Back on Day 0, I spotted some dubious spots on Little H as I was putting her to bed after nursery. After a visit to the doctor the following day, it was confirmed she had the dreaded Pox of the chicken variety. Quarantined followed and you find us in the thick of the illness with one very unhappy and itchy little toddler. (If you want a blow-by-blow account then by all means pop over to part I first!)
I expected Little H to wake a lot overnight so I’m quite surprised when I wake to her grumbling and it’s already 4am. She falls back to sleep (as do I) but I have to briefly go into her at 5am. She settled back down well after some bonjela, water and a cuddle. We all end up sleeping until 7:30am, which we all needed.
We go down in our pj’s to eat breakfast. Little H has some fruit and porridge but it’s really fidgety; her back and stomach are really itching her. I put some calamine lotion on as best I can then swap her pj’s for a loose tunic dress. She calms down a bit and plays, but it’s constantly looking for me when I leave her to play with her dad. When I go upstairs to get dressed, Sam has to bring her up too because she starts to cry because I’m not there. I do manage to get a shower on my own though!
We pop into town: Sam to walk Little H around some secluded residential areas, me to nip to the shops for a few bits and have half an hour to myself. I get everything I need just as I get a message from Sam saying Little H wants to go home. As I approach them, sat quietly on a bench out the way, she starts to cry. I end up having to carry her back to the car!
I cook lunch in a rush but by the time it’s ready she refuses to eat it. Mum fail – she’s clearly in need of her nap and I should have taken her up earlier than I do. We take her up and she’s asleep within 5 minutes. I tidy up as Sam pops out. I make some little fairy cakes for Little H but as they are cooking she wakes up crying. After some calpol she goes back to sleep and I have a rest. I try to write but my brain is mush and I’m so tired. The fact H is so clingy to me is taking it’s toll; it’s hard for Sam to as she keeps pushing him away.
She’s very, very emotional after her nap. She refuses to eat much and won’t be anywhere other than my lap. After a bit of food she asks to go for a walk so we get the buggy out. It’s even quieter than normal (rugby on TV we think) so we don’t have to avoid anyone. Little H even gets out the buggy and has a walk holding daddy’s hand Back at home she wants to go straight in the garden with daddy. She plays on her slide and eats a bit of a little cake. It’s nice for Sam to play with her a bit as I do some sorting in peace.
She refuses to eat any dinner when she comes back inside. All we can get into her is a small yoghurt. We then go straight up to bed, opting for a sink wash rather than a bath. She starts crying over everything but calms down once I put a cool flannel on her back and then calamine lotion. She falls asleep quickly but is regularly rolling about and scratching all evening. So I’m feeling a little less optimistic about having solid blocks of sleep tonight. I feel so powerless to help her – it’s so infuriating and distressing.
The alarm goes off at 7am and I’m shocked because Little H has slept happily through the night. I remember checking her on the monitor a couple of times and that she woke-up at one point chatting. But otherwise she had a good sleep. We snooze until 7:40am at which points she starts singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. She’s in a really good mood when I go in that morning and she asks me to bring her warm milk!
We all have breakfast and then she wants to go in the back garden. We dress and go outside where she plays on her slide and has some water play. We go back in and watch ‘Cars’ and video chat with my sister, my dad and Sam’s parents. Then Little H asks to go for her nap (5 minutes before lunch is ready!) so I take her upstairs. She falls asleep quickly and with no fuss. Sam and I enjoy our lunch in peace which is actually really nice. We then listen to some tunes and go on our computers. Little H stirs after a couple of hours singing to herself and lays in bed for a while drinking milk when I go up.
In the afternoon we go for a walk (her in the buggy as her energy levels clearly aren’t back to normal), play stickers, go in the garden again and play with her bike. She’s a bit stroppy at times though – classic recovering toddler who is lacking in energy. A positive sign but a bit testing.
At bedtime we successfully manage to give her a bath and get her dry. About 75% of her spots have scabbed over now. I’m really hopeful that the rest will scab over for tomorrow but only time will tell. It would be great to get her back to normality on Tuesday if we can – she needs some playtime with her friends now! She went to sleep happily and calmly. Really felt like we were on the road to recovery today thank goodness. (Although I’m not assuming anything about tonight!)
I had to nip into Little H during the night because she can’t get back under her blanket. But otherwise I wake-up at the 6:30am alarm feeling reasonably refreshed. I go into Little H with her milk at 7:15am and she’s smiley and happy. As I check her over, the only part of her body that isn’t completely scabbed over is her nappy-area and even that is well on it’s way. We eat breakfast like normal and I can tell she’s feeling better because she’s testing me with everything.
We go out for a walk in the buggy at 9:15am on her insistence. We’d normally be at Music Train so she’s definitely missing interaction with her friends. After we get back we go in the garden to play. After lunch (she eats just yoghurt again!) we go up for her nap. I take her nappy off and the remaining spots are all but scabbed – hurrah! She had a bit of nappy off time and then I re-pant her so she can go for her sleep.
By the afternoon, she’s fully scabbed. I check her over and over so many times that she doesn’t let me touch her most of the afternoon. But that doesn’t matter because the fact still remains: the chicken pox has gone! Whoop!
Back to normality tomorrow. Or at least I hope so….
So how was it?
Despite being deemed ‘mild’ and it being something everyone gets, I found chicken pox a distressing illness. To begin with Little H was fine but the 2 – 3 days in the middle made her really uncomfortable and unhappy; she was itchy, lethargic and lost her appetite. Watching her suffering as I was only able to help her in little ways was the worst thing I have had to deal with second to the febrile convulsion / tonsillitis events of last year.
From my personal perspective, it made me realise how much we just ‘pop’ to places. To the shops. To the park. To classes. It stretched my imagination to keep her entertained and fed through until the weekend when Sam was at home. We were fortunate to have the nice weather so we could go outside. I also went slightly stir crazy being at home with just a two-year-old to chat to.
My tips for any parents yet to deal with this: keep calamine lotion in the cupboard because you can’t go to the shop when it strikes. Always have a few frozen meals to hand because, well, you never know about any illness. And accept you’ll keep the TV on in the background for a lot of the quarantine – it’s not ideal but it distracts from the itching!