We made it! The pox is on its way out (for T, at least, we're still on spot-watch with A) and we're getting back to normal life.
So many lovely people gave us brilliant advice that I thought I'd share it here for you to refer to, if and when you go through the same. And as a reminder for me when A comes down with it too.
A note: the following suggestions are not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice, merely things that helped us.
Please check with your own doctor if you're at all concerned about your child's health.
Soothing your child is hard when they feel out of sorts and itchy. We administered regular doses of Calpol, although the Piriton was spat back out faster than it went in. The fever peaked around day 5, but luckily A takes after me and told us he wanted to go to bed, sleeping it off until morning. Baths were run with a home-made remedy - oats in a sock or stocking, hung from the tap and squeezed into the bath for a soothing, milky soak.
T was completely off his food (weirdly, he was ravenous in the week preceding the pox). Some days he couldn't even be tempted by a yoghurt or a chocolate button (that never happens) - we concluded he must have spots inside his mouth and throat, poor thing. We resorted to cooling banana milkshakes, ice creams and lollies. When he was peckish again, we cooked plain soups, or offered breadsticks and houmous. It's only now, ten days on, that he's really got his appetite back.
The main issue we had was being bored out of our brains. Being quarantined is no fun for anyone, and cabin fever soon set in. A kind friend brought round a bag of puzzles and DVDs, and we played lots of games, hide and seek, play dough, a treasure hunt, drawing and painting, and we even got the face paints out to draw spots over the whole family, so A didn't feel quite as left out.
I confess to being guided by T, indulging his wants and needs. I wish I'd taken a photograph of him, lounging on the sofa in his pyjamas, watching telly with a bowl of popcorn in front of him - he looked like Elvis Presley in the later years. There may also have been a little indulging of grown-ups too. Those chocolate buttons are so hard to resist.
Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but there are some parents out there who want their kids to catch chicken pox at an early age and/or a convenient time (I remember noticing spots on A one evening before we went on our only holiday of the year, dreading a contagious illness meaning a cancelled holiday). In the end, we didn't have a pox party although I had visions of a bright red polka dot-themed do. However, we did work out which of our friends had already had the disease and so had a bit of company when T was up to it. And there were a few who came to visit anyway.
Have I missed anything? Leave a comment if you have tips to share.