I’d wager that nothing strikes more fear in a parent’s heart than the discovery of a suspicious red spot on your child’s body.
‘Please don’t be chickenpox, please don’t be chickenpox,’ I whispered on Tuesday night as I tucked my daughter into bed and tried to ignore her snotty nose and forget the ‘she was a bit out of sorts today’ comment from her nursery key worker.
But alas it was the pox and, by Wednesday morning, she was covered. And so began the longest week that has ever been. The most annoying thing was she didn’t even have the decency to act poorly. I could have got on board with a few days snuggled under the duvet, taking long naps and occasionally mopping a fevered brow. Instead what I faced was five days stuck inside, trying to entertain an energetic nearly-four year old and a chronically cranky three-month old.
How did I manage?
Well, all I can say is we watched an obscene amount of Scooby Doo, attempted many Halloween crafts and I may have shed some tears whilst on the toilet and inhaling half a packet of chocolate hobnobs. By day four I think I was well on my way to insanity when I stumbled upon the greatest thing ever invented for keeping children quiet – a Christmas toy catalogue. This ‘magazine’ literally kept my daughter entertained for two days. She even took it to bed with her so she could thumb through the pages as she drifted off to sleep (the fact that she slept was a miracle in itself!).
Whilst I was incredibly grateful for the peace it brought to the house, I quickly realised that this year – for the first time – I’m facing the conundrum of whether I buy what my daughter wants (dollies and princesses), or what I want to buy her (jigsaws and books).
Do I risk the wrath of a pre-schooler by getting her something that is educational and will entertain her for more than five minutes? Or just suck it up and buy her the horrifically pink plastic monstrosity that she so desperately ‘needs’ but makes me want to die inside?
Only time (and my bank balance) will tell if I succumb to pester power (who am I kidding? I definitely will) but at least we did agree on one thing – Nana was very mean not to buy me the Mr Frosty that I so desperately wanted when I was little. So perhaps that’s one thing that will definitely find its way under the tree.