My poor child came running into my bedroom at 5.10 this morning announcing in rather dramatic fashion that a spider was on its way down her wall and making a bee-line for the bed. The farmer carried on snoring. I was awake anyway, having had the worst nights sleep for a long time, what with harvest and weather, school and holidays on my mind. I had started to think about sleeping pills at one point. So, the spider; I jumped out of bed, wondering if the farmer would awake in my haste and hurried out of the bedroom, my little drama queen in tow. "Take me to it," I said, not quite sure what I could do. Usually a job for the farmer, he hadn't come to bed until 2am due to cutting barley so I could not fore shame to disturb him.
Amy sleeps with her lamp on and I imagine would have been terribly shocked to see the huge black, eight-legged creature with eyes as big as saucers and shoes from Clarks traipsing down her wall. It is my own phobia that has heightened Amy's fear of them, something I really am not particularly proud of. I went into her bedroom. Apart from pictures, stickers and various drawings which litter the walls, no spider was in sight. Now, it would have been much easier to tuck Amy into the spare bed but as we have been entertaining friends all weekend they were already in there. No room in our bed; I knew I had to play Tarzan.
"It could be in the bed," said a frightened little voice. Curling my toes and face up at the same time, I pulled back the duvet. Lifted the pillows, threw teddies and toys from the bed on to the small amount of floor that was visible. Nothing. I knew that I myself would never be able to sleep in that bed knowing that a spider was in my vicinity so there was no way I was going to expect Amy to. "Try behind the picture," said the voice. "Which picture?" I asked. "The Hannah Montana poster," the voice replied. This was it. I carefully peeled back the blutack. Revealing one corner, then the next and then..
The picture fell to the bed. And the spider ran. "Oh bugger," I said, rather clumsily in front of my eight year old extremely vulnerable and very easily influenced daughter. "You swore!" she told me. "Get some toilet paper," I said, my voice raising a little. Amy ran off to the bathroom returning with a small piece of tissue. "Not enough, I need lots more," I insisted, my voice raising even more. By this time, Jack the Lad had moved onto the next wall and seemed to be standing still, probably wondering why he had been disturbed mid-sleep. I heard Amy in the bathroom, the toilet roll being turned and turned, no doubt leaving no paper for whoever was first to rise.
She came back with ample sheets. I took them from her and put them over Jack. This was where the spider came to its unfortunate end. Down the toilet. I flushed it. Please swim off, I thought as I made my way back to Amy who was now quite happy to settle down and go back to sleep. Unable to cope with the farmer's grunting any longer I decided to stay and keep Amy company in her bed.
But first I needed the Loo.