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5 Things I Didn't Buy My College Kid

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My son is leaving for his freshman year of college in four days (but who's counting?).

I may have blogged about it a few times here and there (OK, maybe more than that).

Some of you are overly concerned for my well-being after he leaves. I've been finding business cards from mental health professionals left under my front door mat. Offers to join your book club or take up running are appreciated, but no thanks.

I'm pretty sure that was Dr. Phil tailing me in his BMW as I drove to Starbucks yesterday morning to drown my sorrows.

But seriously, this is an exciting time for all of us.

For him, because he gets to realize his dreams, get started on his future, move away from his oppressive parents, leave home just as his little sister hits her teens, stay up as late as he wants and drink as much Dr. Pepper as his stomach can handle.

And for me, because I can finally dig through that room, find the carpeting I'm pretty sure we installed 12 years ago and open the windows to let the fresh air waft away the smell of boy.

I may even find that cat I think we used to have.

In the final days of preparing him to live on his own, we went on a bit of a shopping spree the other day.

His list was long and detailed and (luckily) we already had most of what he needed.

Cha-ching, cha-ching.

But apparently there are certain items that a college-bound boy finds no need for, and should a mother mention them? Eyes will roll.

Kleenex tissues
He has informed me that these are unnecessary, since he is taking a roll of paper towels.

Shower caddy
Apparently no self-respecting dude would be seen with one of these handy totes for carrying your shampoo/shaving cream/toothpaste and brush/etc... to and from the communal bathroom. Who knew?

Face towel
If you'd seen the look of disbelief he shot me when I asked how many face towels he needed you'd have thought I asked him to pick his favorite shade of nail-polish. I suspect this has more to do with how many times he'll have to do laundry than it does the actual usefulness of the face towel, because he does use one at home.

Ironing board and iron
I still remember the cute table-top ironing board my mom bought me when we did our pre-college shopping trip. Come to think of it, I remember ironing things for several of my guy friends, which is probably why they don't need their own.

Any items in any color other than black
This kid's got a black thing going on... not in a goth way, but just in a I-wear-black-all-the-time way. The only items he's packing that aren't black are white bath towels and a white laundry basket. Only because the laundry basket didn't come in black.

Of course, this whole experience will not be of any help the next time I send a kid to college.

My 13-year-old daughter has already started listing all of the incredibly cute and colorful dorm room items she is going to get when she goes away in five years.

I'm pretty sure she won't want that white laundry basket.

This essay originally appeared on Old Tweener in 2011. The college kid still doesn't use a shower caddy.