That moment has come…
The moment that a lot of mothers dread, when their husbands are at work, and this happens. Your daughter comes down the stairs at bedtime crying. She tells you something that makes your blood run cold. Bile rises in your throat. Terror makes every hair on your body stand on end.
You know you have to be mature about this. You are the grown up. You mustn’t let your fear show. You must deal with this quickly, efficiently and rationally… but you can feel the lump in your throat and the tears stinging in the back of your eyes. You blink them away. You scold yourself “COME ON! BE A GROWN UP!”, but you are starting to itch.
Yes, there it is. Just two feet above your daughter’s pillow. Laughing at you. A big ugly black spider, lays in wait. Who will flinch first? It wants to wait until you are staring hard and starting to build up courage, then it will twitch a leg and you will almost wet yourself in fright. The bastard cat is sitting only a foot away, yet she is calm and collected and certainly has no intention of killing it! “COME ON! WHAT KIND OF CAT ARE YOU?” You are supposed to chase it, kill it and eat it! You are supposed to save the human race from creepy crawlies! I must have the only cat in the word that has no interest in anything that moves. She wont chase birds, or mice, or even spiders. The cat is happy. I, am not.
As a delaying tactic I give my daughter her cuddly rhino to hold (rather originally his name is “Rhino The Rhinoceros”). “COME ON! YOU STUPID BLOODY RHINO” – I tell my daughter you are there to protect her from scary things… DO YOUR FRIGGING JOB RHINO!
I ponder sending Bunny to sleep in my bedroom, but her room is a mess and if I take my eyes of this beastly creature, even for a second, it will surely think I am playing hide and seek… a game I will always lose, against this evil arachnid.
I contemplate whether or not I am strong enough to put a glass over it and remove it from her room that way? That was how my mother used to rescue me and my sister. If the husband were here, he would just pick it up with his hand and crush it. (I vomit in my mouth a little at the thought).
In the end I opt for the hoover. I know from experience this takes precision, skill and subtlety. If that eight legged freak gets a sense that the vacuum is heading it’s way, it will leg it! (oh what a hideous pun!). I edge slowly nearer to the bed, with the hand nozzle on it’s furthest reach. I adjust my foot by the “on” button. I adjust my grip. I take a step back. I adjust my foot again. and my hand. I’m aware I’ve been doing this for a good five minutes. “What if I miss?”
“No Emma, you CAN’T miss. If you miss you will have failed your five-year old daughter and the sp.. the sp… the (I can’t even say it)… will escape”.
I am now talking to myself in my head!
I lunge forward, kicking the foot pedal as hard as I can at the same time and UNBELIEVABLY I got the little shit the first time, he easily just slid down the pole into the hoover. I couldn’t believe my luck. I leave the hoover on for a bit. I’ve been told nothing can survive inside a vacuum, but you can never be too careful. I even bang the pole on the wall a bit just to make sure he’s not hanging on to the sides of the pipe (let’s see how the noisy neighbours like that shall we?). I tuck my daughter into bed, kiss her goodnight, and abandon the hoover in the hallway for the husband to empty when he gets home.
I am shaking and I feel sick but the deed is done. There’s nothing to be afraid of.
I am feeling proud and triumphant. I could shout “Whose the daddy?!”, but actually I’m not, I’m the mummy! Time for a big bowl of ice cream and a large glass of wine!
“No really Emma…There’s nothing to be afraid of!”