You can run, but you can’t hide

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE -

There is a Miss Five size lump be­hind the cur­tains that can prob­a­bly be seen from space.

‘‘Where could she be?’’ I ask aloud as the lump gig­gles and the cur­tains shake. ‘‘I’ve looked ev­ery­where and I just can’t find her!’’

This is the fifth time Miss Five has hid­den be­hind said cur- tain and yet I am still wan­der­ing around the room in a painful par­ody of be­wil­der­ment search­ing for her. Even the cat is look­ing at me scathingly.

‘‘Is she un­der this cush­ion?’’ I won­der and the cur­tain wob­bles even more. I recog­nise the signs and it’s time for Miss Five to make her grand en­trance. ‘‘Sur­prise!’’ she shrieks as she leaps out laugh­ing so hard at her own dar­ing she’s al­most dou­bled over in mirth.

I feign shock. How­ever, af­ter five times I’m not go­ing to win an Os­car for my less than heart- felt per­for­mance.

I am sure if I lived in a man­sion with 10 bed­rooms, hide-and­seek would be more fun but I don’t and it isn’t.

When it’s my turn to count I have to do so very, very slowly while pre­tend­ing not to hear her thun­der­ing around the house. Stealthy she is not.

When it’s Miss Five’s turn to count she does so at the speed of sound. Given that I have nanosec­onds to hide, she al­ways finds me very quickly and now thinks she’s some kind of hide­and-seek guru.

It has got to the point that she ac­tu­ally feels sorry for my in­ep­ti­tude.

‘‘Poor mum,’’ she con­soles me with a pity­ing smile on her face, pat­ting me on the arm.

I may be the adult but I want to stamp my feet and shout ‘‘it’s not fair!’’

Boss­ily, she pushes me in the di­rec­tion of the des­ig­nated count­ing spot and I’m told to shut my eyes and start count­ing. Yes ma’am!

‘‘Last time,’’ I yell af­ter as she scur­ries down the hall, no doubt head­ing to hide un­der her bed. ‘‘We’ll see,’’ she shouts back.

I lean my head against the wall and close my eyes, not to start count count­ing but in de­spair. To­mor­row we’ll play the ‘‘who can be the qui­etest the long­est’’ game. It’s my favourite.


Stay­ing hid­den is the hard­est part of hide-and-seek when you’re five-years-old

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