As I picked Meri up from her nursery the other day, one of the nursery assistants pulled me aside and asked me, “Has Meri had chicken pox yet?
“You know she has eczema? She often gets spots and red patches. It’s probably that.” I said confidently, as if my determination that she should not catch it would scare the virus away.
“No, I’m pretty certain this was chicken pox. Take her home, have a look and see what develops,” she said. There was a calm assurance in her voice that hinted that she really knew what she was talking about and that my cheery optimism was at best a little misplaced, at worst a lot foolish.
I got Meri home and inspected her spots. They seemed pretty ordinary and innocuous to my less than expert eye and so put it from my mind. The next morning, however, as Clare got Meri up and changed her nappy, there could be no doubt. My darling little daughter had more spots than a leopard crossed with a Dalmatian.
Part of me was delighted, because everyone I know tells me that it is better to get these things out of the way when they are young. However, I can’t say that I was thrilled at the prospect of having a spotty, itchy and no doubt grumpy toddler tailing around after me for the next ten days or so.
There is, however, another consideration. Arun hasn’t had chicken pox yet either and so now we are waiting for him to break out as well. Everyone more experienced in parenting lore tells me that the incubation period is two weeks. So currently, we are holding our breath to see if number one son also comes down with the pox.
Last week he came home from school after being sick at lunch and then he spent the rest of the day either sleeping on me or being throwing up over me. “This is it,” I thought, “they’re on the way”. But three days on there is still no sign.
However, I like to think of myself as an enterprising sort of guy who can turn any problem into an opportunity. So, I’m running a sweepstake on when Arun’s first spot will appear. If you want to join, it’s £5 in and all you have to do is pick a day of the week.
All proceeds go to the Poor Daddy Needs a Beer Fund.