It is a regular Tuesday afternoon and we are rolling up our sleeves to wash our hands before tea (although by "tea" perhaps I should clarify that the repast to which I refer may be better known to you as "supper" or "dinner" depending on what part of the country you hail from. This has been a source of some confusion, not to mention embarrassment on more than one occasion since I forsook the north in order to search out fame and fortune in the south).
But anyway… there we are, rolling up our sleeves for the umpteenth time that day, when suddenly the child starts to shriek.
Up until this point she has been in the finest of humours, marching round the room with a muslin clutched round her waist ("It's my beautiful wedding dress") and, although there are still over seven months to go, ensuring that her mother is fully aware of what she wants for her third birthday (an umbrella, some crisps and a party bag since you ask).
But…"owwww, oww!" she is sobbing, though I can see nothing that might be causing such distress and so continue to chivvy her towards the sink. It soon becomes clear that there really is something wrong, although I can't for the life of me work out what it is (this despite the fact that she is begging me to "hold my arm, don't let go. My arm hurts," which, with hindsight, would appear to be a clue).
She curls up on my knee and howls, barely drawing breath and completely ignoring the cupcake I have saved her, so now I know it's serious. Because I have not thought this through terribly well, I have plonked myself down in the middle of our kitchen floor and am now slowly developing cramp in my left buttock and what appears to be rigor mortis in my right.
It is also hard to conduct any form of thorough examination when you are trapped under a writhing mass of weeping toddler, although by good fortune my husband returns home early from a business trip and is therefore on hand to assist/dispense medication/join in the general brouhaha
Our manifold ministrations do not seem to be improving the situation so we figure that hospital is probably the place to be. Thing is, how to get there? We could walk, but would bouncing the child up the road in a buggy be such a great idea under the circumstances? Or we could drive, but given we can't move the arm without causing considerable pain, how are we going to get her in the car-seat?
By the time we finally make it to the waiting room the child is slightly calmer, content to lie across our legs in her somewhat eclectic outfit of vest, jeans, wellies and fairy skirt, explaining mournfully to everyone within earshot: "I in pain".
The medic we see is kind and reassuring and spots the problem immediately. The offending elbow is put back into place with a click and immediately the child is right as rain.
As we leave we each take one of her hands in ours and she looks up with a grin and says: "Will you swing me? Can we go one, two, three, wheeee?"
Er, perhaps not.
Fortunately she is distracted by a new audience in the waiting room and takes great pleasure in greeting them with an enthusiastic: "Hello, everybody. I'm all better now and I'm going to go home and have some green beans and a kiwi".
And, indeed, she does.