs. Drives me nuts. But, they are very cuddly, not unlike Jeffery :)

    • Avatar March 13, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Lions? Oh my!

      Haha, I'm now imagining a car rammed with giant lion soft toys. Amazing. I just hope my daughter doesn't become that attached to Jeffery. We'd have to get a bigger car! xx

  15. Avatar March 13, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    Oh, this made me smile (and brought a tear to my eye by the end!). You love him really :) My little girl was given a large pink teddy, not 3ft, but it was bigger than her as a baby… It now sleeps with her… I have often wondered what on earth I would do with a really big soft toy, because you really wouldn't be able to get rid of it! Thanks so much for sharing with #ThePrompt lovely to have you :)

    • Avatar March 13, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Aw, I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading this! :)

      Ahh, at least your daughter now enjoys her pink teddy bear. We'll have to get Jasmine a double bed if she ends up wanting to sleep with hers! You're right though, you can't get rid of them. Impossible!

      Thanks for hosting #ThePrompt :) x

  16. Avatar March 13, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    I fell in love with Jeffrey while reading this and I'm so glad you love him too. Although I'd be plotting some form of revenge … mwhaha!

    • Avatar March 13, 2015 / 8:34 pm

      Oh good, does that mean I can send him over to you?! ;)

      Mmhmm, I am definitely plotting revenge! xx

  17. Avatar March 14, 2015 / 12:17 am

    So funny – those giant bears are completely useless but once you give them a name, that's it! I have to say after looking at Jeffrey's rather appealing eyes, I think I would have fallen in love with him too even if he did drive me mad with getting in the way!

    • Avatar March 14, 2015 / 9:38 pm

      I know, it was such a big mistake to give him a name… or even just refer to him as a 'he'!

      Lucky for Jeffery he does have lovely eyes… else he'd be in the dustbin! ;) x

  18. Avatar March 14, 2015 / 10:23 am

    HaHa!! Revenge bear! That's awesome! I know what you mean about bears though we've been given loads of them!! (Jeffrey is dead cute though!) x #ThePrompt

    • Avatar March 14, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      He is cute. That's his saving grace!

      Thanks for stopping by. :) xx

  19. Avatar March 15, 2015 / 10:02 am

    Ha this was awesome I laughed out loud! x

    • Avatar March 15, 2015 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you, Heather. Glad you enjoyed it. :) x

  20. Avatar March 15, 2015 / 10:22 am

    Bloody brilliant! My Mum bought the same thing but we didn't name him so we are not so connected. Hehe. It's like the Peppa Pig episode with the giant teddies!!! hahaha xx

    • Avatar March 15, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      Well, you are definitely more sensible than I am for not naming the bear, at least your not emotionally attached.

      ….Not that I'm emotionally attached to Jeffery…. *cough* xx

  21. Avatar March 18, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Tee hee… is it wrong that I love the bear? I had a similar, useless and massive bear when I was little and he was my favourite. So funny, I feel your pain but love the bear it's not his fault! ; ) #sundaystars xxx

    • Avatar March 19, 2015 / 8:13 pm

      Hahaha, well you're are welcome to have him?!?!

      Oh no, it's not poor Jeffery's fault I suppose. xx

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