Over the past 8 years, every time we arrive at my parents’ house we are incredibly jet lagged. It’s a pity for all of us because anything from a year to 3 years has passed between seeing each other. But unfortunately the 20+ hours of travel from New Zealand plus landing in the complete opposite weather pattern has never agreed with Chris or I. In 2004, when we flew in from Christchurch for a 2 week stay before our wedding in Barbados, we spent the first week either in bed or on the toilet. It wasn’t pretty, but we chalk it up to the change from bitter cold Christchurch winter in July to humid hot summer in Montreal. Two years ago when we visited with a nearly 2 year old Preston, Chris spent a good 3 days straight sleeping and emerged with a chesty cough that lasted the entire trip.
This trip was no different. Though we’d been in New York for 2 days beforehand, we were all pretty strung out. We all woke one night at 3AM staring at the ceiling, looking around the room and wondering where we were. P started asking me every morning if it was in fact morning before he would get out of bed. I guess the other thing for me about going home is that I enjoy being taken care of by both my mom and dad, and they enjoy doing the taking care of so I tend to slow down from the hectic pace I usually live from day to day.
We knew familiarizing Preston with my parents would be a process not to be rushed. He was used to seeing my mother on Skype, but how would he react to her in person? The 3 times before they’d all met (twice in Montreal, once in New Zealand), he was pretty easy breezy. But as expected this nearly 4 year old with a strong personality was a little shy and a lot grumpy. We hadn’t expected him to be quite so grumpy. About 3 days after we arrived, it all became clear as to why he was so grumpy. Early one morning, he called out to us and Chris brought him into bed with me. Preston was sweaty and as I ran my hand across his back I felt a handful of small bumps. After scanning his back with a flashlight I knew it had to be chickenpox. Oddly enough my Dad and I had just been talking about chickenpox, vaccination and the always ontime winter outbreak in Montreal. It is also this was a parting present from his preschool where one of his classmates had a bad case that caused him to be hospitalized.
My first instinct was too cuddle my wee guy…while I grabbed my iPhone to google the implications of me being pregnant and exposed to the pox. My googling found that if you’ve had chicken pox once, then you can’t have them again. You do have the potential to have shingles later in life, but the pox comes only once. Also, the immunity I developed by having already had them was extended to my unborn baby, phew! I double checked with my mom that I had in fact had the pox and then breathed a sigh of relief.
Needless to say, my plans for the rest of the week were drastically changed. P needed to stay away from other kids, as chicken pox is highly infectious – no parks and no meeting up with my friends who most of which have kids. I was a bit gutted, but these things happen for a reason. We all took it veeeeery easy for the rest of the week and in the process Preston was exposed to The Lion King, one of my favorite Disney cartoons. My parents own the VHS cassette and a VCR (gasp!) He loves it as much as I do. He is making it through the nights now without running a fever and his appetite is coming back, but his pox have yet to fully heal.
Fingers crossed for a much more uneventful Christmas when the 3 of us plus the newest Vanderblair returns to the Vanderpool house in December.