The baby is off sick. The nursery is refusing to have her because of the green gunk emitting from her nose.
This is despite the fact I waved a copy of last week's Daily Mail in front of their noses which, in the health section, rubbishes the suggestion that lime coloured mucus is a sign of infection. To the contrary, the article actually states that if snot is green it's because the immune system is working properly.
But then she threw up all over their doorstep.
So we're now together in the kitchen – me, at the table trying to write this column and Dolly helpfully re-arranging the a cupboard by pulling out the contents and decanting all those spices she feels we no longer need onto the tiled floor. She is now surrounded by a mound of cumin and coriander so it seems we won't be eating curry for a while.
I've always found this age – the bit between 12 months and three – the hardest. For a start they're not at the TV watching stage yet so I can't rely on that as a babysitter. There's no point doing craft activities or baking because the kitchen ends up looking like a war zone and she won't stay in her playpen and engage in any of the primary coloured plastic I've chucked in there because the forbidden fruits of cupboards are constantly beckoning.
But it's all gone quiet for a few minutes - Dolly sitting in the dog bed with Oscar, our black Labrador, trying to feed him bits of parsley. He looks up at me wearily as if to say: 'It's okay, I'll take it from here..'
Maybe, just maybe, I can get on with some work after all..