It’s the chickenpox.

She went to bed with about twenty little blistery spots – had a pretty miserable night – and awoke with about two hundred. Everyone in Zeph’s class seems to have had it recently as well as two good friends and the little girl she plays with while Z has his swimming lesson so I did guess it may be coming but it still took me by surprise.

She is sunnily cheerful but only wants to drink and is clearly already itchy. Earlier I caught her arching her back against the table leg looking just like Sticky trying to shed his skin. As I type she is slung over my shoulder, her favourite dozing position. I feel torn between hating she’s ill and loving that when she is – she only wants to cuddle me. So selfish  but the feel of her butting her nose into the crease of my neck and feeling the snuffly sleeping breath there makes my chest feel tight. Also this is one of the times when I don’t care we’re penniless as it’s such a blessed relief to just nurse her and not have to be desperately juggling and trying to arrange childcare. A big huzzah to anyone out there trying to keep everyone happy, care for their child and not piss off their boss/colleagues.

New measures for paternity leave is all very well and I agree completely in principle with the concept of families being able to choose and be flexible about who’s going to care for your baby rather than conforming to an outdated division of labour – working man and  nurturing woman. What I really need and I’m sure I’m not alone, is more flexible working practices for anyone raising a family – all the way through the family process and a genuine recognition of the benefits and extra skill sets parents bring to the workplace. Rather than seeing them as costly, tied to one location, work shy problems.

 Scouring the job pages is deeply depressing. Think about trying to make and sell stuff more consistently. I may mull it over whilst cuddling Ida on the sofa in front of Bagpuss. It’s started to rain again which vindicates my mood. We may have mashed potato for lunch, I feel in need of comfort and succor.

my BT today is a big rib cracking hug from a  friend in the supermarket who doesn’t mind that my scabby daughter is slightly more interested in waving goodbye to the fish at the counter than to her.


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