Jo Worgan column: Bear is Tom’s temporary best friend

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan

Last weekend Stephen stayed with his grandparents on the Wirral. They had a whole weekend of treats for him including making lanterns at Chester Zoo and a concert at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

I work one day at the local pre-school and they very kindly let me borrow Ted Bear to keep Tom company as he would be missing his ‘best friend’. The house was extremely quiet without Stephen. I kept expecting him to walk downstairs swishing his green Lightsaber.

Anyway Tom really enjoyed spending the weekend with Ted Bear. I was unsure of how Tom would react when given him on his return home from school but he was absolutely made up to see him. He gave him a huge cuddle and sat next to him to read a story. What really surprised me though was that he carried Ted up to bed with him that night and sat him on his pillow. He even carried him into our bedroom at 4.30am when he decided to crawl all over Andrew and get into bed with us.

What was even more extraordinary was that when I suggested that we brush Ted’s teeth he ran upstairs and brushed his teeth while I brushed Ted’s. I usually have to brush Tom’s teeth for him.

Tom has asked where Stephen is several times and has opened his bedroom door to try and find him. When I told him that Stephen would be back home on Sunday he said, “Daddy go get Stephen I stay with mummy.” Andrew took Tom swimming on Saturday, which he loved, but sadly we left Ted at home just in case Tom decided that Ted should go for a swim as well. Tom also chose a new pair of swim goggles and guess what colour he chose? Pink!

We also took Ted out to the Novel Cafe on Sunday for some “coffee juice” and gluten free “spongey” cake as Tom likes to call it, and Tom thought it hilarious when I fed Ted some cake. They also went for a trolley ride around Sainsbury’s.

Ted really helped Tom in the fact that he missed Stephen; at times he seemed a little lost. I have to be honest though and add that the house was particularly tranquil. This is always the case when Tom is by himself because he can roam around the house and does not have to share, wait his turn or disagree with something that Stephen does, there is only him. So as a result of this we all had a relaxed weekend. Stephen’s little mini break was good for us all.