CHICKEN pox has been doing the rounds again – and my little treasures caught it too.

If you’re lucky you’ll catch a dose as a toddler and that’s it, you’re (hopefully) immune. I can’t even talk about it without scratching all over. I feel like I did when I ate that party-size bag of peanuts and I broke out in hives and my face trebled in size. I looked like a polka dot doughnut on legs.

Thankfully, the kids weren’t too ill bar the intense itching. I didn’t want them to end up with any scarring if it was avoidable so I employed the good old ‘socks-on-hands’ approach. Sadly, they’re not as intellectually challenged as their mother and soon realised they could pull off the socks/mittens with their mouths. To combat this I tried tying the socks on with ribbons but, again, the little escapists managed to untie themselves using their dainty dentures.

I was about ready to tape them both to the sofa after the five bottles of calamine proved ineffective and the eldest had gone at the youngest with a felt tip, using her as a human dot-to-dot puzzle. I even told them to ‘pat’ the itch instead of scratching, though that suggestion quickly descended into chaos when they started slapping each other, HARD, declaring they were trying to stop the other’s itching.

I was at the end of my tether, especially when I found a stash of cooking utensils that had been used as make-shift back scratchers. That’s forty quid spent at Dunelm down the drain.

“You need something they can’t get off,” my friend advised. “I’d say boxing gloves but that might encourage the violence.”

“Well I’m not using my new tights!” I exclaimed. “There’s ladders big enough for firemen to scurry up on me old ones! Plus, they’re huge – I could rent them out as a wedding gazebo!”

I was freaking out at this point. The kids were climbing over the cat scratcher and I was convinced I was going to catch the pox because I was rightfully/wrongfully informed I was at risk because I’d only ever had a very ‘mild dose’. Cue the rash hallucinations.

As I sat crying in the corner the chap returned from footie after work, hanging his stinking socks over my head in a bid to rouse me from my melancholia.


Luckily for me the sports bag was brimming with socks that had a questionable odour – a mix of athlete’s foot and sadness. We pulled the socks onto the kids' arms – picture a sporty version of a ball, tiny Marilyn Monroes sponsored by Nike.

The kids ceased scratching immediately, holding their hands as far away from their bodies as they could. I think they’re scarred for life, but at least it’s not from the chicken pox.