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
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...