Monday, November 17, 2008

A Toothy Dilemma

My oldest, Jillian (6), lost her first tooth a couple months ago. (I wrote about it here.) It was a big moment -- she had been waiting to lose her first tooth for a while. For me, it was a just another reminder that her "babyhood" is fast becoming a distant memory.

That night, when I retrieved the tooth and replaced it with a dollar bill, I couldn't help thinking about that tooth. It happened to be the first tooth she got -- and I vividly remember the teething pain she endured because of it.

For nostalgic reasons, I kept the tooth, tucking it away in my jewelery box, perhaps for use on a future scrapbook page.

Well, last weekend, Jilly lost another tooth. And this time, I was faced with a conundrum. When I picked up this tooth and replaced it with the requisite dollar bill, I walked over to the trash can. I was just about to throw it out, when I stopped. Somehow, I couldn't bring myself to dispose of the tooth.

On the other hand, I had a hard time picturing me 20 years from now pulling Jilly aside at a Thanksgiving or Easter family gathering and telling her, "Sweetie, Mommy thinks you've finally reached the age where I can share this with you. Here are all 20 of your baby teeth."

That seems strange. I mean, would I want a collection featuring all 20 of my baby teeth?

Probably not.

(Although, I recently had a conversation with some good friends who actually kept their child's umbilical cord stump -- you know, the part that falls off? I think it's safe to say, I draw the line there.)

But, I'm curious. What do y'all do with your child's baby teeth? Do you throw them out? Do you save them? If you're a saver, what's your long term plan -- a scrapbook page, jewelery, what?

Be a pal and let me know in the comments.

Because, when it's all said and done, I could be keeping up to 60 baby teeth. And I need to figure out what to do with them.


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I save them in a box...sadly they're all mixed together and I don't know who they belong to. You're right about them being sentimental though. My kids have discovered that box and said things like "I thought the tooth fairy took our teeth". I told them that yes, she did, but I asked her if she'd bring them back for me to keep. They totally bought it.

No joke. When I was on the plane to Arkansas a couple of weeks ago, I sat beside a (very very very) chatty lady. She was going to visit her daughter and grandson and she told me all about her children/grandchildren. She told me about the surprises she was bringing them, and one of the surprises for her daughter was her complete collection of baby teeth. Ugh.

I'd rather get my teeth instead of my umbilical cord though.

notSupermum said...

I kept the first tooth of each daughter in a silver box, the rest were thrown away. There's a limit to the things I will hoard!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, this will be me in a few years, so I better take note! I KNOW I will be the type that can't part with the precious little teeth. I hope somebody gives you some good ideas that I can steal later on. :)

Darcie said...

I keep them too. I'm like Mer though in that my oldest 3 all have their teeth mixed up together in a tin in the top drawer of my dresser. Not sure that I'll ever do anything with them. I just can't throw them away though.

Shanda said...

I have always kept the first one to fall out of each of my children. I have a few others that I couldn't part with "in the moment." But I do mostly throw away.

Rae said...

My hubby is the one who keeps the teeth! He has a little box for each girl. The only other thing we have kept is a ringlet from their first haircuts!

Cookie Cawthon said...

We are still awaiting the loss of my Carson's first tooth (she's six also), so thanks for sharing the conundrum of the lost teeth. I hadn't thought that far ahead yet...

Jen said...

Glad I'm not the only one to ask this question. I did a post on this a few months ago:

I still save the teeth, but I don't know why I do it. They kind of gross me out actually.

Kellie said...

I toss 'em.

But I'm not a collector of many things.

I do remember my mom having a collection of my brother and my teeth. When she showed them to me (as a then-childless adult) I was COMPLETELY grossed out! So maybe that is what has kept me from keeping them!

erika chapman said...

I have decided to toss them b/c my older sister (by nine years) has eight kids and she about made me pee my pants telling me about the craziness of keeping up with bags of different children's many teeth. Really it kind of makes me gag:) So funny!

Michele said...

I also also a Michele with 3 kids. I stumbled across your blog from Meredith's.

This post made me smile:) I actually keep all of their teeth. I have 3 kiddos too, only 2 have started to lose teeth though. I just put them in a ziplock bag and I have them in a drawer. They are all mixed up though, so I don't even know which teeth belong to which kids. The sad thing is I really don't know what I will do with them?

pinkmommy said...

The Princess can't wait to lose her baby teeth and get her "big girl teeth". She keeps trying to convince me that one of them is lose.

I think when it does happen I will be like you and not be able to bring myself to throwing them away. I will leave that to her when she is older.