A couple of weeks ago, we took Marley out to get chickenpox.

Sound harsh?

Well, yes, I suppose it is a bit….but we had actually been due to visit his chickenpox-ridden cousin anyway, even before we found out he was right in the middle of the most contagious phase.

We basically came to the conclusion that Marley – now that he is 2 and a half – is at as good an age as any to get the virus, so we took our chances.

It began about two weeks after that visit for Marley. And he was fine for the first couple of days; in good spirits and as happy as usual, no sign at all there was anything wrong except for a couple of little spots.

Monday and Tuesday were much the same, a few more spots maybe, but he was still pretty content and although he wasn’t allowed to go in to nursery he was more-or-less the same us usual.

But then there was Wednesday….

Marley was up most of the night – so WE were up most of the night.

We dabbed at his pox with calamine lotion regularly, we gave him anti-histamine to try and help with the itchiness. (One funny Marley Moment was when he made a funny face after having his medicine, so my wife asked him if he liked it and he replied: “it’s not the best!”)

We also plied him with about as much Calpol as it’s legal to give a toddler, but still he was boiling hot.

He was grumpy as hell because he was so incredibly itchy, rolling around like a dog to try and itch the pox on his back.

Basically, all night long, he was just miserable.

So in the morning, I escaped to go to work (I had a webinar I had to run and couldn’t get out of it – I promise!) but I was getting regular WhatsApp updates from home.

“He’s really uncomfortable and sad.”

“He’s miserable.”

“He didn’t eat breakfast and then he wanted porridge for lunch….and then he didn’t eat it.”

And when I got home, he was so fed up with it that he ended up just slumped over the coffee table with his head in his hands, wailing: “I’VE GOT CHICKEN POX!!

And still he itched….

We tried to find other reliefs for him. We got some gel that’s supposed to help, and we even gave him an oat bath – the aftermath of which reminded me of the end of an especially heavy night on the sauce….

Ultimately, it’s really hard to know what works and what doesn’t for chickenpox. Thankfully, by the time Thursday morning came round he had started to feel a little bit better.

The itching had relented. The pox went from being little red itchy things to larger crusty scabby ones (sorry for that little detail).

And after another oat bath – strained oats this time, after advice from friends on how to avoid a pukey-looking bath – he slowly got back to his normal self.

Chickenpox – check!

Another milestone reached for Marley….time to dance on the table.

End of an era

It’s official. After just over thirteen months on Earth, Marley has finally stopped breastfeeding.

Unfortunately, this was not entirely his choice and as a result, for the past week or so, his sleep pattern has relapsed to what it was when he was around 12 weeks old. Which means that mine has, too.

Yes, I am fully aware that this sleep pattern is what my wife has had to endure every night for over a year (she has made me aware…) but I still feel like this is worthy of a mention. 

Operation No-More-Boob started in the middle of last week, with a reduction in the number of daily boob feeds. We then progressed to dropping the morning boob feed entirely, much to His dismay. The Operation then culminated in two final – and somewhat emotional – nights of sending him off to a milk-drunk slumber with a nipple in his mouth*.

*I was going to put a photo here, but I would have got in a lot of trouble. 

To be honest, I thought the whole Operation might actually be worse than it has been. The first couple of nights he got pretty upset (i.e. wild, shrill screaming) but after rocking him to sleep a few times – again a bit like a 12 week old – he finally managed to settle down and now seems to have just about got in to the swing of things. 

He’s eating better during the day, and longer-term it should hopefully help him sleep a bit better at night. 

Rather than just flopping on to his high chair during the day….

And while he (hopefully) gets a bit more sleep, I will try and find time to clean up the nappy bag that always seems to be in the hallway, but which neither my wife nor I ever take responsibility for.

Seriously, who puts it there??

Hilarious little man

As he approaches the first anniversary of his exit from the womb, Marley’s personality continues to develop at a speed that is almost impossible for an adult human to keep up with.

The first thing people tend to notice about him now is his laugh. His naughty, staccato, deliberate and incredibly infectious laugh. He sounds so delighted with himself when he does it. Hilarious little man. 

An example. We recently returned from a short holiday in Madrid (where he had an absolute whale of a time, by the way……partying the night away with us at one of my best friends’ weddings). 

When we got back, we had a fairly epic journey across London – during rush hour – via public transport with: our three checked bags, three medium-sized cabin bags, his changing bag, his pushchair and a car seat. I still don’t really know how we did it.

We arrived at Earls Court station and had to change trains, so we trudged off the first train and waited patiently for the elevator. up to the next one When we eventually got inside, we were pretty close to the front of the lift, so it may have looked from the back as if there was some space in front of us. There wasn’t.

So when a fellow passenger shouted from the back for us to move forward, I had to shout (politely) back that we had a baby, and there was no space in front. 

Strangely, she questioned the legitimacy of my claim, and shouted again. I replied – again – that our baby (and an array of our bags) were in front of us, and that we did, indeed, have nowhere to move. Still polite, but maybe less so than before.

As the doors closed, she shouted for a third time. Growing impatient, I shouted back. Impolite, this time. Something about waiting for the next one. I sneaked in a mild swear word, just for effect. 

A couple of people chuckled, and the doors banged shut. Good timing, I thought. Then it went quiet as we all waited, silently, for the elevator to reach the next floor.

That was the moment Marley chose to unleash his laugh. 


It sounded like it was directed straight at the woman who had just been shouting. Absolute perfection. Timing that his dad could only dream of. Everyone in the lift laughed along with him, it was incredible. 

He is a hilarious little man!