Thursday, 31 May 2012

Nap Time... Friend or Foe?

Ever since Princess was a tiny, cute, squishy bundle I have tried to implement a routine. Following the advice of Health Visitors and other Mums, the routine would consist of dinner, bath, cuddles, bed. I can tell you right now that this didn't work.

She would never sleep in the day. Even at the age of 6 weeks old she was only having approximately 12 hours sleep a day rather than the 16-18 recommended hours. As you all know, she refused to sleep through the night (up until recently) which made for a very tired Mummy.

Finally, around the age of 10 months, I got her into a sort-of routine. She would wake at 9am (yes I know that is late and many would consider a lie-in, but when you're up 5+ times a night for 20 minutes or more, it doesn't feel that way!) have breakfast, then do whatever I had planned for the day. 1pm came lunch time and then 2pm it was nap time. I'd then wake her at 4pm, we'd play until about 5pm when it was dinner time. After that Ross would come home and spend some time with her and she'd have a bath around 6.30-7pm. Usually she went to bed around 9pm and Ross and I would have the rest of the night to ourselves. It was bliss.

When we moved into Ross's Mums for the month, any chance of routine went out of the window. She would wake later, nap later and go to bed later. Sometimes not even going to bed until 12-1am. Many times I would sit downstairs with her watching the rubbish childrens channels that were still airing. (Honestly Disney Jnr, 12am finish? What were you thinking?) I wasn't too bothered to begin with because I knew that everything had changed for her and been interrupted. We were in a different house, her Grandparents were always around so she'd be constantly excited, she had a travel cot in place of her usual cot and a whole different bedroom. I always assumed that once we moved into the new house that things would get better. I could enforce the same routine and stick to it.

I couldn't have been more wrong. I won't lie, Princess will still have her daytime naps, but if she does, I can wave goodbye to my chilled out evening. I can say goodbye to eating my dinner without chubby fingers poking it. I can say goodbye to browsing the web on the laptop. If Princess has a nap in the daytime, she will. not. sleep.

Maybe I should rephrase that. If she has a nap in the day, then bedtime disappears. Bed time could be whatever time she fancies. Tonight it was 11pm (it's currently 23:23 as I write this) and I should probably be getting to bed myself because somehow, her wake up time has gotten earlier. Instead of the 9-10am I used to get, it's now 7-8am. Yes I know to some this is still quite late (if you're child goes to bed at 6-7pm and doesn't wake up until 6am, then count yourself bloody lucky!) However, despite the earlier wake up call, nap time just keeps getting later and later.
At first I thought that this was a perfect time to drop her naps. She's never been a sleepy baby (clearly) and if she wanted to drop her naps at 19months that's perfectly fine with me. But no. If she doesn't have at least some sort of nap during the day, she turns into the devil incarnate. She gets moody, nasty, clingy, the works. Eventually I give in and I'll plonk her in her chair in front of the TV with a bottle of milk or juice and let good old sleep deprivation take over. Obviously by the time she wakes up I'm already regretting it and picturing myself up at 2am watching some mindless cartoon about a child who can't use a camera.

Sometimes I'm lucky. Sometimes she won't nap during the day and will be in bed by 7-8pm leaving me the rest of the evening. These occurrences are few and far between and I cherish them when they happen. Unfortunately, the earlier she goes to bed, the more wake up calls I have during the night.
If she doesn't nap in the daytime that just means the day time gets much harder. Trying to keep a child awake who quite clearly wants to sleep is a task I wouldn't wish on anybody - fellow parents, you'll know what I'm talking about - and I often wonder whether it's worth it. In my mind I know it is, but I can never bring myself to really follow through with it. She'll always fall to sleep.

But no more! Tomorrow, Princess will not be having a day time nap. Despite falling to sleep at 11pm, she'll no doubt wake me up at 7am. 

(I have to add I decided to stop there and finally go to bed. She did in fact wake me up at 7am! Although we didn't get out of bed until 8.30. Lazy Mummy)

Well today we have Princess's cousin round to play so I'm hoping he'll keep her occupied enough that she'll forget all about her nap. Either that or I'll have two sleeping toddlers and I'll be banging my head against the wall. Although it's actually unfair because Tyler will still go to bed at normal time despite having a nap and Princess won't!

So overall I have decided that nap time is in fact a foe. It is evil. Okay maybe I'm exaggerating, but I need my own chill out time where I can wind down before bed. Watch a film with Ross and just generally relax. So here's to Day One of operation Keep Princess Awake All Day. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Best Friends Forever?

Earlier today I messaged a girl on my Facebook whom I had never met before. She added me a few weeks ago and after I saw her post a status I thought I'd ask her if we actually knew each other. Turns out we didn't, she'd added me from a selling page to ask me about something but had forgotten. Somehow we got talking. We didn't talk about much really, I had noticed she was pregnant and congratulated her. We then chatted about 'baby brain', how she had been coping in the heat and how excited she was to become a Mum.

For some reason this got me wondering: how do we actually meet our friends? 

If I'm being completely honest, I don't have many. I have a few friends from school who I'll occasionally see, the ones who are always up for parties or going out, even if you haven't seen each other for months. I have a few Mummy friends whom I don't see all that often, once every few weeks. Then I have my family who I see the most of. 
I had friends at work obviously, but now I don't work, I don't see any of them, ever. Since moving away I don't really have a choice anymore, it's a long way to travel, but I hadn't seen most of them in months. Also when I did see them, it was only if I ever visited work (minus Jo!). 
I have Charlotte, my sister in law, who is technically family. But I enjoy spending time with her, we can have a laugh, chat, go out for a drink etc. Also Scarlett's cousin is only 1 year older so it's nice that she has someone her own age she can play with.

But all of these people I've met at specific places. School, work, family. I don't think I've ever really had a friend outside of those boundaries. How sad is that? 

I think maybe I'm out of the loophole. Maybe there was a lesson you had to take that taught you how to make friends that I missed? I'm not a particularly shy person and can make conversation with just about anyone. I'm not afraid to go up to someone and introduce myself, or ask a question, but is that even sociably acceptable? Surely you don't just walk up to a random stranger and say "Hi, I'm Misty. Do you want to be friends?" or am I honestly just clueless?

I have plenty of acquaintances. You know the ones, the people you see in the street who you say hi to, but really, they're someone elses friend and you're just being polite. I could probably try going to a Mother & Toddler group, but you hear so many horror stories about all the cliques and the 'up-themselves-Mums' that only go to keep up their status. I could be wrong. I could go and meet plenty of new people, but I just don't see it.

I know I probably sound like I'm whinging here, but the concept is beyond me. Maybe if I made more of an effort, invited people out or tried to make more conversations I wouldn't be in this boat. 
I think the main problem is, that once you've had a baby, not many people want to know anymore. You stop being invited out to places, people always assume you're busy with the baby. In my case it's true, I never really wanted to go out because I didn't want to leave Princess, so it probably is my own fault. But either way, the invitations stopped coming. Although I don't think I can blame my lack of social life entirely on having a baby. I know plenty of people who have had children and still have blossoming social lives. Not many, but they're out there.

So there is the sad truth. I'm a billy-no-mates *sob*. I need to take a master class in 'How To Make Friends' and put it to the test. For now I think I'll continue to plod along, but I hope that somewhere along the way I'll meet new people and prove myself wrong.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Ghost Stories

There's an old age debate about whether ghosts truly exist or not. None of us will ever know, not 100%, but even so, I'm a believer.

I'm not sure when I started to believe in ghosts or if I always have. Surely we're not born believing, somewhere along the line we've heard stories and come to our own conclusions. For me personally, I think my belief comes from experience rather than suspicion.

Apparently when I was a young girl, I used to talk to people who weren't there. Maybe they were imaginary friends, maybe not. My Mum says I used to stare straight through her sometimes, as if I were looking at something else. It would make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and force her to look around the room to see if we were actually alone.
I alway remember the stories my Mum told me about a ghost she'd seen when she was younger. It was a woman with long jet black hair, a floor length fur cot and long red nails.
Anyone could put this down to an over active imagination. If I'd never had my own experience then I probably would have too.

The main 'ghostly' experience I ever had was when I was 14/15. I was in my bedroom, which was at the back of the house, watching tv. I could hear my sister walking about outside my door, then I heard the bathroom door open and close. I went out to see if she was okay (baring in mind she was only about 9). The footsteps continued and seemed to get louder but stopped as soon as I opened my bedroom door. The landing light was on and the bathroom door was closed. I walked to my sisters room and was confused when I saw her on her top bunk fast asleep. I remember whispering to her to see if she was awake. When I got no answer I shrugged it off and headed back to my own room. Except it wasn't the way I had left it. My bedroom light had been turned on and my tv turned off. My duvet was on the floor and the television screen was doing weird things. It had gone a light grey colour but I could see black figures moving around in it.
My reaction was normal, I screamed and ran downstairs to my Mum crying terrified. At first she tried to console me and tell me I was imagining it, but I was old enough to know that wasn't true.
Eventually she admitted to me something I will never forget. Before we moved into the house, a man named Roy had died. In my bedroom. In the exact same place my bed was.

Sure this could all be coincidence, but following that, strange things continued to happen. There were Footsteps on the stairs and landing all the time. Doors opened and closed by themselves, the volume on the tv would go up and down along with the channels changing. One time I was stood in the shower and slipped reaching for the shampoo. All of a sudden I was flung backwards with that much force I landed on my bum. If I had actually continued falling forward I would have hit my head on the taps and probably knocked myself out. My brother experienced the same thing.
Things continued that way for a while until my Mum decided to have the house blessed by a vicar. Apparently he could feel someone in the house that didn't want to leave. The blessing didn't work.
We also had Roys family members come round because they were amazed at what was happening in the house.

Since moving out of my Mums I haven't felt anything at all. My Mum would joke that she wouldn't be surprised if Roy followed me. There was nothing scary about Turney Street, even though the house was over 150 years old and was huge. I never felt scared there. Same with the new house, although there are some strange noises sometimes.

Ross and I were lying in bed when I could hear a loud scratching noise. As soon as I woke him up to ask if he had heard it, it stopped. A few minutes later there was an almighty crash that came from our wardrobe and we both shot upright. On inspection there was nothing in the wardrobe. Neither of us slept well that night.
The other night whilst we were downstairs getting ready for bed, there were loud bangs coming from upstairs. It sounded like someone was running around or playing. The only person upstairs was Princess so we went to check that she hadn't woken up and was looking for us. Sure enough, Princess was fast asleep in bed. There were no more bangs, until we both came back downstairs.

For some reason, I don't get freaked out by it anymore. Strange noises and occurrences became normal for me when I was a teenager so I soon became aware enough to ignore them. If I were alone in the house at night time then that might be a different story, but for now I suppose I will just have to deal with it.

A lot of people don't believe in ghosts, and thats fair enough. I don't expect anyone to believe me, but I know what I've seen and heard. There may well be reasonable excuses for all of them but until someone can explain it to me, I remain believing in ghosts.

And for those of you who don't believe, I will pay you to stay at my Great Aunties house for a night and still say ghosts don't exist.

It used to be an orphanage in the early 1800's!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Faith, trust and... Parenting

Often in Fairytales, the main character is treated badly. Take Cinderella for example: kept as a slave for her wicked stepmother and two sisters. Constantly made to feel worthless and called horrible names. Despite this, Cinderella is an amazing woman. She's kind to animals, nice to other people and she takes everything in her stride. It could be said that by being treated this way it made her a better person.

But is this true in reality?

Whilst walking to the shops a few weeks ago, I was walking near a young boy and his Dad. The young boy was proclaiming loudly that he didn't want spaghetti for dinner whilst his Dad ignored him. In a bid to get his Dads attention, the young boy pulled at his Dads sleeve.
I think I can safely say that every parent has been yanked on when they haven't given their child the immediate attention they desire.
However, I have never known a parent to turn around and shout "Do that again and I'll fuck you up!" at their child as this Dad did to his son.
I was suitably shocked by the outburst, especially when it could have been dealt with by just giving the boy an answer.
Now as much as I try not to, it's hard not to assume that this boy is spoken to like that on a regular basis. Every parent loses their temper and yells, but to do so like he did, with such venom, it makes you sad. I felt so sorry for the poor boy, being threatened by his own Dad for making such a small proclamation.

On a separate occasion I have witnessed a Mum slap her young son round the face and call him a 'twat'. Her son was only about three, he was still in a pushchair and she slapped him with such force he instantly burst into tears. Once again, he was only trying to get his Mums attention.

This made me wonder: how much does the way we treat our children impact on the person they grow up to be? If we believe in the Fairytales we all grow up with, then we could probably assume these children would grow up to be kind and caring people. But is this the case?
So often now it is said that children mirror their parents. If we shout, threaten and mock our children, then surely they will grow up to do the same?

I have a confession that I'm slightly embarrassed about. Princesses favourite new word is 'bitch'. I'm ashamed to say she has probably learnt this from me. As much as I try and curb my language around her (which is a hard job when your vocabulary is on par with a sailor) sometimes the odd word slips out. Bitch being one of them. I often recoil in horror as she starts to shout it loud and clear in public places but I know she means it innocently. I mean come on, she's 19months old, she hardly knows what it means.
However, if she were to have picked this word up because I had been constantly directing it towards her, then she would probably start directing it towards others.

Every parent makes mistakes and none of us are perfect. At some point or other we have all lost our tempers and said something we regretted later, but to constantly direct that sort of attitude to your child can only have a negative impact.

If a child is constantly told they are useless they will begin to believe it. If a child is called a twat they will probably begin to call other children believing that it's acceptable.
It's hard to believe that by treating children in such a manner that will leave them feeling bad about themselves that they will grow up to become a better person because of it.

What happens when that child has been belittled so much that they can't believe their parents love them? When another child in nursery or school calls them the same names, just because they've heard the word before and think its funny?

As much as I would like to think that children don't need all of the love and attention in the world to become good people, it's starting to become apparent to me that they do.
It's okay to lose your temper with your child, if they pick up a naughty word, whether it's from you or another kid on the playground. It's okay to ignore your child's demands sometimes to try and stop them becoming spoilt.

But it's not okay to call your child names. It's not okay to threaten your child when they annoy you. And it's most definitely not okay to hit your child with such force that everyone around you wants to hit you back even harder just so you can be humiliated too.

We have to remember that children are innocent. They're like sponges, soaking up the world and every piece of information we offer them. It's important to tell your child you love them regularly so that when they go to sleep at night, they can smile to themselves rather than cry.

I might be making such a far generalisation that none of that made sense. But we as adults have to remember that Fairytales don't exist. Our children won't grow up to be kind Prince and Princesses who talk to animals. Who will take every insult and punch in their stride. It's our responsibility as parents to tuck them into bed at night, tell them they are special and beautiful, and to pick them up when they fall.

Not be the ones who put them there.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Dentist

The very first dentist appointment I can remember I must have only been about 4. I remember being sat on the special chair, I wasn't laid back, just sat with my legs dangling off the side. The dentist asked to look in my mouth and showed me the small mirror he would use to look around. Everything was going fine, until for some unknown reason, I bit his thumb.

The appointment I remember after that was at a different clinic. I was still quite young but a bit older this time. I'd told Mum I wanted to go into the room by myself and be a 'big girl'. I don't recall much about the actual appointment, but my main memory is of crying because I was scared and being told by the assistant "Oh go and cry to your Mum then" and shoo-ing me out of the room.

I'm not sure if this is what first started my fear of dentists or if it was something else, but that memory is still clear in my mind. There's a history of dentist phobia in my family, my Mum being the main one. She's been scared of dentists for as long as I can remember so that's probably where I learnt it from. Although how, I'm not quite sure. It's not as if she'd take me to the dentist and have a panic attack, or would tell me how terrifying they were. Instead she'd take me to my sixth month check ups without fail and would sit by my side supporting me.

The most vivid memory I have of the dentists is when I was fourteen. I pretended I had toothache so I could have the day off school. Unfortunately for me, my Dad was off work that day so he booked me in for an appointment. I was feeling slightly cocky, I didn't really have toothache so I knew I would be fine. How wrong I was.
It turns out on that day, I needed 3 root canals doing. The dentist gave me the option of starting treatment right then or coming back another day. Of course I wanted to bolt straight out of the door, but my Dad, being as he is, forced me to stay and have some treatment done. I had my injection and was sent out to the waiting room.
The next part I will always remember. I sat in the waiting room in tears, begging my Dad to take me home, I didn't want the treatment done, I didn't even have toothache. Of course now it was too late. We were here and I needed treatment. Aside from that is the fact there was a young girl running around beside me, much younger than I was, who had also had an injection. Not only did I feel embarrassed but also extremely immature but I couldn't help myself.
The absolute worst part of this story, is the pain. The unbelievable agonising pain I felt when the dentist drilled into my supposedly numb tooth. I was screaming and sobbing for her to stop. The only thing that made her stop were my Dads threats. Her only response being "well it should be numb". It clearly wasn't, I could feel every single thing she was doing and it was so painful.
Eventually when all my treatment was over with, I was filled with a beautiful gold filling.
Which promptly fell out the next day.
Since then I have had nothing but trouble with that particular tooth. At this current moment in time, it's not even in my mouth anymore. After the filling fell out and I was left with just the outside outer casing of my tooth, it became so weak from chewing and brushing, it actually snapped out of my gum leaving little shards of tooth behind. Lovely.

Dentist phobias are probably one of the most common. I realise that most people I know have at least the some small fear of the dentist. I also realise I don't know anybody as terrified of them as I am.
Since pregnancy my teeth have become awful. They've cracked, some have crumbled, I've had abcesses and as I said above, some have fallen out (only the one mind you!) so it became inevitable that at some point I would have to visit the dentist. The trouble with this is the fact I cannot physically bring myself to go.

I've been to a few appointments, but each and every time I have left in a blubbering wreck. I've had panic attacks and I've nearly fainted. Despite knowing I need several fillings and the shards left from my old tooth need to be taken out of my gum, there seems to be nothing that can convince me to go. 

I hate the fact I'm scared of the dentist. It makes me feel like a child. I feel stupid and immature, and I hate myself for it. I know that I am risking my teeth becoming that much worse by not going, but I feel like the only thing that will get me to go is if I end up with terrible toothache. And it's got to be bad. My fear is that dominant that I often think I would rather go through the birth of Princess all over again then have a filling at the dentist, and that's saying something. 

Anyone that knows me will know the fear the Dentist strikes in me. I once burst into tears at work because someone told me I might have to go. (My face was swollen up like quasimodo but even THAT still wouldn't make me go). It turned out to be an abcess and I remember having to be physically restrained by my Mum and Jo because I was too scared to have the dentist even look in my mouth. I hadn't even been able to make the appointment myself because I was too busy crying at the fact I was having to go. 

Right now I have a wisdom tooth coming through and I am thanking my lucky stars that I don't have any pain with it (touch wood). My last x-ray about 5 years ago confirmed I only had wisdom teeth growing on one side of my mouth so I'm praying that I'll only have the two. 

I apologise for rambling on, blame the lovely Bryony over at Viewfromtheloungewindow for convincing me that sometimes just talking about something can help. I'm nowhere near ready to go to the dentist just yet. I think it will take something dramatic to get me there. Sometimes it just helps to know that you're not alone in something, and that you're not the only one to feel the way you do. Dentists will always terrify me, I have no doubt about that (you have no idea the amount of times I've clenched my teeth just having to write the word - which isn't helping!) but I'm hoping at some point I will feel brave enough to overcome my fear. I will be brave enough to go and have the treatment I need without being a crying wreck or biting the dentists thumb.

It won't be any time soon, but we'll see.

Friday, 4 May 2012

It's not been my favourite week.

In theory I should delete my last post. It turns out Princess doesn't actually have chicken pox (phew!) but something else that's rather strange.

After I wrote the previous post, I noticed some of the spots on Princess's leg were growing in size. After looking though photo's of chicken pox on Google, I realised they weren't the same. She did have some spots which looked like chicken pox, small tiny dots with heads on, but the others were actually expanding and swelling.

When the first growing spot reached the size of a 1pence piece, I rang the Doctors. She told me it was normal and that all chicken pox come in different shapes and sizes, and not to worry. However, throughout the day the spots continued to grow and become more red. The first spot that had reached the size of a penny eventually grew to be the size of a 50p piece. 
Obviously worried, I phoned NHS Direct and asked for advice. Over the phone it's much more difficult to describe than you can imagine. My description was something along the lines of "well they're like chicken pox, except they're massive!" After answering all of the preliminary questions, he concluded that it sounded like Princess's chicken pox had a secondary infection. I made an appointment at the Doctors for the following morning just to be sure. 
One thing I have never experienced before, is being in isolation. Chicken pox are contagious, so instead of sitting in the waiting room and risking the other children and the elderly to be exposed to them, we were put into isolation. It wasn't anything special, just a spare examination room. Although, having to sit away from all of the other patients made me worry that tiny bit, even though I knew it was practical. 

When we finally saw the Doctor she was stumped. She told me it definitely wasn't chicken pox and it wasn't contagious, but she had never actually seen a rash like it. How she knew it wasn't contagious when she didn't have a clue what it was is beyond me. So with no advice, no treatment and no comfort, she sent us on our way with an appointment to go back on Friday.
However, throughout the day, the spots continued to grow. They weren't just the size of 50p pieces anymore, they were growing that much that they had actually started to join together. The back of one of her legs was so covered that her entire leg was swollen. I rang the Doctors back and asked for an emergency appointment with a different Doctor.
 Once again we were put into isolation. Even though the previous Doctor had said Princess wasn't contagious, I didn't want to risk it considering she didn't actually know. This Doctor however seemed much more thorough. She examined every spot, every cluster, took her blood pressure, checked her temperature etc. She even rang through to paediatrics at the hospital to consult with them about the possibilities. Eventually she told me that Princess had a rare skin rash that had been caused by a virus. We're not sure what the virus is, it's linked to being caused by taking different medicines, all the way down to the virus that causes coldsores. She wasn't contagious, so long as people didn't rub themselves against the rashes (although why anyone would do that is beyond me!).

Luckily though, Princess's rash is fading. Instead of having angry, red, swollen marks, they're now turning pink. Apparently they can disappear as quickly as they arrived, so it's a relief to know she's finally on the mend. She now has a horrible cough that's keeping her awake all night, but plenty of cough medicine and calpol should keep that at bay.

Along with the rubbish time we've been having with illnesses this week, I also suffered a loss. My beloved pet rabbit, Captain Jack Sparrow (don't laugh!) died on Tuesday afternoon. I'm absolutely devastated. I still don't know what caused it, but as soon as I saw him lying in his cage with his back to me, I knew. I'd had Jack since I was 16, so he lived a good 7 years and that's only assuming he wasn't older than 1 when I bought him. He was a lovely dark grey and white dutch rabbit and I loved him a lot. He had been my very first pet and was definitely a companion of sorts. He'd give kisses when you picked him up and chase you around the garden, hopping along the way. He loved all other animals (well, cats and dogs!) and would often play with Tia. He even used to sleep with our old cat, all snuggled up. 
Sadly, we buried him in the garden on Tuesday night. I had a few tears, even more so when Princess blew him a kiss and said "bye". I won't be getting another rabbit anytime soon, probably not until Princess asks for one. Until then, it'll just be Tia and the turtles (who still don't have names, oops).

So that is my rubbish week so far. I could definitely do with a turnaround next week, say like, winning the lottery? Although I suppose I'd have to play for that to actually happen. Hopefully things will start to pick up and Princess will be fighting fit next week!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Pox has struck!

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!