Something for the weekend

SFTW: Chicken pox, bad backs and solitary confinement

January 24, 2016

SFTW: Chicken pox, bad backs and solitary confinement |

Happy Sunday folks! I cannot tell you how positive I feel today compared with the past week – which I’m so glad is over because it was an absolute rotter. Ten days ago, just as I finished my working week, Oscar was diagnosed with chicken pox. Like the fool I am, I couldn’t help feeling a bit pleased that my son had managed to schedule his illness to coincide with my non-work days. By now, however, I should have learned that ‘smug’ is a dangerous emotion. Because after a full weekend of zero zzz’s (I’m talking newborn levels of sleeplessness, here) and general hysteria on all sides, I managed to injure my back… by sneezing. Which meant I had to take the whole week off work anyway, and spend my days hobbling pathetically around the house trying to take care of a sick, clingy, increasingly frustrated (and frustrating) child.

Unlike Rachel and Rose, I do not thrive on solitude. Here are some of the things that got me through the week:

  • A re-read of HurrahforGin’s award-winning post on chicken pox – which I can now TOTALLY identify with. ‘It’s scabbed over, bitches!’ Love it.
  • Discovering, after dosing Oscar up with only 5ml of Calpol, that he can have a whole 7.5ml now that he’s turned two 😄
  • Peppa Pig – which scientists have now confirmed is as effective as calamine lotion when it comes to calming pox-related itches. Now, I know in the past I’ve written about how much I love this programme, but even I have my limits – and 12-15 episodes three or four times per day (including loooong sessions in the middle of the night) is way beyond what any parent should have to endure. In fact, so much exposure makes you start analysing Peppa Pig on a wholly bonkers level. But it was either that or watching The Wheels on the Bus 84 times in a row and, having seen that goddamn bus tour cities in Europe, America, the Antipodes and even India over the past few days, I would have sooner stuck my hand in my Nutribullet.
  • My Nutribullet – although I spent all week mindlessly cramming anything I came across into my mouth, I did at least start each day with at least three of my five-a-day. But then, on occasion, I also made one of these

  • This meme from Big Trouble in Little Nappies. The rest of my Facebook feed was taken up with pics of other people’s glamorous holidays, selfies of beaming couples, and news of career highs, so this was the only thing that didn’t make me feel like the most wretched loser on the planet. Or rather, it did, but it made me realise that I’m not alone. (Oh, and this helped my morale, too.)
  • This video from Buzzfeed on ‘Weird questions gay couples get’. Lolz.
  • A few completely impulsive sales buys: a pair of grey suede leggings that, despite being grey suede leggings, are somehow really flattering and seem to go with most of my wardrobe (they definitely class as part of a Mum outfit); a super-cute and practical splash-suit for Oscar; and some £5 wellies from John Lewis so bargainous that I bought two pairs.
  • Purity by Jonathan Franzen – despite being a lapsed bookworm just like Rose, I am motoring through this new tome by America’s greatest modern novelist. I re-read and deconstruct brilliant sentences, savour each page and basically worship his prose.
  • The memories of our first family baking session – just before Oscar got ill, we made and iced biscuits for one of his friends, who also came down with chicken pox but was hospitalised with it.
  • A trip to The Horniman Museum – when the worst was behind us and we had the energy to venture out, this is where Oscar and I went to burn off some energy and cheer ourselves up.

As for the low points, it’s best that I don’t dwell on them. Apart from to ask, does anyone else find that after they indulge their poorly offspring, their kids become nutso divas once they start to feel better? By the end of last week, despite having been at Oscar’s beck and call for days, I was starting to feel like an incredibly bad mother – firstly because my son was becoming uncontrollable, and secondly because I didn’t feel I was making the most of the enforced time we were spending together. Instead of bonding, we were winding each other up and marching back and forth to the naughty step all day. Now that both Oscar and my back have recovered, I realise that the idea of us exalting in each other’s company when confined to a tiny flat and both feeling irritable was as realistic as those sanitary towel ads showing women joyfully paragliding and doing Zumba in figure-hugging outfits…

What got you through chicken pox? Looking back, I think we got off pretty lightly – what were your highs and (gulp) lows?

P.S. Parenting blogs for when you feel like the only mum in the world, quick, tasty dishes for when you’ve got a lot on your plate, and tips for staying zen if you’re stuck in a tiny flat.

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    Reply Sabrina January 24, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Glad you’re both well again! 7.5ml of calpol was a revelation to us too over our Christmas illness marathon! 😉 oh and I love Franzen. If I manage to read one damn book this year I want it to be than one…

    • Reply Nicky January 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      I will lend it to you when I’m done! xx

    Reply Jeanne January 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    What a hilarious post on the craziness of being a mom….chicken pox…ugh…actually, I myself just went through the flip side of that…shingles…not fun…oh no. But my favorite part of your post was on Peppa Pig…I thought I was the only one who knew all the episodes and could recite the dialogue with a full-on British accent, no less….and the burps! Glad to hear all are better. 🙂

    • Reply Nicky February 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment – and sorry to hear you had shingles! Yes, we are so well-versed in Peppa that Oscar will start me off with a piece of dialogue from one of the episodes and then make me recite the rest – he just prompts me by saying ‘Peppa said…’, ‘George said…’, ‘Miss Rabbit said…’ whenever a new character starts talking. No wonder there’s no room in my brain for anything sensible like, say, the news… x

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