10 Things I Hate About Chickenpox

Of all the disgusting bugs, viruses and diseases that Jack has brought home, I think chickenpox has to be one of the worst. This is why:

It's sneaky
Chickenpox is one tricksy little fox. It starts with non-specific unwellness. An isolated bout of projectile vomiting at 5am one morning. Whinging about 'hurty legs'. Tiredness and grumpiness with intermittent bursts of hyperactivity. I thought he was run down. We continued to go about our daily business, oblivious to the fact that the pox was at its most contagious at that point and systematically trying to infect everyone we came into contact with. Sneaky fucker.

The spots
The spots arrived a few days later and then it all made sense. Urgh, the spots. My mum said there's always one massive one - the queen. We found it. It looked big and bulgy. And they get EVERYWHERE. Have you ever seen the film Stand By Me? The scene with the leeches...that was my face when I realised that the spots can and will pop up anywhere.

The conflicting information
'Once the spots are out it's not contagious anymore.'
'No, when the spots have scabbed over it's not contagious anymore.'
'Well I was told that I had to wait until the spots had faded altogether before you're allowed out again.'
Give. Me. Strength.

The quarantine process
Being in a quarantine situation is never fun. It's even less fun when your child is no longer ill, just spotty and angry about not being allowed to go to pre-school or soft play. They think they are being punished for something and make well meaning promises 'not to share their pox with anyone' and you feel wretched for them.

The cancelled plans
Of course the pox will never strike on a week where you have nothing on. Birthday party invitations have to be declined (cue more tears/displaced anger from child) and I missed the work bake sale which really took the biscuit...or not, in this case.

Calamine lotion
For 28 years of my life I genuinely believed it was called camomile lotion. Jack thinks it's called pantomime lotion. If nothing else, this journey has been a learning curve. Regardless of what you call it, it stinks and I'll be happy if I never have to see the poxy, pink gloop again.

The alternative treatments
Oatmeal?! Baking soda?! We're dealing with a plague here not baking a cake!

Desperate attempts to occupy
How do you occupy a sick toddler who isn't really sick when you are confined to the house for this length of time and hate crafting?! There are only so many times you can call an afternoon bath 'water play'. We have baked, built lego, hunted earwigs, kicked footballs, painted by numbers (or ignore the numbers and just paint where you like in Jack's case,) spent far too much time on the iPad and grown jointly sick of the sight of Jeremy Kyle. I got nothing left.

The false hope
Ooooh the spots are just about scabbed over. We might be able to go out tomorrow. FREEEEEDOOOM. Then comes the second wave. Jack wakes up proudly pointing out all of his 'new pox' and I die inside as I realise we've got another 3 days minimum of incarceration to look forward to.

It broke my phone
As if there hasn't been enough pain and suffering this week, yesterday I smashed my iPhone in an unfortunate incident in the garden. If it weren't for the pox I wouldn't have been in the garden. I would have been at work. At my desk. Where my phone would have been safe. The pox has cost me my phone as well as my sanity.

A self portrait of Jack with chickenpox, by Jack with chickenpox.
(Apparently that is me on the left. I don't know why he appears to have drawn me holding a knife. Honest). 


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