When Sam was heading off to university for her first year, I was really excited for the world of possibilities it would open up for her and I just knew it was going be a great experience. I also remembered some of my not-so-great first year experiences and although she was going to be much closer to home than I was, I wanted to anticipate some of those and to help her be prepared for them. My first thought was of the time when she’d have her first bout with a cold or flu at school and not have me there to dote on her as I usually did when she was sick. I began my first year at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a case of pneumonia and let me tell you, I really wished there was someone there who could take care of me! (Nowadays, I’d be asking them to sing me Soft Kitty……..)
I knew I couldn’t drive 2 1/2 hours each direction at a moment’s notice just because she had a cold but I wanted to help her through it from a distance the best I could. That’s when I came up with the idea of Doctor Mom’s Super Dooper Get Well Box. It’s such a pain waking up ill and realizing that if you need medication, you’re going to have to haul your sick butt out of bed and get it yourself. So, I began by filling the box with the standard cold and flu medications that we kept on hand at home so she’d never have to worry about that. Items like some of those Thermacare self-heating compresses, a thermometer so she could take her temperature, and face masks were great additions too. Next up was making sure she had appropriate food on hand. She was living in a dorm room so it would have to be really handy and obviously, since she’d be sick when she was using it, I wanted it to be low-prep so I went with things like prepared Jello cups and Campbell’s Soup at Hand (just heat up in the microwave, no adding water or anything needed) as well as some crackers and ginger ale. Finally, after taking care of the basic necessities for illness, I wanted to be sure to add a little bit of love from home to the box as well. So, I included a few “get well” cards with encouraging messages from me in them. I added some of her favorite word find, Sudoku, and crossword puzzle books, a couple magazines, and an adorable little cuddle toy (wrapped up in gift wrap) to brighten up her day. Sam was instructed to use the enclosed medications when needed but not to open the cards or wrapped gifts unless she was really sick (and yes homesick counts!).
I’m pretty sure that this bin of get well supplies was a hit with Sam and one of her favorite things that I sent along to school for her. The box went back to university each and every year and she still has and uses it now. If you were to make up one of these Doctor Mom bins, what essential or fun items would you be sure to include?