There comes a point in nearly every childs life when they will at some point or another, contract chicken pox. At the ripe young age of 18 months, that time has struck our household. I have always said I would rather Princess have chicken pox from a young age so she wouldn't realise her entire body is covered in red spots and couldn't consciously scratch them, but it couldn't have come at a worse time.
On Saturday we held a Birthday party for Ross's nephews 7th birthday. At this time none of us realised that Princess had chicken pox, she didn't have any spots and the only sign that something was up was that she had been off for the past week. (Obviously now we know why, but at the time we just thought she was a bit ill or teething). Unfortunately, one of Princess's cousins who is nearly 3, has not had chicken pox yet. This means now that after spending the whole weekend together, it's likely he will now get them too.
What's even worse than that, is during the birthday party, Ross's friend stopped by for a visit. He is 23 and has never had chicken pox in his life. Of course now, he's at a risk of catching them too, or worse, shingles. Everyone has been warned and Doctors visits have been made so all we can do now is hope that the pox haven't spread.
Princess and I have now become recluses. We are unable to venture out until her spots have blistered which I can only assume is when the real fun begins. I've asked other Mummy friends how their children were during chicken pox and all answers were different. The only answer that was the same was that the younger they were, the easier it was to control. Scratch mitts, lots of camomile cream and calpol. Now that Princess is 18 months it's become a challenge to change her nappy and get her dressed nevermind keep her still long enough to rub cream into her entire body. On top of that, she has developed a strong aversion to medicine and will only ever take it with her juice which has to be in a beaker with a straw. As for scratch mitts, well, she's been able to take them off since she was 3 months old.
I wish there was more of a warning when it comes to chicken pox. After a bit of research, everything I knew about them has been confirmed. Chicken pox are at their most contagious before the spots appear. This doesn't give anyone much chance of being able to avoid them considering you don't even know your child has them until they're covered in little red dots. In a way we're lucky, she's not covered from head to toe. The worst area is her legs and arms, so far none have appeared on her chest/tummy/back/scalp etc which should make it easier for me to get the cream onto. I'm also pretty thankful that it's not warm outside. Obviously if it were, the spots then become more irritable and harder to stop the itching. Thankfully, Princess seems absolutely fine. She's completely unaware of what she has and hopefully it'll stay that way.
The other problem we've faced is that Ross works in a Private School kitchen around approximately 150 children. He prepares and cooks the food for the entire school including the nursery who have babies as young as six weeks old. He's been told he'll be fine to go into work but that's only because the school doesn't have any procedures when it comes to chicken pox. Usually it's passed on through sneezing or coughing but surely being around children who may be more susceptible to catching it - even more so those who have never had it before - poses quite a high risk to the school. Ross has had chicken pox before, as have I, but you can still carry the virus without actually having any symptoms. I know this because Princess hasn't been around any other children other than her cousins all of whom do not have chicken pox. If the school suddenly has an outbreak then neither of us are accepting responsibility, they should have proper procedure in place. Lots of other schools do not allow children or teachers into the school if their is chicken pox in their household through risk of passing it on. I don't know why this school is any different, but for some reason they obviously don't care enough.
I've always dreaded my Princess getting chicken pox but in a way I suppose it's a toddlers rite of passage. There's nothing we can do to avoid it, nothing that can stop it and I can only assume it's always better to have chicken pox as a child when you don't remember then be a fully grown adult with awful shingles.
Here's hoping we have an easy ride with the terrible pox and Princess will be back to her normal self this time next week!