Tag Archives: Teenagers

The Spider Catcher

***Warning, this story contains cruelty to spiders***

When I was growing up, I shared a room with my older sister.  We had very little in common and there were invisible demarcation lines in our bedroom dividing “her side” from “my side”.  The one and only thing we could agree on was our absolute terror of spiders in the room.  If a spider was spotted hanging about in the corner of the ceiling, or if a stray daddy long legs had somehow got into the room, we would immediately summon our Dad.  Dad would come in and catch the offending creature, and after acting the eejit and chasing us with the spider, laughing at our screams, he would put it outside to safety and we could sleep soundly.  Dad is still my hero today!

I never really grew out of this fear of spiders. However, I had to overcome it many years later when I had my own two little girls.   We lived in a house that seemed to have an extraordinary amount of spiders.  It was a new timber framed house, so perhaps they liked hiding out in the warm walls…but these guys were huge, appeared out of nowhere and could scurry across the carpet at great speed.  They also seemed to like congregating on the ceiling of my daughters bedroom.  Cue the hysterical call from upstairs….”Aggh…Mammy, there is a SPIDER in our room….!!”.   Now I had become the responsible parent… The Spider Catcher.

My methods were quite different to my Dad’s, as I was not a fond friend of these little creepy crawlies myself.  And so, I discovered the magical benefits of The Hoover.  It did not matter if it was the middle of the night; the trusty hoover would be taken upstairs, put together, plugged in, turned on, and WHOOSH!….the spider was sucked right into it.  And then, just to ensure he could not crawl back out again, I would hoover some extra dust up on top of him (there was never a shortage of extra dust), and the girls would sleep soundly.

The little critters also liked to crawl into the bathtub.  Not wanting to introduce the dangerous element of electricity into the bathroom, this was a little trickier.  Turning on the taps and watching the spider struggle as he drowned, and then eventually went down the plughole was not enough for me.  Oh no…because he might crawl back up!  So to reassure my daughters (and myself if the truth be told), I would slosh a good measure of bleach down the plughole after him.  And put the stopper in overnight. And close the bathroom door.

The girls are not little anymore, but they still wont sleep in their rooms if they know they are sharing them with spiders.   I recently went into Rhianne’s room to call her for school – she is now 16 – and there was no sign of her.  After getting over my initial fright and panic, frantically looking under the pile of mixed up clothes on the floor for her, I eventually found her.

She had woken up in the middle of the night and there was a spider in the room. Now that she’s a teenager, she won’t call for Mammy during the night, but she still won’t put up with the creepy crawly company either. Rhianne had taken herself off to sleep in the spare room!




[Read Olive’s Great Post On Raising Teenage Girls!]


Teenage Girls

I am a mother to two teenager daughters.  I actually never ever wanted kids…I remember as a self assured and confident 18 year old Know-It-All, telling a rather shocked boyfriend at the time that I had decided no way was I ever ever having kids.  I had made up my mind that they would surely cramp my lifestyle, that I would have this huge responsibility for EVER, and that they would cost me a fortune.  I had it all worked out, I was going to live in a really nice apartment – Ranelagh or Rathgar perhaps – and have a fantastic social life every night of the week…and of course a successful career.

Fast forward ten years, I was 28 years old.  I had somehow managed to work my way up through the wonderfully interesting & exciting world of insurance and had a pretty good job. I had also somehow managed to find myself married and mortgaged with a house in The ‘Burbs.  Not exactly Sex And The City stuff.  But I was still quite sure that I did not need to accessorise my life with children, and in fact when work colleagues brought their new babies into work, I was the one who stayed firmly at my desk. None of that running up to ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Aww’ at the delightful little bundles of sour milk and poo!

Then I succumbed to pressure – mainly from my then Husband, perhaps a little bit too from everyone around me having babies, and the idea of it sort of seemed like a challenge….a dare even! So at the ripe old age of 29 I had my first daughter, Rhianne, who was of course absolutely the most fantastic and most beautiful baby that ever was born on this planet!

I went back to work after my maternity leave was up, and Rhianne was enrolled in my local crèche.  When she was almost two, I suddently thought how delightful it would be if she could have a brother or sister to play with….gulp! So by 32 I welcomed Alex Beatrice into my world and was a full time working Mammy of two little girls. I say ‘my’ world, as the marriage I was in was by then crumbling, and I was pretty much doing everything for the kids by myself anyway.

Something funny happened shortly after I had the second baby. I was in my local hotel bar, when who did I bump into only the ex-boyfriend I was with when I was 18 – yes, the one I swore to I was not having kids. Well, I had to kind of laugh, and say, yeah, I have two of them now!  (There is no side story here by the way…he had really let himself go… I had a lucky escape ;o) )

I made the decision to divorce the girl’s father when the youngest one was only two. I hope it has done them more good than harm. We have moved house about five times; they have moved schools and counties with me, and we are now finally settled in the same area I grew up in …back in The ‘Burbs.

The girls are now 14 and almost 17 and I was right about one thing, they do cost me a fortune. Perhaps I will someday retire to a nice old folks apartment block in Ranelagh or Rathgar… if they don’t wheel me into a psychiatric ward first.


Olive's Beautiful Teenage Daughters

Olive’s Beautiful Teenage Daughters

[Like this? Good. Then check out The Spider Catcher. Off you go ;o) )