I have had several friends ask me for tips regarding the chickenpox, so I thought that I would share them here while two of my children are still recovering and ideas are fresh in my mind.
Look at the chickenpox as an opportunity to spend time with your child, reading a lot of stories and playing various board games. Chess was popular in our house. Brendan taught me how to play. I was surprised to learn that Finnian and Patrick already knew all the pieces and the moves that they can make. Patrick is quite good at the game. Finnian occasionally views it as a game of war and makes me smile with his exclamations.
Stock up on popsicles, ice cream, and juice. The popsicles and juice were used to share chicken pox germs with friends who visited and because they were something special for the sick children (we don't usually eat popsicles in winter, and ice cream and juice are rare treats). One family brought a candycane to our house to help spread the chicken pox germs.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) might be needed for the fever. We also gave it to some of our children when they felt particularly uncomfortable. We buy the Kirkland Signature brand acetaminophen for children from Costco because of the cost. Costco charges $4.59 for two decent size bottles.
My four older children enjoyed taking lukewarm baths with Aveeno added to it. (Since purchasing the Aveeno, I learned that it is produced by Johnson & Johnson. This company contributes money to Planned Parenthood and manufactures birth control. For this reason, I usually don't buy their products.) My two youngest enjoyed lukewarm baths with nothing added to the bath.
Most of my children felt more comfortable wearing their father's or big brother's undershirts turned inside out. My youngest didn't wear a shirt. My youngest son found that boxers with the cotton covering the elastic waistband were a lot more comfortable than underwear.
We applied bacitracin antibiotic ointment to chicken pox that were particularly bothersome with great results. I tried calamine lotion initially, but the children did not like it. The bacitracin even worked to heel a picked pox that looked like it was getting infected.
One of my boys held ice packs on chickenpox that were particularly uncomfortable and said that it felt really good.
We encouraged our children to offer their suffering for others. One of my daughters did this exceptionally well. Despite being completely covered with chickenpox, she never complained once. When I asked her if she was offering up any discomfort, she humbly said, "Yes."
When friends left our house, we tried to remember to tell them, "May the pox be upon your house!"
For those who might be wondering why friends wanted to expose their children to chickenpox, please visit http://www.cogforlife.org/ and/or http://www.soundchoice.org/
If your family contracts the chickenpox, I hope that everyone recovers without any scars.