1. Have your two-year-old incubate a mystery virus that unfolds like this: Day 1: sniffly cold. Day 2: extreme naughtiness. Day 3: projectile vomiting.
2. On a trip to pick up a Mary Poppins DVD for the sick-couch, have the car break down at the video shop.
3. Spend the afternoon like an impotent giant facing up against a tiny, brilliant, evil fairy, as toddler reaches heights of naughtiness beyond your discipline powers. Finally, send her to bed early in disgrace.
4. Watch her projectile vomit the next morning, realise she really was sick yesterday and feel the acid bile of guilt eat away your stomach lining.
5. Organise monsoonal rainfall on the morning you must walk both sick kids to the shops to meet the Lubemobile mechanic. Ensure no neighbours can come and watch the kids. Decide you must dash between rain showers.
6. Realise double stroller has been left in the rain, and Ergo back-sling in the car, forcing a kilometre walk along a dirt goat-track with toddler in poncy-wheeled city stroller,big fat baby crammed into Baby Bjorn and every accoutrement possible (vomit bucket, spare clothes, water, blanket, warm hats, garbage bag for crisis rain-ponchos)crammed into bag...
7. Except car keys, which are on the dining table. Discover this at the car.
8. Resolve key issue with great pain and suffering, and do not cry as mechanic starts your car, but concludes that it will definitely break down again, but he can't say when, or why exactly. Do not slap him when gives you his card to call next time it happens.
9. Get home and wrestle baby, who, moving into stage 2 of mystery virus, shouts angrily at you as you try to clean the rug with one arm while holding him off with the other, thus ruining his excellent plan to play in bucket of soapy vomit water. Hurt yourself in the struggle.
10. Do not cry as the little one, for the fourth day running, will only sleep in your arms, or in your bed with his face pressed against yours on the pillow. In his own bed, he lasts 20 minutes before waking and yelling:'Hey! You've fricken tricked me again! Get me OUT OF HERE!!'
10. Feel the beginnings of virus prickle at your sinuses and realise you are about to get sick too. Nostalgically recall past illnesses that involved soup made and delivered by others, remote controls, long sleeps and self-pity. Realise self-pity is the only tool you have left. Resolve to make the very most of it. Employ electronic means if you can.