Thursday, September 18, 2008

Run for your lives, it's...

The Lurgi!

We're in the very un-nerving position of knowing that our little potato is about to get sick - but not knowing when, and therefore having to make risky decisions about where to take him and who to let him lick talk to.

Yes folks, our little pumpkin was exposed to... the POX!! Chickenpox, of course, although now that I have read a library of evidence on the subject there is a relationship to the actual Pox - mind you, from the way people react you'd think he was about to contract the plague. So now we are in agonies of waiting and preparing and looking at him all fondly because he's so little and sweet and has no idea what's coming for him.

I have also just discovered that when one writes the word 'pox' more than once it begins to look sort of alien and unlikely and one has to go and look it up in the dictionary just to check it's not actually spelled 'pocks'. Chickenpox. Smallpox. The pox. Pocks. Pockmarks. OK now every word is looking weird, someone get me a martini and a lie-down.

Anyway. So last Friday we were at one of the 100 thousand birthday parties we've been invited to in the last few weeks to experience more levels of party-food and goodie-bag guilt. The little boy in question has a somewhat contrary relationship with the spud, in that they both get right up each other's noses which means that most of their interactions end up in mini-fisticuffs. At that age, this mainly involves some face-to-face crying action followed by kissing and making up, hand-holding, playing and more crying.

What I'm getting at here is that they spent quite a lot of time together. Close up. In coughing distance. And the other little boy did have a cough -the sort of cough in fact that small children get right before they break out in the pox which he gaily did the very next day. Meaning that he was spectacularly infectious at the time and it's fairly likely that the spud is poxy-in-waiting - although, crucially, not guaranteed.

Short of painting a big black X on our door and cowering inside for the next two weeks, I'm not actually certain what to do next. Yes, come Monday he could be covered in spots. Or Tuesday. Or perhaps Wednesday. Or not. Meaning that from Saturday he may be infectious. Or Sunday . Or perhaps Monday. Or not at all. Because, my Very Good Friend who has Gone Before says that her 4 year old was exposed to the pox many times before he actually caught it.

So - do we tell the nursery and risk them making him stay home next week Just In Case? Or, do we put all the children at risk (or not) by sending him in? Or what? What? WHAT???

I am SUCH a nice person that the thought of going up to the nursery in ten minutes time and not mentioning it to them is going to create in me absolute agonies of angst... I mean, I will be dancing on their doorstep and mumbling like a female Hugh Grant; but if I can't stop myself and it leaches out and they tell me to keep him home next week, how much more angsty will I be if I let down a client and lose a week of work when he's NOT infectious?

We've now been banned from all our birthday party commitments this weekend (so there's something to be said for honesty!) and so are going to be able to laze around the house all cakeless and guilt-free.

To the nursery I go...


Lindy said...

Aw hell, no more parties screw that they're breeding grounds for shit like that.

That's all you have to say from now on - "We don't want your dirty children around our precious clean spic and span spud." :P

OXOOXOX's Sparx, good luck to you guys ok?

Mom de Plume said...

Shannon had chicken pox. She was off school for a week. The irritating thing about it was (and I don't mean to be nasty but when your kids are sick you do expect a bit of quiet cuddling time) she wasn't at all sick with it. Just spotty.

How frustrating for you. I too would stamp my foot in self reproach while I opened my mouth and blurted it out. I was lucky, Shannon got it at creche; they had to tell me!

I also remember when we were kids in Zimbabwe, one child got the pox and we immediately had a party so that all of us would get it and thereby become immune, which we did. All over in one fell swoop! Not sure that's the done thing any more!!!

Blogget Jones said...

Love this: "and who to let him lick..." LOL

I remember when Son got the chickenpox. It started out as a tummy ache, so I made an appointment with the doctor for that. Then, the little blisters started showing. We got to the crowded office and I went to the checkin counter.

"I said it was a tummy ache when I called," I told the woman. "But now he has spots. I think it's chickenpox."

To the consternation of those waiting, they told us DON'T SIT DOWN in the waiting room, and we got right in.

:o) BJ

ilana (Helen) Pengelly said...

How different it is parenting now from when I was a kid. Now we keep didums home and try not to infect anyone else.... not wanting to be the one pointed at as "she brought him to the party and the very next day he came down with the POX" ... like you'd done it on purpose! Nope back then our mother's arranged sleep overs immediately as in "might as well get it over with dear, yer sleeping at Pammie's tonight!"

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi sweetie,
The incubation period for Chickenpox is 21 days during which time Spud is not infectious but once he has any spots he is until the last one has scabbed over. Start buying stocks of Calpol and ice lollies...they will make you and Frog feel better anyway.

Sparx said...

Lindy - you make me laugh as always! I'd have infected him on purpose if I'd known so hooray for dirty little munchkins!

Mom de P - if he comes out in spots I'm inviting everyone around. I've comforted the guilt-ridden party Mum by telling her we'd have come anyway - pox parties are good sense, I think. Or maybe I'm just out of date here.

Blogget - very funny! I can imagine the consternation as they hustled you out of infection range!

Helen - another one for the pox party - good to know I'm not completely bonkers on this one.

DJ - brilliant idea, I'm going to make some ide lollies right now... mmmm...

liz fenwick said...

It hasn't been too long since mine were through it.....couldn't wait for them to get through it so we could move on - sort tick the box, done and dusted. The most annoying thing was when we moved to the states having to prove they had had it becuase the wanted them to have the jab......I wouldn't let the near the youngest with it and I introduced her to everyone who had until she finally caught it at the age of four when the whole nursery class went down with it. Good luck - hope the spots appear soon :-)

BTW BBW brought me back here.

Jonny's Mommy said...

I wish I could tell you what to do. The lady who watches my son always shrugs when I confess such things to her (much like Hugh) and then says: "Well, if they're going to get it, they're going to. These kids could get it anywhere. So, I'm not worried."

Good point, I guess, but pox would suck for one so young! Just don't bring him near my child and we'll be just fine. :-)

Similarly, we've been having this discussion at work about whether co-workers who are infectious should stay the heck home and not breathe on all of us...or at least cover their mouths when they cough.

Sparx said...

Hi Liz, thanks for commenting! I can't believe you'd have to prove they'd had it in the US - what proof would they accept? I was kind of not even planning on taking him to the docs so... guess the US is off our emigration list!

Jonny's Mommy - she's got the right attitude. I didn't confess in the end. I feel very guilty. Sometimes...

Jen said...

Oh crap! I'm sure it is irrational of me, but I instantly thought, "Why the ##$$ did that mom still have the party if her kid had a cough?"

Oh, the dilemmas of motherhood! Dylan was invited to a birthday party of a little girl at school (which he just started - only 2 classes so far). Problem is, it is at Chuck E Cheese - the dreaded germ fest which infected him with some horrible illness the last time!

Cat said...

Hello - I came here via Black Box, just thought I'd say hi. So, hi.

Michelle said...

I remember the agony of the itchy spots from my childhood and still have scars to prove it. My kids got the shot so hopefully they'll miss out. Good luck in deciding on this dilema. I honestly don't know what advice to give you!

Joni said...

The main thing in the States is having a note from a dr. saying they've had it. Otherwise, they give them a vaccination for it. Having said that, our oldest had the pox when he was 15 months, and it went well for him. (Do they sell Benadryl in Britain? It's definitely a must!) Younger son had the pox vaccines, and has never had the actual pox.

I, on the other hand, was exposed by oldest son, and had pox at the ripe old age of 31. It was awful!

All that to say, it's not so bad. Keep some Tylenol and Benadryl on hand, and you should be fine.

(I found this on Wikipedia, just FYI.
Benadryl is a brand name of McNeil Healthcare (UK) Limited and is used to sell hay fever treatments in various forms around the world. In the U.S. Benadryl products contain the 1st generation antihistamine Diphenhydramine.

In the United Kingdom Benadryl products contain either the 2nd generation antihistamine Acrivastine (sold as Benadryl Allergy Relief) or the antihistamine Cetirizine (sold as Benadryl Once a Day).)

The Good Woman said...

Oh dear Sparx. I don't think they can make you keep him out of nursery because there is a chance he may have chickenpox. Bambi had to have the jab before we came to the US - poor child turns into a pincushion with every move. But this one annoyed me - I'm told its actually not very effective anyway.
Also, I've never had chickenpox and have got quite panicky about it through both pregnancies so I would rather know that Bambi is completely covered, which, apparently can only be guaranteed by having had it.

Helen said...

First, a word about parties. I hate kids' parties. Hate 'em. Breeding grounds for greed and anti-social materialistic whining. And if your child catches that, it's worse than the pox of ANY variety. A few years back I went to a pre-schooler party where they did a 'toy swap.' Kids brought a toy they no longer played with to swap in some elaborate game. My girl couldn't understand why no one wanted her old Thomas the Train magnet book, and why she couldn't have the huge remote controlled helicopter that wouldn't have fit in our garage. Needless to say, we left the party soon after the swap (and took home our perfectly good Thomas magnet book too, which my youngest now plays with).

As for taking Spud to the nursery, I've been there. If he's not vomitting, if he doesn't have diarhea or a fever over 100 degrees farenheit, take him. You need to go to work, and he MAY NOT have the chicken pox. If he does, they'll call you, scold you, and give you the hairy eyeball. That's all they can do. Stick out your tongue and go NYAH!

Wow, am I bitchy tonight!

Hope the Spud is okay ;)

Anonymous said...

I also wish it were so as in Mom de Plume's day! Honestly, I've made TWO playdates with the specific intention of contaminating my own two, but to no avail. Yet. Reason being, is that I had the Pox when I was the grand old age of EIGHT, and it was HELL. Hell, I tell you. I still have scars from all the scratching, and it only gets worse with age, they say. I just want it over and done with!

Molly said...

Visiting via Black Box - hope all turns out well. I remember getting chicken pox and it was a mild case.

Sparx said...

Jen - did you go to the Chuckee Cheese thing? I remember your post from the first time. Don't Go!!!!

Cat - Hi!

Michelle - this seems to be a theme in the US - shots! I'd never heard of them until now... stone age, me.

Joni - brilliant advice, many thanks. I've also heard that Piritin is a good one. Getting it at 31... I hear that's hell.

The Good Woman - I can't believe they force kids to get the shot! Poor little tyke. Mind you, possibly better then getting the pox at that age...

Helen - keep bitching! That was a great comment, thanks for the support - and I did take him in and I didn't tell them... and now of course I feel justified!

Jennie - I do hear it's worse when kids are older - bad luck not being able to contaminate your two. If the spud gets it, fancy flying out?!

Molly - thanks for the comment and the positive take on it all!

Anonymous said...

Nice try Blondie. What I could do though, is take the ferry from Esbjerg to Harwich and then the train to London. Give me a few days notice on that one. (I've actually done that route before, and it's surprisingly painless.)