Red X’s on the door… ExhausDad March 9, 2015 Southend, Southend Slice of Life 27/02/15 : “C-Day”… It’s happened. Despite all the safeguards we thought we had in place to ensure our offspring didn’t catch it from their mates, Child A has broken out in chickenpox. Great. Brilliant. Double thumbs-up. The afflicted informed us he wasn’t on top form last night, complaining of stomach pains and a sore throat, however this was put down to sympathy-hunting (he’s not daft, he’s been attempting to manipulate us since he was 10 months). However, alas, his complaints were justified. He seemed fine when I left for work this morning. He was his usual million mph self, thrashing around the living room pretending to be some kind of fusion powered hyper-velocity infant rocket ninja. But at 09:07 I got the call from Wife : <screams and crying in background> “He’s got chickenpox – it’s OK, it’s alright, you’re fine – he’s come out in the blotches and the rash and he’s really – it’s OK, you’re fine Child A – he’s really scared, bless him, plus obviously she’ll (Child B) get – oh it’s OK Child A, you’re honestly fine, you’ll just be itchy for a few days – it too” </screams and crying in background> Conversation went on about the impending crapness of the coming fortnight, the various jollops and creams we need to get, the appointments and events we need to excuse ourselves from. And then it happened – The overwhelming sensation of fear and panic upon realising that we (and by “we”, I mean Wife) now need to keep a 3 year old, with the attention span of a goldfish that’s suffered a severe head trauma, entertained inside the same place, for at least 2 weeks… How? How is that even remotely possible? Sure, we have books, toys, a garden, DVD players, TV packages, tablets, PCs… but TWO WEEKS?! I guess we’ll see….. (oh, and I’ve not stopped scratching since I started typing this..) 06/03/15 – Update Wife is a saint. A genius. A rock. A mother among mothers and an absolutely astonishing human being. She has (almost) single-handedly fought at the front lines of The Battle of the Blotch, for 7 long, grizzly, itchy, sore, scratchy, frustrating days, with only brief and intermittent sorties back to normality for some R&R. Child A doesn’t “do” sitting inside the house. Ever. He doesn’t “do” staying still. Ever. I have seen test footage of atomic bomb detonations that created less energy than Child A has. So containing this toddler-sized singularity is no mean feat. And when you include the demands placed on Wife by 11 month old Child B (who is STILL yet to develop any blotches!!!), you start to get the picture of why I am heaping so much praise on her. Wife’s efforts in keeping both offspring entertained over this time, while managing to maintain her own sanity, have been beyond Herculean. I’ve had some extremely stressful jobs in my time, and my current occupation doesn’t afford me much down-time, but I openly admit I don’t think I would’ve coped as well as Wife. I’ve been chipping in where possible, at evenings and weekends, but that does little to alleviate the grief. Child A (heart-breakingly) doesn’t want Daddy to help. He just wants cuddles and attention from Mummy. Three year olds don’t have the capacity to understand that us normal humans need time to recharge the batteries, so when he cant get the attention he wants, from the source he wants all hell breaks loose and somehow good ol’ dad becomes the bad guy. And so what. Yeah, it’s frustrating and saddening, but really, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been shouted at louder and called worse names (“I don’t want you, Poo-Poo!” was the latest offering) in my time, and will no doubt be the subject of more outburst of frustration and accusations of being “unfair” in the future. Ultimately, I know he doesn’t mean it, I know he doesn’t really think I’m poo-poo, or that he has come to the unshakeable and committed opinion that I am inherently unfair. So, on the upside (and maybe come back to this later if you’re eating) his blotches have scabbed over nicely and are well on the retreat from the barrage of creams, ointments and cake ingredients that have been unleashed by The 7th Mothered Division. So he’s able to go out, and get back to his routine of pre-school and seeing friends. And that will be GREAT for him (and Field Marshall Wife). But, I suppose it’ll be right about now that Child B gets her first couple of spots….