Spot the Spot

Maxi and Midi Minx didn’t make it into school/nursery this week, and I was right about Maxi being ill with more than chicken pox.

I took Maxi to the GP after pre-warning the receptionist about the girls being contagious (whilst sympathetic, she was like “Well, we only have one waiting room” and seemed quite happy for the girls to go ambling in. So we did). He pronounced Maxi to have ‘a very bad chest infection’ that had settled deep in her lungs. Apparently she was very brave, as it must hurt. (It does – she’s been on constant Calprofen and Calpol for a week, now). He asked if it would be ok to treat it with antibiotics (“I’d really like to treat this with antibiotics – would that be ok?”) Dear goodness, man, get some drugs into my baby and make her well again! Now! I’m downright frightened by this wet cough that drains all the energy from her, the recurring fevers, and the speed of her breathing and heart rate. I’m *this* close to taking her to A&E to get checked over. I know she’s not ill enough to warrant that, but this level of poorly-ness is waaaaaaay beyond my short experience of parenting.

Anyway, now the local (very lovely) pharmacist is happy that we’re keeping him in business. Mini’s still spot-free, but the sound of her cough sounds ominous, so I suspect she’ll be in for some amoxicillin too, next week.

Midi’s been picking at her pox scabs, increasing the chances of her scarring, which is bringing out the sexist in me. I’m downright horrified that her beautiful, peachy, glowy, absolutely perfect skin might have pox pits in it. It really shouldn’t matter to me or anyone else. But it does. I think it’s because her skin is/was flawless. I think it’s also because deep down I do believe people react differently to a person based on their physical appearance. Damn.

Poor Midi is also having a terrible time with chicken pox scabs, well, sores really, on her vulva. The sound of her screaming in pain when she wees is heart-breaking. I wish I knew whether to leave it a day or drag her straight to the GP again. As Maxi could barely get off the sofa (I tired her out with a half-hour sit down activity) I’ve taken the option of leave-it-another-day-and-hope-for-the-best. God, I hope I’ve done the right thing!

So, what tired Maxi out? Well, all 3 kids are definitely my daughters, inheriting my downright greed. So their favourite CBeebies programme is I Can Cook. As Maxi’s barely eaten since 28th Dec (today is 6th Jan), I was determined to get some food down her little (coughed raw) throat. Cooking up delicious-smelling favourites that waft their heady, comforting aromas round the house hasn’t worked. Perhaps making it herself might? Oh yes! Ching-ching! I fed her tiny little bites on the sofa and she managed maybe 5 tablespoons of food as well as 4 big beakers of fluid all day and declared it all ‘delicious’. Hooray! I’ll add the recipe at the end in case I need to remember my cunning trick to make the kids eat again.

The cheese, however, gave her nightmares again. About 2200hrs Maxi woke her sisters up with some terrible wailing. When I went up to comfort her, she insisted that she couldn’t tell me about her nightmare because it would hurt my feelings. After a bit of persuasion, she admitted, “A horrible magician turned you into a pillow. Waaaaaa!” I tried not to giggle and failed dismally.

The Boss and I were discussing how much our eldest babies are suffering from chicken pox. A couple of years ago we’d briefly considered knowingly exposing the girls to chicken pox sufferers to get it out the way when they were young, in the hope that they would get a milder illness than if they were older when contracting it. I decided not to, because ultimately I couldn’t willingly cause my children to suffer, not matter how mildly. Well, seeing how ill they are now, at only 3 and 5, I made the right decision not to get involved in chicken pox parties. This illness just seems so… medieval in how much it’s flattened my energetic, exuberant daughters. I’m scared now about how ill my poor little one year old will be. I have my fingers crossed.
Anyway, here’s that recipe (went beautifully with home-made flaky pastry and chicken & pea pie!)

Feta Stuffed Peppers

8 mini sweet peppers
feta stuffed peppersa block of feta cheese
ground pepper
2 garlic cloves
dried herbs (Italian seasoning, oregano, whatever you have handy)

1. Divide the peppers meticulously between your minxes. Ensure they have the same number, the same colours and the same sizes. Or they’ll fight and bicker.

2. Get them to pop a pepper with their dexterous, little fingers – poke the stem down into the pepper, then shake out all the seeds and stem. Let the little blighters shake it over the floor if they like, they’re easy to sweep up. Easier than mushed up feta, anyway…

3. Chop up half a block of feta each in a bowl. Really attack it with a little knife. Add a pinch of herbs and a few grinds of pepper. Crush a little clove of garlic in, and mix, mix, mix!

4. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mix. If there’s any left, it goes really nicely in mushroom cups, too.

5. Bake at 200degC or so for about 30 mins till hot right through, the pepper-skins are slightly charred and any cheese that’s escaped is bubbly and brown.

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