16 May Why I embraced the Chicken Pox
“The dreaded chicken pox has hit our house!” “Typical! Chicken Pox for the holidays!” “Great! I have a spotty child- How long will it take for he spots to go?” “When will this end!!!!!! FML!!!”
These are just a few Facebook moans that I have seen over the past few weeks!
If I were to ever write a Facebook status and if it happened to be about my son’s chicken pox, my status would be far from a moan. Ok, chicken pox isn’t an ideal thing, and some kids are really poorly with it but my experience of them didn’t warrant a Facebook status.
I have sat and thought a lot today. Where I found the time to do that I don’t know. We were very busy, we didn’t stop. We were at home all day today. Didn’t leave the house. This was the fourth day in a row we have done this. I spent today at home again feeling surprised and content.
A few days ago, when we spotted the dreaded spots of chicken pox (that wasn’t intentional), I wondered what on earth we would do with our time at home, in isolation, just us, until he had ‘scabbed over’. No swimming lessons, no gym class, no nursery and a postponed birthday party. Yes, his own 3rd birthday party. What will we do with the time? Will he want to sit and watch more television? (This left me itching more than him).
I presumed that not leaving the house for days on end would leave him climbing the walls, needing to get out and about. I presumed the days would be long! I presumed he would be bored. Bored of me, his toys, the house. I anticipated a frustrated, tired, irritable almost three-year-old. And as a result, a frustrated mummy too.
But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
So what did we do? The list would be too long to include everything but this is just a snippet of day one…
We spent time playing with all of his toys, as usual, but we played more in depth because we didn’t have to be anywhere else. We had several conversations between Happyland characters and trains. We rekindled with some toys that haven’t left the box for a while. We explored and I helped to develop his already vast imagination skills.
We made frozen yoghurt and fruit ice creams! He loved this…and they were put in the freezer for later.
We made a papier-mâché planet. He’s been learning about planets at nursery! So this was another good deed! We would paint the planet the next day when it was dry. This of course ticked off another activity for us to do.
We snugged under a blanket together, watching a film. This helped me drink tea and recuperate after an early wake up call of ‘Mummmmy! Mummmmmmy!’ But he sat and rubbed my hand. That showed me he loves me!
(I may try and be strict with how much TV/Fireman Sam he watches, but who is going to turn down those snuggles? And this week was an exception).
We played with play-doh, making people and sausages. I made a flower (the flower didn’t impress him much)But he loved the rest!
We played a game- This taught him to take turns. Even if I had to let him win!
We put out fires. Not real ones of course. Husband and I grinning at each other out the corner of our eye whilst we are on one knee, squirting a non-existent hose at the wall. This of course was all totally existent to our little fire-fighter as he directed us.
We made lunch…which he didn’t eat! That frustrated me-isn’t it annoying when they won’t eat? But I told myself he would eat if he was hungry and I chilled out! I cooked dinner…he didn’t eat any of it!
…but he ate two of the ‘ice creams’ we made. He walked up to me with the plastic stick with no more ice cream on it and said, ‘I ate it all, it was nice!’ My heart melted quicker than the ice cream would have done in the oven. I told him how lovely and amazing he is and I might have cried while I hugged him really tightly.
We played doctors, played in the garden, did puzzles, drawing, marched around like soldiers, sticker books, read stories, played with cars.
After bribing him with chocolate to allow me to put cream on his chicken pox, we read our stories before bed time while having gorgeous cuddles, like we do every night. I asked if he enjoyed the day, and he said,
“I enjoyed the trains, I enjoyed the planet and making ice cream, I enjoyed”…and the list went on.
It’s the small things. The things you don’t expect that make memories. The smallest things that give appreciation for what you have. I’ve had the best day today. It’s just been us.
Of course, most of the above we do a lot when we are at home anyway when he doesn’t have chicken pox. But we had more time for it. We had more time to learn together and laugh together. Without having to rush out the door for something, battling to get shoes and socks on, has given more time so make our memories between us.
I said good night to him after we put him in his bed and he said, “I love you mummy and daddy!”
I still stink of calamine lotion myself, but it’s great reminder that you needn’t go out and about every day, to the park, zoo, soft play or to see friends. But that the greatest thing you can give your little’un is time. He has been totally grateful of my time over the last few days! And I am equally grateful!