Chickenpox appears to be something of a rollercoaster ride, as with many LittleBear illnesses. One minute he's hurtling around the house, playing "keepy-downy" with a helium balloon, the next he's curled up on the sofa, with a heap of cuddly toys and a soothing DVD on in front of him. I admit there is a strong correlation between bounciness and piriton/calpol levels, so today we're keeping him dosed up a bit more than yesterday.
During the day yesterday, there seemed to be little development in the spot department, and then as the tail end of the day approached, every time I looked at my bear there seemed to be more spots, in increasingly unpleasant places. The fact that he is deeply resistant to the application of calamine lotion or the consumption of piriton syrup is not helping the itching, though he's gradually being persuaded that these implements of parental torture do actually help and are therefore worth having. This has not reduced the amount of sobbing, complaining and insistence that it's the worst thing in the world ever. Right up there with tooth-brushing*.
Bedtime was deceptively easy, with a somnolent (if itchy) small boy settled into bed, covered in calamine. And then, about two hours after bedtime, presumably as one sleep cycle shifted into another, my poor baby started making the most heart-rending keening, whimpering noises. I kept checking on him, and finding him asleep, whimpering and squirming, rubbing his back and head and tummy. And this continued, every 15 minutes or so for, well, I'm not quite sure how long for, as I'm a terrible mother and managed to go to sleep, despite the pathetic whimpering. BigBear reports it continued for quite some time however.
I had been happily sitting on the sofa, engaged in some calligraphy, when the whimpering started, and I immediately felt sick and tearful, hearing my baby's distress. I stopped being able to concentrate on what I was doing, I couldn't watch television, I couldn't read my book. I immediately, in my twisted little mind, leapt to catastrophic-thinking - fearing we would be up all night, and that then I'd be crabby and tired and tearful today. I got the spare bedroom ready in case I needed a place to share a bed with my poorly boy. I paced around the landing and bedroom, wondering what I could do to help my boy, even though he was asleep. In the end I did nothing. I went to bed, and (to my surprise) exhaustion got the better of anxiety, and I slept soundly until 7am, when LittleBear trotted out of his room to the bathroom.
And then BigBear and LittleBear allowed me a couple of extra hours in bed, and when I came downstairs, I played with dinosaurs with a perky small boy, who doesn't seem to have many more spots, though still has a lot that show no sign of blistering, and I'm left wondering how I tell if they're going to blister or not. How long do I wait before I conclude there are no more fresh blisters to come? It's a mystery...
And then, an hour after I got up, the tears and grumpiness returned, so we inserted more piriton and calpol to get our small boy back on an even keel.
So, it could be better, it could be worse, and as usual the worst parts seem to be in my head.
* Tooth brushing has become marginally easier thanks to the Eternally Clinging Tooth finally falling out yesterday morning. This event was in itself a trauma, as it happened in bed and resulted in a small quantity of blood emerging AND that blood ending up on the beloved nanoo. The wailing continued for a tediously long time, and even the lure of the tooth fairy bringing a whole pound in return for the tooth was not enough to stop the tears.