The Get-Better Box

Last week was a rough one. Sábha had an accident. She jumped off the sofa and smashed her face on the corner of a footstool, damaging several teeth in the process, but one in particular. It was horrendous. Two dentist visits later and thankfully, the tooth is still hanging in there. It's also not as terrifyingly out of place as it was at first. The bruising and swelling has mostly gone down too and she's starting to look like her sunny little self again.

A couple of nights later, both girls came down with hideous coughs. A visit to the doctor on Friday confirmed that they had chest infections - poor old Sábha faring the worst because of her asthma. He ordered a weekend of rest and relaxation. Indoors.

Normally the thoughts of being cooped up for days on end with two small, highly energetic people, would have had me freaking out, but it didn't bother me at all. They both needed lots of TLC and, as the weather was miserable anyway, there wasn't much else to do but give it to them. It might sound odd to be thankful for awful weather, but the rain and wind has made me feel kind of good about being stuck inside. Even though it was a tricky job keeping the girls entertained and myself sane, we got through it.

They are much better now and went back to Naíonra this morning. I really, really enjoyed the 3 hours of peace that brought, even if it was mostly spent catching up on chores.


The most sensible thing I did, over the weekend, was to get a pile of new library books while I was picking up their prescriptions. It definitely helped to have some new stories to distract us. I was thrilled that they had the whole My Naughty Little Sister collection, by Dorothy Edwards in stock and I picked up two volumes. I enjoyed the My Naughty Little Sister stories as a child and they are a massive hit now with my girls. As is any story with the word 'naughty' featured in it.

The first story we read was 'The cross spotty child' which was about a time when the naughty little sister was ill and had to stay in bed. It was a very timely choice and the girls were enthralled. During her illness, her kindly neighbour, Mrs Cocoa, brings her something to occupy her.

A Get Better Box


There is a lovely description of what the Get Better Box is:
"When I was a little girl, Mrs Cocoa said, 'my granny didn't like to see poor not-well children looking miserable so she made a get-better box that she used to lend to all her grandchildren when they were ill.' Mrs. Cocoa said, 'My granny kept this box on the dresser, and when she found anything that she thought might amuse a not-well child she would put it in her box."

and another description of what it looks like :
"It was a beautiful box, because Mrs. Cocoa's old grandmother had stuck beautiful pieces of wall paper on the lid and on the sides of the box, and  Mrs Cocoa said that the wallpaper on the front had been in her granny's front bedroom and that on the back had been in her parlour. The paper on the lid had come from her Aunty Kitty's sitting room; the paper on one side had been in Mrs. Cocoa's mother's kitchen, while the paper on the other side which was really lovely, with roses and green dickey-birds, had come form Mrs. Cocoa's own bedroom wallpaper when she was a little girl!"
and yet another about what's inside:
"Tiny boxes with tiny pictures painted on the lids, and in every box a nice interesting thing. A string of tiny beads, or a little-little dollies, or some shells. In one box was a little paper fan, and in another there was a little laughing clown's face cut out of paper that Mrs Cocoa's granny had stuck there as a surprise... There were picture postcards in that not-well box, and pretty stones... There was a small hard fir cone, and pieces of coloured glass that you could hold up before your eyes and look through. There was a silver pencil with a hole in the handle that you could look through too and see a magic picture. There was a small book with pictures in it - oh, I can't remember what else!"
I thought it all, apart from the laughing clown *shudder*, sounded like a wonderful idea and it reminded me that, when Lile and Sábha were small I had a couple of 'Treasure Jars' that I used in similar circumstances.They were just a couple of empty gherkin jars that I filled with random 'interesting' bits and pieces. A finger puppet, a bracelet a wind-up toy, shells and stones, etc that I would produce when I thought they needed distracting. I don't know when I stopped using them or why or even where they went (probably the recycling bin) but this little story has inspired me to start collecting treasures for a Get-Better Box for them.

Supposed to be sick.
I think it would be a good place for some of those party bag things kids lose interest in when the sugar crash hits or the small toys they love, love love for a week and then forget. Things that get pocketed on nature walks could find a home there too. I really like the idea of all the little boxes mentioned in the book. It would be like opening up loads of little presents. It would certainly brighten up a miserable sick-day at least.

What about you? What kinds of things do your kids like to do when they're not well? 

11 comments

  1. Oh my goodness poor Sábha I hope she is ok!! Love the idea of the get better box, could definitly do with one in this house, hope both the girls are better soon. I also enjoyed 3 hours to myself this morning, you really need it don't you? Xx

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    1. She's fine now, thanks S. Thankfully! Hope your little A is getting better too and those precious 3 hours become more regular!

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  2. What do you mean you don't love clowns?! ;-) Great idea for a Get Better Box, and glad your wee ones are on the mend xx

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    1. Thanks Emily. Ahem, yes clowns are ...lovely... as long as they stay well away from me. Remind me to tell you my clown story some day, actually ;)

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  3. I love this idea Sadhbh! I need to make one of those treasure jars for the small one here. I hope your gorgeous girls are okay now! Sounds like an awful ordeal Sabha had with her teeth, poor dote.

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    1. Thanks Fiona x She's fine now thankfully. Very frightening at the time, but she's bounced back. Kids are so resilient! Your little one would love a treasure jar, I'm sure.

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  4. We love those stories here too and the get better box is such a great idea! In the past I have sent happy parcels to friends who have been ill filled with treasures to cheer them up. I do hope Sadhbh's teeth are alright now sounds like a nasty accident.

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    1. So sorry spelt her name wrong, I meant Sábha. I do apologise both myself and my daughter have Gaelic names and I do get upset when they are spelt wrong ;)

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    2. Don't worry about the spelling, I've seen ALL the different variations at this stage ;) and her name is actually a variation of Sadhbh (my name) anyway, so you weren't wrong!

      I love the idea of 'happy parcels' - even grown ups appreciate treasures :)

      Are you of Irish descent?!

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    3. No! My parents loved my name and my husband and I loved my daughter's!

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    4. Oh that's so cool! My curiosity is KILLING me as to what your names are ;)

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