IF IT’S not a snake in the hallway, or a bug on the toilet seat that scares the living daylights out of me, it’s a pile of poo on my bed.
That is what I was faced with last Wednesday.
Carefully positioned on top of my pyjamas; a soft brown sausage curled up like icing on the world’s filthiest cupcake.
After my cries of horror and disgust, I was about to launch myself onto our cat Smokey and rub his face into the mushy mess before Ayla stopped me.
“It’s okay Mum. I’ll get it,” she exclaimed, reaching towards the putrid excrement as I shouted “Noooo!” in super-slow-motion.
And as she held the foul faeces in her hand, it took me a good five seconds to realise it was fake.
Yes, Ayla had pranked me.
It’s her favourite pastime, and while most of her jokes are pretty easy to see through (like the time she smothered my expensive red stage lipstick all over herself to trick me into believing she had been stabbed), she comes out with some good ones when I least expect it.
I shouldn’t be surprised. She’s learned from the best.
I have convinced many a boyfriend that their car has been smashed or stolen from the hotel car park when, in fact, the receptionist who broke the bad news was little old me on the toilet phone.
My sister Signe comes a close second, but she prefers to use people’s fears against them.
For me, that’s reptiles and insects.
She has a collection of fake snakes, leeches, bugs and cockroaches she likes to inconspicuously hide in my bed, bag and on the toilet seat when I come to stay.
And I fall for it every time.
Her hilarious hoaxes have probably taken 10 years off my life.
The best one was several years ago when I went up to Queensland on my own.
Signe had found our younger sister’s old My Model doll, which is basically a just a head which kids make pretty by caking on make-up and styling the hair.
Better the doll than the parent, right?
Anyhoo, it just so happens the doll’s hair looks just like Ayla’s blonde locks, so Signe thought it would be amusing to put it in my bed so it looked like a child was asleep in there.
As I wearily wandered into my room ready for bed that night, I took one look at the head laying on my pillow and flipped out.
How could this be?
Ayla was back in Echuca with her father. Wasn’t she?
Did I bring her all along and forgot?
Had she hid in my suitcase?
“Ayla, is that you?” I anxiously whispered before I heard an explosion of laughter behind me.
Signe never lets me live that one down.
Ayla got me pretty good last year, too.
As we all know, I hate horror movies with a capital H and was somehow pressured into watching Hereditary one night.
Advice for anyone thinking of watching it but wants to sleep soundly for the rest of their lives?
So, as I slipped under the covers that night, little did I know my darling daughter was hiding under the bed.
And as I began to drift off to sleep, Ayla let out the haunting clucking sound with her tongue; the very same unnerving noise that the freaky kid made in the movie.
Well, I let out an almighty howl and almost hit the roof in panic and Ayla had a great laugh while I nightmares for a week.
Ayla never lets me live that one down either.
However, what Ayla — and Signe, for that matter — does not realise is that I don’t forget.
And payback’s a bitch.
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