In our heads the drums play a sober beat, the walk to the back door is long – the cat looks hopeful as we march past his food – we collect the bottle and the syringe.
With a flourish we throw the back door open, and ceremoniously dispose of the instruments of torture in the bin. The imaginary drums stop abruptly – a cry of delight escapes. It is over.
Finally our seven days of dreaded antibiotics are up and the ritual disposal of the medicine bottle and the means to administer it are as much for my benefit as for that of the toddler.
I decided on day two not to sugar coat it (pun intended).
I said to her: “It’s time for your medicine. It tastes nasty, but that’s because it has to be nastier than the bugs it’s going in to fight.
So, I don’t want to give it to you and you don’t want to take it, but it has to be done.”
She’d look at me, nod sagely and then say, emphatically: “No!” Then she’d run.
So, I’d hold her down and she’d scream. I wonder which of us will be more scarred by the experience?
The trouble with her being better, of course, is that now I have to let her go back to school, I have to allow her friends to come around again and I have to accept invitations to go out and about.
Which is fine, but don’t all those people have germs? Aren’t they carriers of the dreaded lurgi? Modern-day Typhoid Marys? Ugh.
The trouble is that it’s not possible to live in isolation and children have to catch bugs.
I know that. But can’t I hire someone to deal with the infectious consequences?
In fact, there’s a gap in the market – for a Mistress of the Medicine.
A woman – nay an Amazonian warrior woman – who turns up at medicine time in a swirling cape and, with a bit of hocus pocus and alacazam, gets the medicine down.
No mess, no fuss.
I know, there isn’t a mother in the world who’s up for that Amazonian task, but the line to sign up for the services of the mythical woman goes around the planet twice.
Anyway, for now, at least, the current germ invasion has been quelled and hopefully there will be a ceasefire before the battle.