Tonight we put Lillian to bed, but she was not going to sleep, and called out a few times with the usual sorts of fabricated excuses. I went in a few times, then stressed that it really was time for her to go to sleep and that I didn’t want to hear from her any more.
A little while later, she was calling out yet again.
“Daddy, come here! I’m scared!”
“No you’re not!” I yelled.
“Daddy, there’s a spider!”
Well, maybe there was a tiny spider somewhere, but I wasn’t going let her use this as grounds to drag me in yet again.
“Well don’t worry about it!” I said.
“But its a big hairy one!” she called. Now I could hear her crying. I didn’t believe her, but gave in and went to have a look.
High on the wall, above the bed, there was indeed a big hairy huntsman, about 5cm across, perched so as to be staring down at the bed in a most menacing way.
I got the vacuum cleaner, and sucked it up. We tried to see it through the clear plastic walls of the dust container, but it had disappeared amongst all the debris already in there. I said I was going to go and empty it in the bin.
“Can I come? I want to see!” she said.
“No, its time for you to go to bed.”
At this, she started crying again, though now out of disappointment rather than fear. Big spiders are scary but also fascinating.