When I signed up to ‘three kids under 5’ package I had clearly been drinking and didn’t read the small print. I hazily remember the paragraph on sleeplessness, the fights, the terminally wobbly belly etc. I swear I never noticed the bit about them all being sick at the same time -particularly when a dose like Chicken Pox might strike.
Yoda’s febrile convulsion last week heralded the start of her hellish dose of Pox. The innocent first spot was actually a scout for hundreds of angry spots that were looking for their next victim. And they found it all over, and inside, poor Yoda’s little body. She was truly dosed with them and had an understandably bad temper to boot. By 1.30am on Friday morning parenting styles diverged. Her father was actually suggesting some form of abandonment, while I was on the phone to D-Doc investigating the real likelihood of sedation – for her or me. I was also regretting teaching her the anatomically correct terms for her front bum. The phrase ‘Oww, oww my sore bagina‘ will ring in my ears for some time. I probably speaks to the extent of cut backs that a Social Worker hasn’t been around by now.
Before the worst subsided for spotty Yoda, little Woodie confounded all believers in newborn immunity and breastfeeding and popped his own batch of spots. In fairness, his dose is mild and thankfully he hasn’t the co-ordination to really scratch. But really, its not fair after his tough start that he has to fight this little battle.
Meanwhile, Spiderman does what all survivors do – and turned on the others. He has long forgotten his own fairly mild dose of the Pox and has been slagging Yoda about her ‘shakies’ (as we call the convulsions),breaking up her Lego castles and offering to cut her spots off. He has earned the nickname ‘The Trucker’ – in keeping with our promise not to actually curse in front of the kids. His return to Montessori this morning may actually save his life.
In the midst of this dose is the reality that we’re pretty helpless in the face of viruses. So far we have been saved by:
– the telly (how did our parent’s distract our itchy fingers when there was an hours children’s tv every day?)
– Paracetamol and Ibuprofen – with a child prone to convulsions we’re adept at dosing these guys all during the night and even slipping in the occasional suppository when a very resistant child is distracted or asleep (a unique talent I never actually planned to develop). Though we never needed to in the end, it was also handy that the GP had calculated how much paracetamol we could give Woodie if his temperature shot up,
– calamine lotion straight from the fridge,
– Pox Clin – a fabulous mousse with a bioactive bacterial blocker (which is bloody hard to get in Dublin at the moment) which stops the spots getting infected ,
– play dates with equally infected friends (a modern day leper colony with refreshments for Mummies),
– ‘Pox Bomb’ baths – named to appeal to Spiderman’s emerging desire to bash everything, these are just oats, lavender muslin bundles (see above) bunged into a warm bath with a good dose of milk. Pox Bomb baths apparently reduce the itch but maybe more importantly wasted whole chunks of each itchy day,
– Team Granny and Granda. Granny tackled the adult end of the spectrum with scones, tea and Shepard’s pie while Granda Thumpalump distracted Yoda with every trick imaginable. Gold medal winners in my book.
Now, I’d like a resumption of normal service please with a full bar off to the side. No more sickness, no more hospitals and no more doctors please. If you could just organise that I’d be very grateful.