Forget about the Seven Ages (also known as stages) Of Man, I’m talking about the 9 Stages of Chickenpox, and there is nothing poetic about those spots. Shakespeare might think he knows his tragedies but he doesn’t, no one knows a tragedy until they have had the chickenpox come to stay. It really is a “plague on both your houses” .
Child complains of feeling a bit poorly. However, there appears to be no physical symptoms, just the apparent “tummy ache” which you suspect is said child fancying a couple of days on the sofa watching back to back Paw Patrol/any other Netflix rubbish that includes animals talking. She complains about having a tummy ache for two days.
Child is sent home poorly from school with temperature. They do have a temperature but seem ravenously hungry and despite tummy ache manage to demolish foot long sandwich, entire pack of chocolate biscuits and all of mummy’s lunch. You think that they have somehow managed to pull the wool over the teacher’s eyes. You wonder if they have discovered the forehead against radiator trick.
Child wakes up ridiculously early complaining of extreme thirst and appears to be dryer than the Sahara Desert as she consumes gallons of water. You concede that they are definitely a bit off colour. You briefly ponder if they have food poisoning as Mr C cooked dinner last night. Then you remember that a classmate had chickenpox roughly two weeks ago. You check child for spots and find two innocent looking spots that could be anything. You breathe a sigh of relief that it isn’t chickenpox and go back to your work.
Child goes to toilet and you hear them shouting from the toilet, “Mummy, I am so spotty”. Child walks in with trousers around their ankles and indeed their legs are now covered in spots. Sh*t, it is the bl**dy chickenpox. You curse the timing of it and then feel guilty for thinking that child had been putting illness on. You immediately start googling miracle cures for chickenpox. There aren’t any! Cue further cursing.
Child seems remarkably happy. Yet spots seem to be popping up right in front of your eyes. They have morphed into a human walking doodle. Older sister has now taken to counting the spots and she gets to 456 spots before giving up. You suddenly realise that older sister has not had chickenpox so you actively encourage her to get as close to her sister as possible. When younger sister accidentally sneezes on oldest sister you cheer. Might as well get the chickenpox out of the way.
Child suddenly develops real fear of sleeping alone in bed. You let her sleep in your bed and turf husband out, much to his disgust. You spend the night sleeping with one eye open, as child tosses and turns, moans about not being able to get comfortable. She hits you in the face with flailing limbs and demands water on repeat.
You wake up, I say wake up, but you never really went to sleep in the first place. Child is now very grumpy. Their spots are insanely itchy. You spend the day barking “don’t scratch”, running many, many baths, and covering child in lotion. You also start googling for signs of cabin fever before coming to the conclusion that googling for signs of cabin fever is probably a sign that you do indeed have it. You look up from your laptop because child has gone quiet. They are rubbing their back up and down the wall. It’s going to be a long day.
Repeat Stage 7 for at least 4 days. Crying every time another spot appears. You fear that you will never escape. Your neighbour comes round to drop off a package and you are so happy to see another adult that you talk at him rather frantically and very fast. He legs it away.
The child is finally recovering and they are smiling again – yaaaay. However, you have had to cancel your holiday and you are now a few sandwiches short of a picnic. You pack child off to school and you are about to make a start on your work when you receive phone call from school, your oldest child is now complaining of feeling poorly….and repeat*.
*When I wrote this post I thought Youngest would have returned to school but this has not been the case because the spots still haven’t all scabbed over! On a positive note Oldest hasn’t come down with chickenpox….YET!*
The Chickenpox cycle is not a glorious one and poor Youngest has really suffered with it. Do you have any tips for coping with the dreaded pox?