Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | November 17, 2008

A Pox on My House

Two weeks ago, after hearing that one of the Little One’s close friends in preschool had come down with the chicken pox, I quickly made an appointment for the Little One to get vaccinated. Rumor has it that he was okay until he saw the needle, but far less keen once he caught on.

Several days later, and the boy was spotty. “A reaction to the vaccination,” we thought. The spots multiplied, and in the evening, he developed a low-grade fever. “Quite a reaction,” we thought. Morning came, and the child was spottier than ever. “Something isn’t quite right,” we surmised, and made an appointment with his doctor.

“Chicken pox,” he pronounced, after inspecting the Little One’s body. So much for the vaccination. We’d left it too late, and a pox was upon our house. The doctor predicted a mild case, given that we’d had him vaccinated during the incubation period. Prescriptions in hand, we made our way to the pharmacy, wondering what the week had in store for us. The first Calamine session had him petrified, but we soon settled into a thrice-daily routine of Calamine lotion and medicine.

Fortunately, the doctor’s prediction came true, and while the Little One was rather spotty, he had no fever and wasn’t at all itchy. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to entertain an active four year-old under house arrest who was highly contagious, but otherwise felt perfectly fine – not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. There were high points and low points during a two-day stint when we were both confined to the house. The Little One made me laugh – “Mommy, what are chicken pops?” – and he made me twist my hands in frustration – “Mommy! I’m booooorrrrred! What can I have? NO NOT FOOD! I DON’T WANT FOOD! I WANT CHOCOLATE/CAKE/CHOCOLATE MILK!”. I swore at least once, and clearly my training has paid off, as I was immediately reprimanded by the spotty four year-old for using such language. On these occasions I was actually rather proud of myself for my restraint, given that what I really want to say was “bite me, Little One (guess I’m out of the running for mother of the month once again…)”. During those moments (which occurred more frequently than I’d like to admit), every ounce of strength I had was focused on not allowing those words to escape my lips. I did not want to face the inevitable questions (“What does that mean, Mommy? Why do you want me to bite you?”), nor did I want to run the risk of him beginning to use that phrase with others. I’d learned my lesson early on with a variety of other choice words, and it was a lesson I didn’t care to reinforce.

With equal parts amusement, exasperation and Nickelodeon, we made it through. The spots are almost gone and the Little One returned to preschool yesterday, much to the delight of his friends, his teachers, and especially, his parents. And best of all, I will not be forced to explain to anyone why my son is asking them to bite him.

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Responses

  1. I can almost smell the calamine as I read…
    Glad to know that LO (and his parents!) are feeling better!!


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