MIL was booked to babysit and husband had been and collected her.
I had managed to get ready whilst corralling daughter into tidying her room and putting her pjs on and I was just putting the final touches to my face while she and MIL were in lounge.
Then I heard the scream.
Intense sobbing ensued and we rushed into the lounge to see what had happened.
It appears that daughter had taken her hamster out of its cage to show MIL, she had put it down on the sofa where MIL had taken a large cushion away (she needs to sit on a tower of cushions in order to be able to get up again) and the hamster had promptly burrowed down into the bottom of the sofa.
We found a shocked MIL, a sobbing child and a hamster rattling around in the sofa!!
Well, we couldn't leave the house with all that going on; dead or alive that hamster had to come out of the sofa (couldn't have a decaying hamster inside it) and with daughter's hysterics, it had better be alive. So husband began trying to entice the hamster out with food.
I texted my friend to say that we were going to be late.
Afte 30 minutes of trying to get his hands down the back of the sofa and entice him out, drastic measures were needed - husband got the stanley knife.
After hacking holes in the bottom of my beautiful sofa he eventually managed to extract the hamster.
Daughter was resoundedly told off and we set off for Manchester.
We arrived 30 minutes late to find everyone waiting for us, including the performance chefs!
And our excuse was an errant hamster.