Case in point - yesterday when DD woke delicately from her nap with her usual dulcit tone (MUUUUUUMMMMMMY!!!) I noticed that there was a black saucer with legs sitting on the wall next to her cupboard door. The saucer twitched. I tried to ignore it. DD didn't.
'Spiiiiiiider!' she shrieked excitedly. 'Good moooorning Mr Spider!'
'Yes Good morning Mr Spider.'
'Errrr... no, perhaps not. I think he wants to be left alone.'
I have no idea at this juncture how it became a male spider, but there we are. Also, notice that it's morning in the afternoon. It's morning whenever DD wakes up. Especially when it's not. Like the middle of the night.
'Put him on my finger, Mummy?'
'You can if you want to, but I think he'd rather have a nap... oh, ok, don't poke him so hard, see he's hiding now.'
At this point I thought she might leave poor Mr Spider be and let him recover from the ordeal of being poked by a giant. I was wrong. Instead said spider was poked again and did the only thing that he thought would save him from a slow death by finger squishing and jumped straight into the air (didn't know spiders could jump? They can). He landed on DD's arm which was the cause of much delight as that was what she had in mind in the first place. Seeing her hand heading straight for him again, Mr Spider legged it up her arm, over her shoulder and down her back before circling her waist once and disappearing into thin air. I, meanwhile, was turning DD around like a spinning top, trying to find Mr Spider, persuade him that my daughter is not a maypole and reintroduce politely him to the ground. For a brief moment I thought he'd fled up her jumper or down her trousers, but after a quick peek he was nowhere to be found (except perhaps heading towards the spider equivalent of a large brandy).
Now I know a lot of adults who would have been gibbering in the corner at this point, but DD, having satisfied her appetite for some arachnid fun, was rather happy about the whole incident and resolute that her new playmate would be back again.
'See Mr Spider again later, Mummy?'
'Yes, I'm sure we will.'
But not, I think, if he has anything to say about it. In this house, it's the spiders that are scared.