I spent last week in quarantine with an infectious, but unreasonably lively, Boo. At times like this only mummy will do - mainly because no one else will take on the childcare. By the end of the week I'm not sure who needed out more. We cuddled and shouted our way through it, the days punctuated by far too many DVDs and the odd reward sticker (later replaced by more effective smarties) for timely use of the potty.
But the chickenpox was the least of his worries. His sickness was pure lovesickness - for the Impster's friend, Isabella.
Six months ago, the only way I could get him to cooperate was to use the prospect of seeing (or threat of not seeing) Is-Bella. 'If you don't get in your car seat right now,' I would reason firmly, 'then we won't go to see Isabella this afternoon.' And within moments he was clipped in peaceably.
At his birthday party there must have been nearly thirty children, but when they had left it was clear that there had needed to be but one. I shall never forget the sight of him holding his balloon and with a puzzled little frown repeating: 'Where Is-Bella gone? Where Is-Bella?'
Since the dawn of time (by his clock at least) he has loved and tormented her. She is two years his senior and quite the most beautiful child we know. Both are quite set on marrying the other, and will tell you so in a heartbeat, with a coy, knowing smile.
Naturally he is rough and tumble in his affection, but Is-Bella is wise beyond her years and understands the nature of his attention. 'It's because he loves me,' she will say after the Boo has energetically launched himself upon her. And on one occasion she was even heard to say: 'I like him on top of me.' To be honest she's got used to it, so we don't worry quite so much about his molestations these days.
Anyway, last week we have a proper stand-off, a full blown tantrum. 'I do NOT have the chicken pops!' he bellows, inflamed with spots and anger. 'I CAN see Is-Bella.'
Momentarily I have a vision of his 15-year-old self standing before me, acne-ridden and brimming with unrequited passion and anger.
But the Boo's two-year-old outrage is relieved in a series of stomps and shouts of 'It's not fair!' And then he sulkily puts in a more measured request: 'Want to dress up as Rapunzel.'
This desire to dress up in Disney princess costume and role play the way through the afternoon is their shared interest. It's what has brought the Boo and Is-bella together. To begin with it was very cute and he looked good in pink. Now the cross-dressing habit has become a bit of an obsession and frankly he can out-Disneyfy even the Impster - though in a slightly less graceful, more rugby-tackling kind of way.
Is it possible that my son could be a lesbian? I can answer only with Blurish wisdom that: 'girls who are boys who like boys to be girls who do boys like they're girls who do girls like they're boys, always should be someone you really love...'