Bobby’s relatives

Paddington Bear_BobbyEvery since the movie opened, people have been asking Bobby, “Are you a relative of Paddington Bear? You look just like him, is he your cousin?”

The questions have confounded Bobby. “What is a ‘relative’? Who is Paddington? Will he be coming to stay? Does he like chocolate? Do I have cousins?” he asked us.

Grot boy and I have always thought Bobby and Paddington might have some relatives in common. It isn’t so much that they look alike, it’s more that Bobby also manages to segue out of confusing situations without quite noticing the consternation of others. And then there’s their shared affinity with cakes and sticky sweet substances.

Grot boy told Bobby, “Relatives are your family, you’re all linked together through your DNA, a bit like a chain, and so relatives often look similar to each other.”

This explanation only caused more bewilderment and confusion among the teddies. “Relatives must be really bad if they’re all chained up like convicts,” Ccino concluded.

While Dwight declared, “Bobby is definitely not MY relative: we don’t look at all alike. He’s brown and fat and saggy, not a bit like me.”

Relatives_Hephie vs teddiesHephie didn’t say anything but stared closely at Bobby, then Dwight, then Ccino, then Teddy, Ted 2 and Buddha Bear. Finally he turned to grot boy and me. “I don’t look like any of you so I suppose I’m not a relative. Does that mean I don’t belong here?” he asked with a little sob.

I tried to comfort Hephie and elaborated, “Relatives are family and sometimes we have to create our own families. Hephie, you are a very special, chosen member of our family. In fact, every one of you was carefully chosen to be part of the grot family.”

But Hephie still wasn’t completely convinced. “If I was chosen, then can’t I just be ‘unchosen’ if you don’t want me anymore?” he asked.

I didn’t know what to say – there was an inherent logic in Hephie’s question that I couldn’t disagree with. Fortunately, grot boy has a more flexible view of logic and is an aficionado of epigenetics. He reassured Hephie, “Because we all became part of our own family, now we’re related and so it can’t be ‘undone’. None of us can be unchosen, even when grot girl sometimes gets cranky with us.”

With this issue now satisfactorily resolved, the teddies were keen to investigate their heritage and discover other relatives.

“We should go to Peru, That’s where Paddington came from so maybe Bobby has relatives there too,” they agreed. And so now we’re planning a holiday to Peru to find Bobby’s long lost relatives.

©, 2014


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