It is the last day of the holidays and it is a sweltering bank holiday Monday. We could be out, jostling with the crowds, living it up and putting off the evil that is school uniform/alarm clock hell by drowning our sorrows.
We are not.
We are lounging about in our pyjamas, reading books and watching telly, and occasionally shovelling toast into our mouths.
Last week was supposed to be a relaxing come down after our holiday. I pictured it as easing slowly back into routine, doing a few chores here and there, nothing too taxing, blah blah blah.
Instead we spent every day out with friends, or with friends coming to us, or with me delivering children to parties, play dates, job interviews etc. It was all good fun, but by yesterday we had all had enough. We were rather wild of eye and ragged of temperament, and doing nothing at all and having a proper lie in seemed like much the best thing.
As it is, all of this has been fulfilled except the lie in/sleep due to the chapter of my autobiography that I am entitling: ‘My wasp hell.’
When we were away, my mum and dad came to cat sit for us. On our return mum said that she thought there might be a wasp nest in the roof, somewhere between our bedroom and our bathroom. We agreed that as long as they weren’t a nuisance it would be fine to let them get on with being wasps until the end of the season.
Last week, poor Tallulah got stung twice on the arm by a wasp that flew into Tilly’s room and got her.
Tallulah (and I say this touching wood, and with all fingers etc crossed) is the only one of us who ever gets stung, and even then it has only been five times in the thirteen years of her existence, so upsetting and irritating though it was, I decided that incinerating an entire wasp’s nest off the back of the behaviour of one, deluded wasp was not an appropriate response.
So I guess I have nobody but myself to blame for waking up to a low but persistent buzzing noise at three this morning, which when traced, blearily by me, was coming from the bedroom curtains, which I made the mistake of pulling back, and allowing a large number of dozy wasps into the bedroom proper.
I had the main bedroom window open, and for some reason it was the perfect meeting place for a great many wasps, who were all busily doing whatever it is that wasps do at three in the morning.
I could not call to Jason for help, for he has spent the entire bank holiday weekend, camping in a field in Derbyshire, pretending to be a mage who runs a magical bank (as you do). I briefly considered screaming and running around, which is my preferred method of dealing with almost everything initially. Then I figured that it would wake Tallulah, who would undoubtedly prove to be once more irresistible to wasp kind, and I would then have to stagger to A&E at half past three in the morning, and take the other children with me. I decided I’d prefer to deal with wasps solo.
My second thought was to shut the wasps in the bedroom and go and sleep on the sofa downstairs and deal with them in the morning, but as I could not shut the window due to wasp ingress, I decided that I might wake up to a room crawling with wasps, Tallulah would still get stung, and we would all have wasp related PTSD for the rest of our lives.
My third thought was ‘Fuck it. Now I am totally beyond awake and really bloody annoyed.’ It was at this point that I am afraid that my karma went out the window and I set about me with what I had to hand, which turned out to be the loofah from the bathroom.
There is a version of Jack the Giant Killer where the townspeople send a totally ill equipped tailor to fight a giant, because he has a very impressive waistcoat embroidered with the legend: ‘I killed 15’ or some other number. It turns out that he killed wasps, not giants, but was too embarrassed to tell the townsfolk. I think he ended up sorting out the dragon, which was lucky, and presumably required a much more fancy embroidered waistcoat.
I’m having a badge that reads: ‘I despatched 30 – with a loofah.’