A month and a half ago we were oblivious to the intruder that would dominate our home. This weekend we have our final two
victims chickenpockeybabies. I hadn’t any idea that I would be over and over again trying to recollect where we’d been, who we’d been with, how much contact there might have been, etc., etc. O, it’s not actually been such a difficult thing (easy for me to say, sans pocks), or such a hardship on anyone. Here. But what I wasn’t ready for was the constant mantra I’ve now been repeating:
To every visitor: “We have chicken pox, have you had chicken pox?”
To family and friends: “Do you need/want chicken pox in your home?”
To hosts and hostesses… “We were with you _______, and we just discovered that ________ has chicken pox. You’ll likely be thinking of us
warmly in two weeks.”
“We can’t come over (or you might not want to come over) unless you want a gift that keeps on giving.”
And on and on the last several weeks have gone. I’m both heartened and disheartened that this is the last “round” of chicken pox I will experience as a mother of many children. Each time we face a “last” time of some experience, I feel a little melancholy and suddenly am awash with memories and mental images of days/children gone by. With each passing I’m more keenly aware of just how much water is or has been flowing under the bridge… season after season… the water flows. Though faster now.
A couple of weeks ago when Joseph was “itching like crazy,” we decided to try the oatmeal bath we’d read would bring some relief. So… after running a bit of water, we dumped in a bunch of oatmeal – left the room and Joey soaked in the tub. He loved it! I don’t know if he loved it bcz of the fun of soaking in the deep, old claw-foot tub or bcz he was using up oatmeal
instead of eating it, or if he was the only one getting to do something sooo bizarre! Whatever the case, he did enjoy it, and, in the process, he was relieved a bit! Later, we skimmed out the oatmeal put it in a kettle, heated it up and served it for breakfast and just threw it away.
Okay, but here’s why I told you about the oatmeal bath. When I was describing the process to a friend, she assumed that I rightly knew what to do. Wrong assumption. Often! So when she continued on and confirmed that I had put the oatmeal in a sock and let the bath water run through it… and that oatmeal has something in it that sooths itchy skin and brings comfort… I was nodding… and sort of glazed over. And she smiled when I said, no, I just put it right in! She gulped, she smiled — I’m sure she was wondering how in the world our family has survived my mothering of them all.
Okay… so… you put the oatmeal *in* the sock; tie off the sock; let bathwater run *over* the sock with the oatmeal in it. Okay. Okay. Got it. I’m still laughing and my friend probably marvels that Washington State issued me a driver’s license, too.
And another “last” experience? Dolly’s got a loose tooth.