The Year Of The Pox... And why I'll never eat strawberries again 8 years ago

The Year Of The Pox... And why I'll never eat strawberries again

As we come to another summer season (and this one has been rather pleasant to date), cast you mind back if you will to the 'summer' of 2015.

Aka The Year Of No Summer. In our house, however, it will forever be The Year Of The Pox.

From the time that Jacob went into creche when he was one, I have been on the look-out for the dreaded chicken pox. Every rash, every hive, every little red mark that he ever had was scrutinised 'just in case'. I have even brought him to the local pharmacist on two separate occasions to point at random rednesses and declare 'There, that red thing there. Is that the chicken pox?'

It never was. I suspected a mild allergy to fresh strawberries at one point as he always seemed to get a few hives after eating some. His current teacher made a great point at the beginning of the year which was, 'If you think that's what it is, then give him a strawberry and find out'. So I thought I'd wait until his summer holidays to do just that.


We made strawberry ice pops in June that he and his sister happily scoffed. Right before bed, I checked his skin and lo and behold, there were some red spots starting to poke through. When he woke up the next morning, he was COVERED head to toe in angry-looking little red spots, really lethargic and had no appetite and I knew we were dealing with something else entirely. The chicken pox had finally landed!

The poor little man. We battened down the hatches, got all the paraphernalia in that we could think of to help soothe his skin, stocked up on ice cream and cuddles and let him sleep as much as he needed to. And two weeks later, his baby sister got it too. The house was like a small hospital for well over a month, and because the weather was so awful, I could barely roll my little mini patients out to the back garden to get them some fresh air. (So yes, I suppose it was The Year Of No Summer and The Year Of The Pox).

The pair of them are well clear of them now, despite a few marks on their once perfect little faces. I wasn't mad keen on Eva getting them before even turning a year old, but the upside is that she'll never remember having them. Although Jacob might, because now whenever he is offered anything with a strawberry in it, he says, 'I can't eat strawberries. They give me the chicken pox'.