It was a fine, sunny, mid-August day and Husband and I, still basking in the peace and quiet of having tamed the fearsome chihuahuadiles, were awaiting the arrival of Baby Niece and her parents for a long weekend.
Now this visit had been the cause of both excitement and trepidation. We are two Victorianists in one household, we both specialize in the fin-de-siecle and needless to say this has produced some zany-as-balls collecting habits.
So between the bugs and the masks and the books, Husband had been fragilely angsting for several days about the prospect of two-year-old Niece rampaging through the house, crayons in hand, like a tiny Godzilla without thought or care for provenance or the need to USE A BOOK CRADLE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!
In the end, though, Baby Niece turned out to be an absolute delight. We went to the beach, we visited the woods in search of squirrels and Gruffalos, we indulged her love of dinosaurs (and abused our role as aunt and uncle who don’t need to deal with the fallout of baby fears) by sneakily showing her the edited highlights of Jurassic Park. No, my friends, Baby Niece was a dream. The real horror – the terror we could not have anticipated – was merely biding its time and waiting for its moment to strike.
Perhaps we should have seen it coming. We should have sensed that some dark power was growing in the east, and that slowly the chihuahuadiles were returning to their former strength:
It was a Sunday evening. We were pottering about the house when suddenly Husband stopped dead in his tracks and turned pale. (I’ve read about people turning pale after a shock in 19thC novels, but I’ve never actually seen it happen before).
‘Chihuahuadile!’ he hissed. ‘There’s a chihuahuadile in the house!’
And there it was:
That’s right folks, the chihuahuadiles, like a pair of twitchy, yappy, bug-eyed Steve McQueens had somehow tunnelled their way out of their own garden and into ours and, from there, proceeded to saunter blithely into our house in search of sweet, sweet revenge. We whistled. And they had come for us. And that was when we knew we were living in some kind of nightmarish horror-movie sequel.
Channelling my inner Sigourney Weaver, I grabbed Baby Niece (who, unfamiliar with nature of true evil, thought perhaps we had produced a pair of puppies for her to play with.)
While Husband gesticulated wildly in an attempt to send the chihuahuadiles back to the fiery chasm from whence they came:
Eventually we discovered the breach in the perimeter fence and managed to chase the invaders back through it and seal it up with wheelie bins. We had won this round, but an even more worrying thought occurred: what if this wasn’t the first time they the tiny hellhounds had gotten in? It’s been a hot summer; we’ve had that door open a lot. What if they’ve been letting themselves in the whole time?
Cheerfully using the facilities:
Making long distance phonecalls? Making a nest under the ventilation shaft where their queen will arrive to spawn and lay waste to our planet?!
And so we live our lives always ready to fend off this new terror. We don’t walk too close to the fence lest any of us should be picked off by them in a nightmarish Jaws-meets-The-Shining type scenario:
And every night before we go to bed, Husband and I do the obligatory sweep of all the spaces in the house that might offer cover to an invading chihuahuadile. In our heads we’re badass space marines on a bug-hunt:
In reality, not so much:
Thankfully the only one who seems completely unphased by this unfolding horror is Baby Niece. Suspect she is the chosen one, sent to save us all from the tiny twitchy hounds of hell.
Will keep you posted.