I’m embarrassed to admit that my first reaction wasn’t about poor Charlotte, but it was how on earth I would manage to entertain the children (stuck indoors with no company) for about 2 weeks. Some of my mummy friends had warned me that this was the hardest thing about chickenpox – what to do during the contagious period. Of course, I should have been thinking about my little girl, who was now looking like a creature from outer space. I had wondered when it would happen, after all most of Charlotte’s friends have had chickenpox and despite mixing with the ‘infected’ ones and even attending a ‘chickenpox party’ in the hope of catching it young and getting it out of the way, she’s not caught it until now. Obviously school children have a stronger strain of the infection that is easier to pass on.
On waking she was already fairly well covered, but they did increase rapidly in number which freaked her out slightly. After explaining to her that they wouldn’t last forever, we decided to ‘embrace’ the situation and mark each spot with a blue dot using a (non-toxic) felt tip pen. Charlotte thought this was particularly cool as we could identify the new spots easily…….and it also highlighted them for other’s to see and subsequently offer attention/sympathy etc. My niece brought over her 1 year old daughter in the hope of her catching it before Christmas, but I didn’t offer any chickenpox-laced lollipops (or Lollipox as recently marketed in the US).
The other thing I have to consider is the probability of William catching it. I’m left with the dilemma of whether I allow him to attend his usual pre-school and other groups, or not. He may already have it and could be in the incubation period already, or he could catch it towards the end of Charlotte’s contagious period and the spots may not appear for some time afterwards. Also, he may not be affected in anyway (in which case I would have wasted my time keeping him in quarantine). What would you do? Allow him to carry on as normal or not, just in case?