Z has a panda bear puppet. She will be dancing around, singing songs, having a fun and joyful time. And then from the corner of her eye she will see the bear.
She grabs him tightly, shoving him onto her hand. Her face will turn somber, her voice will go low.
"And, now the news." She looks at me intently and I know that it is time to listen, to pay rapt attention to the news story from the bear. Her face is determined, serious. "Somewhere in the world a giraffe just died."
Two things could happen at this juncture. I can collapse on the floor in an explosion of laughter or I can nod and wait for her to continue. Often, it's the laughing.
The bear gets a little miffed at being laughed at and will say, "Listen, you old fossil. This is the news. It is important. Next is the weather. You have to listen."
Did that bear just call me an old fossil? WTH? This is not a good bear.
She continues. "Once, there were many old elephants in the desert. Elephants don't like being hot. So they all died. There are not anymore elephants in the desert."
I am not sure how we came to watching the news as told by a puppet voiced by a 3 year old. I don't even get a chance to watch the real news at all anymore.
I hide the Bad News Bear sometimes, especially on days that I know that I just cannot take the seriousness of it all.
He always finds his way back out.