The Littleboys have chicken pox. Well, strictly speaking, Littleboy 1 has it, but Littleboy 2 is almost certainly brewing it. (I have no illusions about him not catching it from his brother - particularly since last night in the bath I caught him scrubbing his toothbrush against his brother's spotty back and then putting it in his mouth....)
In truth, it wasn't much of a surprise, as two of the cousins had it at Christmas, but these things never happen at a 'convenient' time. The Doctor has chosen this week to print out the final version of his thesis - a task that seems to involve buying copious amounts of special photographic paper, frantically ordering ink cartridges and laying pieces of freshly inked paper precariously out to dry on the dining room table. Meanwhile I am working on a complicated feature with a looming deadline - whereas in a couple of weeks' time I will in all likelihood have no work at all. So we could both do without a small boy at home, bored, because he's not allowed back to nursery until the spots have crusted over.
Having said that, Littleboy 1 is putting a very brave face on it, considering he's covered in spots, even on his - ahem - dangly bits, which must be pretty excruciating. And he seems to have slotted into the 'off sick' role very well - cheerfully waving his brother off to nursery, demanding to watch Madagascar at 9am, and coming into the study to show me his spots at regular intervals and tell me firmly that he won't be going back to to nursery any time soon.
Of course, as my friend Nota Bene keeps reminding me, people used to have chicken pox parties so that their kids could get it over and done with; but as I tell him, times have changed. These days, working mothers are so paranoid about their children getting sick and having to be off nursery or school that they will do anything to avoid it. (Put it this way - I know plenty of parents who send their kids to nursery in the full knowledge that they are ill, having dosed them up with Calpol and knowing that they will 'last' until lunchtime. Then they don't have to explain to their boss that they are yet again having to take a day off work, and can leave quietly at 3 pm). So, as most of my mummy friends work, having a jolly little chicken pox get-together is about as likely as letting the three year olds sit down to watch Reservoir Dogs.
But truly, the whole thing seems a bit ridiculous. Chicken pox seems to be the last mild childhood disease that is deemed serious enough to be off nursery but not serious enough to be vaccinated against. So perhaps, either we should just accept that all children get chicken pox and let them go to nursery regardless, or there should be a universal vaccination (at the moment, you have to do it privately in the UK). Then, anyone who is really at risk (like pregnant women who haven't had it, or people with low immunity) should in theory, have either had it, or been vaccinated. Instead, everyone goes around behaving as if it's the plague. Chicken pox amnesty, that's what I say.
To change tack slightly, I've just realised that it's a YEAR since I started the blog, so I thought it might be time for a little retrospective. I began by trying to take a satirical little sideswipe at Nappy Valley life with this but the following week managed to lose my pram and then find it again, revealing me for the slightly crap mummy that I really am, and setting the tone for lots of future confessions......