even little girls named Ruthie…*

A few weeks ago, the Bee lost a tooth at school. It came home in a little envelope marked "Tooth Taxi." The usual Tooth Fairy transaction occurred, and for some reason, I still have this envelope, complete with tooth, in my night table. Along with all the other teeth the Bee has lost (lost naturally, that is, the abscessed one was too gross to hang onto).

Why, blogging friends, can't I get rid of the teeth?

It's one thing to hang on to a lock of hair from the first hair cut. Or the first booties. The first little hats and baby outfits are too adorable to let go.

But what's up with the teeth?

Will I, years from now, look at these teeth and try to remember the little girl's mouth they once fit? Will I end up in a nursing home with a drawer full of teeth, not just from the Bee, but the Potato too?

What are you hanging on to, out of sheer sentimental value? Can you top my tooth fetish? (can't wait to see the search hits I'll get from that phrase)

*bonus points of absolutely no value to the person to first identify the book quoted in the title of this post


June 5, 2006. growing up.


  1. Ms Sisyphus replied:

    It The Tooth Book. And can I just say, ewwww! Call me a cruel and heartless mama, but I pitched the first tooth in the garbage the night the tooth fairy collected it, and have done the same for every one since (except the one she swallowed. I don’t even want to know what happened to that one!).

    Shoes. For me, it’s their shoes. Teeny butterfly Robeez. Size three sparkly jelly sandals. Size 4 Ladybug shoes. Size five Red Dinosaur rainboots…..I have a wee shoe shrine.

  2. chichimama replied:

    I keep nothing. And I am sure I will regret it. But I grew up in a house overtaken by the chaos of keeping stuff, and I just can’t live that way. So buhbye to all thinks not useful…

  3. landismom replied:

    Way to go, Ms. Sis! Got it in one. Sorry to have grossed you out.

  4. doth replied:

    I’m 25 and my mom still has my teeth. She also has all of the notes that I wrote to the tooth fairy and that she wrote back to me. My favourite was when I had lost my tooth, and couldn’t find it. I was upset that the tooth fairy wouldn’t come and so I left a note. The tooth fairy replied and I wrote back to ask why her writing looked exactly like Santa’s. I found another note the next day from the tooth fairy saying that she and Santa went to the same school. Haha. My mom still has them all in a little envelope in her jewlery box. I could maybe see keeping the first one, I mean they’re small and they don’t harm anything or anyone by keeping them locked away somewhere. I’m not good at getting rid of things though…so maybe I’m not the best one to listen to.

  5. Molly replied:

    Belly Button Stub. My mother still has mine (I’m 27) and I still have my sons.

  6. chip replied:

    we have their teeth — and they have some of their own teeth — somewhere. We have locks of hair too, but I think the teeth are milestones, once they start falling out you know your baby is getting to be a big kid.
    My 12-yr old son just lost a couple of teeth — molars — a few weeks ago. He doesn’t do the tooth fairy thing anymore, and I’m not sure what he did with them. My guess is that they are lost somewhere in his bedroom…

  7. Suzanne replied:

    I keep almost everything of a material nature; biological, not so much. Although no one has lost a tooth yet, so I can’t say that I won’t save at least one tooth.

  8. christie replied:

    my sister still has all her baby teeth too. Maybe it’s just a small reminder of being a baby. Y’know? Holding on to that time.

  9. MetroDad replied:

    Too funny, LM. I literally JUST learned yesterday that my wife had kept a portion of my daughter’s belly button and is keeping it somewhere in our apartment. Ewwww! For some reason, that completely grossed me out.

    But then again…so do the teeth!

  10. Ms Sisyphus replied:

    Ok, I’ll cop to the belly button stub. Well, Diva Girl’s. Zen Baby’s fell off and nobody noticed. Prolly went down the kitchen sink. And mine is still in my baby book.

    But the teeth are still gross 🙂

  11. MommyWithAttitude replied:

    I keep almost nothing, but the teeth thing doesn’t sound too weird to me. I have lots of pictures, a pair of soft shoes, a hat that was knitted by a friend, a baby blanket or two, but for the most part, I hate clutter, so if we don’t need it, it goes! I might save a tooth or two though…

  12. Anjali replied:

    Not only do I not keep anything, but I lose what I try to keep. Mira got her first haircut a few months after she turned 4. I came home, put the ziplock bag of hair down, and have never, ever seen it since!

  13. kdubs replied:

    LOL. We just had this talk. My husband and I were wondering what will I do with his teeth. And I remember my mom holding onto ours, she still has them.

    I have no idea what’s up with the teeth. Tiny remainders of the babes they once were? That part of you that doesn’t ever let go?

  14. Library Lady replied:

    I have some of SC’s teeth floating about my nighttable. And I found one in a plastic bag in an old robe the other day. It had been in there a few years and it was CRUMBLING–eew!

    What I really treasure of SC’s tooth fairy days is the time she swallowed a tooth while sampling a piece of canteloupe. When we got home, she wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy, complete with a picture of the tooth and the canteloupe!

    I have their baby hats, one of JR’s hospital bracelets and one or two of their tiniest outfits. Sometimes I just can’t believe either of them was ever that small–especially SC. Sigh…..

  15. fidget replied:

    my mother had my teeth till i was 10 and my baby brother flushed them down teh toilet. SHe could never answer exactly why she had them. teeth aren’t really sentimental. I dont want to pull them all out and reflect.. ahh that’s her canine the one she used to tear my nipple open for the first time…

  16. Li replied:

    I really don’t hang on to a lot. I mean, I am quite often a joyful purger, but I get the teeth. I remember when I had a puppy die on me…very unexpected…I held on to an slept with her blanket that smelled of dirty puppy feet for the longest time. It’s all sight, smell,touch that put us there…back there where we can no longer go to. I say keep them.

  17. E. replied:

    My dad kept all my baby teeth and whenever I found them as a kid (while rifling through his dresser drawers) they always grossed me out a bit (esp. the couple that for some reason had been pulled, with those roots hanging off. ick!)

    My son hasn’t lost any teeth yet, but I’m keeping a lot of clothes,etc in case we decide to have another (the jury is still out. there are a lot of reasons we’d like to have a second child, but we’re considering stopping at one for many other compelling reasons). It will be interesting to see what I do keep when it’s time to get rid of the baby stuff. I can relate to Ms. Sisyphus: the shoes really get me. Something about those little feet taking first steps, first walks around blocks, etc.

  18. Doppelganger replied:

    Would you guys find it gross if I told you that I kept my wisdom teeth after they were pulled? There were only two of them (for some reason, I only grew two), and they came out perfectly intact. They’re so white and perfect! I love them!

    I told my husband I was going to have them made into a pair of cufflinks for him. Heh.

  19. Jennifer replied:

    Wow, you got a big response to this one. The only thing I’ve saved that belonged to the kids, aside from their hospital ID bracelets and toys (still in use of course) and some of my favorite infant clothes — is my journal. Before I had a blog I would scribble notes of funny things they did & stuff them in the kids’ baby books.

  20. Vicky replied:

    I still have all the teeth from my three, hidden deep down in my jewelry box so my 8 year old can’t find them (he still believes). My aunt had a necklace made with a little vial on it that held both of her kids first teeth lost in it. It’s beautiful and a wonderful keepsake and I plan to do the same with my kids’ teeth one day.

    I also have a (clean!) newborn disposable diaper that the hospital gave me when my oldest was born. It’s fun to pluck it out of the drawer every once in a while and marvel at how small she used to be.

  21. Vicky replied:

    Forgot to mention that my friend’s 14 year old son kept ALL of his teeth in a baggie in his room until they were all out. Then he cashed them all in at the same time! It cost my friend about 26 bucks all in one go! I’m guessing he’s going to be a banker or something similar.

  22. Ashley replied:

    My parents kept my teeth. So far only my boy has lost teeth. I have them in a small “secret box” hidden away.. I’ll probably save them.

  23. Kate the Shrew replied:

    My mom still has all my teeth, and a lock of hair from my first “real” haircut, and I’m over 30. I’m sure I’ll do the same thing, I’ve already got a tiny little wisp from when I cut Queen B’s bangs for the first time.

    I couldn’t quite bring myself to keep the belly button stump, but did keep the little clamp from it.

  24. Daydreams and Musings replied:

    OMG – I thought I was the only one. I had all of A Girl’s lost teeth until recently. My dear husband gently told me how gross it was to keep old teeth in my jewelry drawer. “But they’re in baggies!” I cried. “Honey, really. They need to go.” He said, still gently but with a hint of exasperation. (I really do tend to keep way too many items related to our children). So I tossed them. But I kept the one that I think is her first one. I just can’t let it go!

  25. Becca replied:

    I have all the teeth (in a little enamel box in the bottom of the back of my underwear drawer). Hospital bracelets. Hospital blankets. The outfits they wore home from the hospital. Their naming outfits. A few other special baby clothes (like the Another Child for Peace onesie and the dress their grandmother knitted). First scribbles. First actual writing. Crates of pictures and art projects and school papers. BUT NO BELLY BUTTON STUMP!!!!

    M was quite sad that she didn’t have any clothes from when I was a kid, which is one justification for saving the clothes.

  26. Bumblebee Sweet Potato » there’s no gene for fate replied:

    […] I saw this amusing story the other day, and my first thought was to say “hah!” to all my readers who were grossed out by my habit of saving baby teeth. After all, one day, my kids’ baby teeth may save their lives! But as I thought about it some more, I decided it was a scientific breakthrough that, like cord blood banking, we’re probably going to skip. […]

  27. BBSP at five years « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] #8–Even Little Girls Named Ruthie. Again with the teeth? […]

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