Life this week hasn’t exactly gone to plan, a common occurrence when Aidan is involved. After dropping Aidan at preschool on Monday morning and doing the mad dash to work, I received a call letting me know that his preschool had just been notified about a few cases of chicken pox as well as hand, foot and mouth disease.
For most children, these childhood diseases are painful and uncomfortable but for Aidan, they are potentially deadly. So here I was, already late for work, notifying the hospital and trying to arrange for someone to pick him up and babysit him for the day. With Anthony now at work, caring for Aidan just got a little more complicated. As I have said many times, we are very lucky to have a great support network who can help out in times like this, so the situation could have been a lot worse.
We are also very lucky that a week later he is still not showing signs of the either illness, despite more children becoming infected throughout the week.
We now have the dilemma of when to send him back to preschool. Since starting preschool this year (something we were extremely reluctant about in the beginning), Aidan has thrived. His social skills are improving and he is continuing to learn new skills. Most importantly, he loves going. He has missed a few days when he has been in hospital but for the most part he has been too ill to notice, but not this time. He is healthy and feeling well and all he wants is to be at preschool.
The local public health office cannot say for sure when it will be safe for Aidan to return. We know that hand, foot and mouth passes quickly but it mostly takes 2 weeks from exposure for chicken pox to rear its head, on rare occasions it can be three weeks. That means Aidan should not go to school for 21 days after the last known case. Since more children were coming out with spots at the end of last week, that’s essentially 4 weeks off preschool.
The fear now is how much his development will regress after such a break and will he settle back in ok. With only six months until he starts school, there is still a lot to achieve. We now have to call in all favours for babysitters and try to give him the same level of stimulation he receives at preschool. It certainly isn’t in the end of the world but it is definitely more stress we don’t need and watching Aidan missing school is heartbreaking.