When a 5-year-old gets chickenpox, you would expect itching, fever, and generally feeling unwell. Not in our case. It turns out, he’s just really bored.
Cometh the Chickenpox
As I did the school run, Alfie informs me he has a big spot on the back of his neck, his teacher, nor Alfie thought much of it. I on the other hand was a little concerned, especially with my track record of skin lumps. Although it did just look like, well, a spot, I guess. Later in the evening, however, was a completely different story! Within just a few hours, one spot had turned into about 50 spots spread across his body.
Now based on the never-ending reel of bad news I read on a daily basis, it was either COVID or Chickenpox. It was more likely the latter due to the fact “they” just keep adding every possible symptom going to the symptom list of COVID-19.
Once Mrs. F and I established it was in fact chickenpox, we took the obligatory photographs, not for medical reasons, obviously. This was purely so we could send pictures to people informing them. For no reason, whatsoever.
It was the type of moment when you feel like adding some dramatic music in the background and saying “it is time”. If you’ve watched Lion King, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
The not-quite symptoms of Chickenpox
Usually, the symptoms of chickenpox, apart from the obvious, fluid-filled spots, are tiredness, fever, headaches, and loss of appetite. These symptoms could make anyone feel grubby, but for a 5-year-old it could really make them feel unwell. So I’d prepared myself to have a bit of a tough week with the boy.
With the plan of keeping him off school for at least a week, plenty of fluids, and plenty of rest for him. These symptoms last about 6 hours! I’m not even exaggerating. Apart from the odd itch, he’s been absolutely fine. Any parent will know if you have a child off school it disrupts any plans you may have had, that’s just part of the job I guess. But have a child who is off school with an illness, but is absolutely fine, well that leads us onto…
Dad, I’m Bored
The weather has been pretty decent, with some lovely sunshine and we can’t go anywhere public. We’ve baked cookies, cakes, brownies, and flapjacks. We’ve played, and we even tidied and polished the house one day(rivetting!). We started weeding the back garden ready for me to start re-pointing the patio. He’s still bored. I even resorted to doing an online shop. Not for home delivery though. I chose Click and Collect, just so I could take him somewhere. I bet that was exciting for him. “Let’s go and pick our shopping up son, you’re staying in the car”.
Even as I type this post he is standing right next to me, “Dad, I’m bored”, “what you typing dad”, “why is there a picture of me”, “Dad, is it dinner time yet”, “Dad, I’m off for a poo, see you in two”.
I think it was Mrs. F who taught him the last sentence he said. It certainly wasn’t me. (hehe)
Time off school
I’m pretty sure Alfie has secretly enjoyed being off school, but on the flip side, he does enjoy school and has asked me multiple times to speak to his teacher to get some work for him to do. Very admirable.
Although his teacher has told him to just rest, we’ve made sure there has been some form of learning, apart from how to do shopping the lazy way. We’ve learned, Reading(a recipe book), measuring and counting skills, and how to make your own food. And some useful life skills, such as how to tidy a house, multiple times, how to wash a towel every day, and the most important of all, which Alfie seems quite pleased with… It does in fact take him longer than two minutes to have a poo. Yes, he made me time him. Four minutes and forty-seven seconds to be exact.
In all seriousness though, Chickenpox isn’t nice. Some children can get very sick from the virus and it’s important to let your GP know as soon as any of the typical symptoms get worse. I do empathise with those who have younger children and babies who get chickenpox.
There are a lot of solutions to help ease the itch of chickenpox, some say Calamine Lotion, Some say dandruff shampoo in a bath. Before trying anything, it’s worth getting professional advice first though. Calamine lotion has been the go-to solution for chickenpox for many many years though.
It’s really important to note, that if your child has chickenpox keep them away from anyone who is pregnant or has a low immune system. Further information on Chickenpox can be found on the NHS Website.