I have a pet spider. I used to call him Hairy, but that was mean, so now I call him Harry. He lives in my bird aviary and is black-as-black. I’m quite proud of how well he’s grown over the last two years. His body is at least an inch long now.
Harry and I have an agreement. For the last two years we’ve both kept the agreement.
1. I agree not to use the Big Broom of Doom on him. Occasionally I may need tidy up the web if it’s getting too big, but most of the time he stays in his assigned corner.
2. I agree not to use the Big Can of Spray on him. Harry says it makes him sick.
3. He agrees to stay in one spot. If he moves corners, all agreements are null and void.
4. He agrees not to move while my face is two inches from him. He’s very good at staying still. My face must pass daily within touching distance of him. This is a daily torment to both of us.
5. No roommates are allowed. Ever.
6. No children are welcome. At the first sign of fatherhood, the agreement is off.
Harry and I have been quiet amiable about this for two years. Each day the first thing I do when I open the door is check to see if he’s there. An empty web would be a nightmare.
That reminds me, I need to check how long bloody spiders live for.
I love midwives. They sometimes can see the bigger picture.
At the birth of my second child, I had a horrible time. I realised I was in labour at 2:30am Saturday morning, and didn’t deliver until 9:30am Monday. So I had about 5 hours of sleep Friday night, and a total of 4 hours sleep during my 55 hour labour. The two nights following the birth, I had two hours sleep in total. (Count that up? 11 hours of sleep over five nights - and I had a baby in the middle of it. Can you spell exhausted?)
On Wednesday evening, the obstetrician examined me, checked my stats and told me I was not well enough to leave the hospital. I had stitches galore, was weak from the blood loss, and my pain levels were still up. Ten minutes later the midwife found me sobbing hysterically in despair. I couldn’t sleep in their noisy rooms or their hard beds. She looked at me and said, “If you promise to be back at the hospital before the doctor does his rounds tomorrow morning…”
If I could’ve moved, I would’ve hugged her. The whole ward was in on it, and the moment the doctor left the building, they grabbed a wheelchair and whisked me and my newborn to the foyer where hubby was waiting.
Nothing in my whole life had felt as good as sinking into my own bed. I zonked, only waking to breastfeed the baby once.
When they unlocked the doors at 7am we were waiting, smiling bravely (although very wan). At 7:30am the doctor visited me. Now that I had managed some sleep, I was coping, and obediently stayed the following night at the hospital. I know what the midwives did was dangerous, and wrong, but at that moment it was the only thing that they could’ve done to stop me from cracking under the strain.
I love them. But it did feel great breaking the rules and sneaking out of the hospital!
My beta reader returned Shawn’s Law to me and said she couldn’t finish it. It was not her “type of story.”
How brave am I to publish it anyway?
So now I need you all to read and tell me – who was right? Me to publish? Or my beta to say it was no good?
(Bribes may be arranged if you're willing to tell my beta she is wrong *wink*)