The Chicken Pox Party

A recent status update on Facebook reminded me of my one (meager, pathetic) attempt to get my children to get chicken pox.

Yes, of course I’m one of those moms. I also have a placenta in the freezer. It is labeled: PLACENTA. PLEASE DO NOT EAT. I’m actually kind of bummed that out of four placentas — Animal and Mineral shared a placenta — I only kept ONE. Lame!

Several years ago someone had posted on my local mommies online group that their kid had chicken pox. And did anyone want to get their children exposed to it? I responded like YESYESYESLETSPARTYATMYHOUSEI’LLBRINGTHELOLLIPOPSCANYOUCOMEOVERRIGHTNOW?!?!?!?!?

I was a little eager

Naturally, I did not tell My Chemical Romance about my grand plans for chicken pox. He came home one night after work to a play date at our house, and he didn’t even notice all the lollipops!

So, the mom and the chicken pox kid came over: feverish, nose running and full of spots. And of course, I was like a psychotic clown:

“Hi there, little child! Here’s some candy! Do you like it? Please lick it!”

Child obliged and licked. Immediately I snatched candy away and forced it on my children.

Animal and Mineral were maybe six at the time, The Informant was four and My Masterpiece was two. I handed them all some candy. My Masterpiece, being younger and thus totally ignorant of my devious scheme, smiled beatifically and ate the candy. The Informant did too. Animal and Mineral were much more suspect.

“Why is it unopened?” they wanted to know. “Why is it wet? Did someone else eat this first?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, JUST EAT THE CANDY, kids.”

“We don’t feel like any candy right now, thank you, mother,” they said, overly polite. They were suspicious of me and my motives.

I realized we were at DEFCON ONE. I had to make a move.This involved something that I’m not proud of. But sometimes when you’re a mom, you have to do things you’re not proud of.

I took some tissue and mopped the snot off the face of chicken pox kid. I then took the tissue (holding it as far away from me as possible) and proceeded to sneak up behind Animal and Mineral, and I wiped that snotty tissue across their faces. They shrieked and protested and flailed, but I was a mom with a purpose: exposing those germs to my children. For once, I did not insist they immediately wash their hands or brush their teeth (although I did allow them to drink water — from the same cup chicken pox kid had used, of course).

Chicken pox party lasted a couple hours, and when the mom and kid left, she wished me well. There had been other moms and kids there, but nobody had tried as hard as I had.

My kids never got chicken pox.

No chickenpox here.

For those who are horrified, my first choice is for my children not to ever get chicken pox, either as children or as adults. My second choice is for them to get chicken pox as children — so that they will build some natural immunity, and should they be re-exposed as adults, not react as severely, if at all. Chicken pox in adults can be deadly, and most adults who get chicken pox have to be hospitalized. With the advent of the varicella vaccine, natural exposure and re-exposure to chicken pox is rare, and yet the vaccine’s effectiveness over time has been questioned — it’s only been approved for children since 1995.

Chickenpox Vaccine Info

Wild Chickenpox in Childhood 

Varicella Vaccine Q and A (CDC)

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