Many apologies for my absence. The pox has descended upon my household and has taken a particular liking to my daughter.
I think that's an ace excuse. It happens to be utterly true. Martha has indeed picked up the pox from school. She ended up missing the last two days of the Spring term and has been in 'quarantine' since Thursday 30th of March. Let me clear a few things up.
Firstly, despite my attempts at the dramatic, Martha has Chicken Pox. The pox sounds ever so much more dangerous. After all, a pox is another word for a curse as I recall. It's been doing the rounds at school and it was only a matter of time. Of course Martha gets it as holidays start because, well, why not?
Secondly, she actually does have Chicken Pox. It wasn't a ruse to get cheaper holiday rates by arriving a day or two earlier for our Easter break. In fact, we had to cancel our planned trip to Center Parcs as she is still currently contagious. Fortunately, the powers that be at Center Parcs were feeling generous and allowed us a change of date due to Martha's unfortunate timing. Here's a picture to prove it.
Thirdly, it's so horrible not being able to take away a pain from those you love. When Martha was up most of Thursday night, crying because she was so itchy, my heart did melt somewhat. All I could do was give her some Calpol (no aspirin, not allowed) and some Vira Soothe gel to help ease the itching. I used to have Calamine lotion and some have recommended oats in a sock in the bath, but Vira Soothe worked for us. She slept a paltry 4 hours that night. The poor little lady was exhausted. Worse still, it's hard to explain to a five year old that it's not their fault. She said "Why me, have I been naughty?" 4am on a Friday morning used to be spent on the night bus with Catherine asking a similar question, only with a kebab in her hand.
To be fair though, Martha only had one terrible night and two bad days. I am aware that some people have awful experiences with Chicken Pox. Although it is rare, it can hospitalise some children and adults, it's the same virus that causes shingles in all ages and everyone has a different experience with Chicken Pox. This was mine. It was tough. Nowhere near as tough as others get it. Thanks Martha. Take notes Ben.
Fourthly, although it's been tough, we know it's only going to get worse because Ben will no doubt pick it up. I say Martha has been in 'quarantine' since Thursday, but it's hardly been an airtight sealed room she's been in. We don't own any Haz-mat suits and Ben is quite regularly a rule unto himself. He's got a very kind heart and would always start his day by going into "Didi's" room and giving her a hug and a kiss because she was stuck in bed. When Ben gets the dreaded Pox, he won't be able to tell us exactly how to help him as he's still struggling with language. It's going to be awful. Yay!
So Chicken Pox is rubbish. It's a pox after all. But it has its upsides. I've watched more movies in the past four days, than in the last year. I've eaten a sizeable portion of chocolate. How much does a blue whale weigh? Less than me probably. I've slept as much as my poxy daughter will let me and I've had quite a few takeaways. Chinese, Indian and Pizza. It's been awesome. I don't have the constitution I used to have back in my 20's and those who know me will know that I can still put sweets and chocolate away whenever BUT, it's been so awfully good.
So I say, all hail the pox. Bringer of nasty discomfort for my child, which is a terrible thing. Fie on you for that. But I raise a tankard of fine ale to the curse of the chicken, for it has provided me with the excuse to gain weight, sleep more and indulge my desire for quality entertainment (children's mainly, but I still got some of my stuff in there too when she slept. And I happen to like Disney.) It's been great. Until Ben gets it.