With the house in lockdown, potty training was gathering pace.

My wife didn’t leave our four walls for three days and Sophie was really getting the hang of it.

Then, chicken pox struck…

Before I was a Dad, chicken pox didn’t really enter my mind.

Even being a teacher at school, by the time they reach my classes, probably all of the children have already had it so it doesn’t become a menace to the rest of the class.

In fact, the only real experience I’ve got of it is a famous photo in my family of me clutching my spotted stomach in the bath as a sorrowful four year old, whimpering, “My precious tummy” over and over again.

And yet, as a father, I’ve discovered there’s such a thing as “Pox Parties” where all the local children who haven’t had chicken pox get invited round to the infected child’s house so that they can get it.

It’s like chemical warfare!

Only these rules don’t apply when there’s newborn babies around – fortunately Harry is two months old now and it’s OK if he catches it – and children being exposed to chicken pox is based on parental permission.

So, you’re considered irresponsible if you go to a public place with an infected child but it’s OK to open up your home to all and sundry. (I’m only writing this post because we can’t take Sophie to church this morning.)

As a result, Sophie catching it in the middle of potty training has just extended our family quarantine period.

Forget being in the house for three days – my wife hasn’t left in almost three weeks!

In saying all of that, the pox outbreak hasn’t been nearly as bad as we feared. Sure, she’s had a lot of spots but they seem to have healed fairly quickly and the only time she’s complained about feeling poorly is when somebody has reminded her.

Otherwise, she’s been healthy, happy Sophie – just not allowed to go out.

As for Harry, he’s not developed signs yet but we’re fully expecting him to pick up the virus.

Cue another three weeks at home for my wife…at least we won’t need to go to any potty parties.