Being a parent pretty much forces you to become a pack rat.  It’s your parental duty to keep sacred mementos and memorabilia, but honestly, the amount of crap that my kids expect me to save is nothing short of insane. I mean really, just what the hell am I supposed to do with all of it?  It continues to pile up right before my very eyes, and when I try to throw it away on the sly, I get busted nine times out of ten.  

     I have no problem saving really special art projects or letters that my kids write to me.  But why on earth do I need to preserve a Scholastic workbook page with a bunch of circles on it?  I’m not thinking that’s gonna bring back a million heart-felt memories later on down the road.  My daughter absolutely freaked out a couple of days ago when she discovered that I’d thrown away some worksheet that literally only had one pencil line drawn on it.  I dug all through the nasty-ass trash can looking for the friggin’ thing, only to discover it under a pile of exploded yogurt.  And yep, it went right back in the trash can.  Sorry, honey.  

     Pictures are the other thing that have completely taken over my house. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE pictures of the kids — trust me, we have them EVERYWHERE!  But, do I really need to have a cheesy professional team picture of every single sport they play? What’s wrong with scooching everyone together on the sidelines for a group shot with my little digital camera?  We all know those “professional” team photos usually suck anyway.  

     Then, there’s the whole issue of what to do with the teeth that the tooth fairy takes away.  I currently have three itty bitty pearly whites in a ziplock baggie in my jewelry box because I don’t have a clue where else to hide them.   Am I seriously gonna have to keep a bazillion tiny little teeth stashed away for the next however many years until that whole gig is up?   My mom told me that she saved every single one of my baby teeth for twenty years, and that I didn’t even want the damn things when she finally tried to pass them on to me.  Can you blame me, though?

     I know that with each stage of my twins’ development there are going to be more and more things I’m expected to preserve.  (Hell, my own craptastic-looking prom dresses are sitting in a dress-up box in the playroom, thanks to my mom for pawning them off on me after all these years.)  I most definitely want to save the things I truly treasure, so that I can remember as much as possible about my kids’ childhoods, since they obviously don’t last forever.  However, I gotta draw the line somewhere or else we’re gonna end up on the next Oprah show about hoarders.  And if I’m gonna be on Oprah, I’d better be dancing with the Black-Eyed Peas on Michigan Avenue.


15 Responses

  1. Too true. Kids are so funny about wanting to keep everything and I love your point about the team pics. My parents didn’t save my teeth and I really don’t think I’d want them if they did.

  2. My mom told me she just threw them in the garbage the second she took them out from under our pillows, and we were never the wiser. I am happy she did, because I don’t want those little nasty things. Just don’t make the same mistake she did. They were out of quarters, so they were just going to give me a dollar bill for one of my molars. They didn’t take out the money before they got up the stairs. The next morning I came running downstairs, and said, “The Tooth Fairy left me $5 last night, that must have been a really good tooth!” They didn’t want to tell me the truth, so they just let me keep the $5. Lesson learned.

    • Ha ha! Guess the joke was on your parents! You made out like a bandit! I’ve heard people say that they didn’t have change & left their kids a $20 bill! Crazy! I’ve also heard people say they’ve left Wii games & DS games — that’s getting a bit out of control for the tooth fairy, if you ask me!

      • lol Yea, but this was also like sometime between 1990 and 1992. Nintendo games were not an option, and if you wanted $20 you had to earn it or have a birthday.

  3. I’m making my kids teeth into a necklace with silver balls between the teeth. Won’t remember whose is whose once it’s made and I’ve worn it, but it’ll still be my kidlings with me and a talking piece. However, art work and team pics. They leave quickly. Scanned on the computer if kids REALLY HAVE TO HAVE THEM and saved to separate hard drive.

  4. My mom saved my teeth too and I’m glad she need. I needed them when my son lost his first tooth. What, that doesn’t make sense? Yeah, I know, but if you read my post about it, you’ll understand:
    (I know it’s tacky to plug my own blog here but my post gives one reason why saved teeth can come in handy) 🙂

  5. ok, no offense, but the tooth necklace creeps me out a little..too many cartoons with cannibals I guess. My mom kept my teeth for a while, but when she looked at them and no longer went ‘awww’ she chucked them. I’m getting to that point with my 8 year old’s teeth. As for papers, I set up a policy that we’ll keep art, and I’ll keep a sample of writing, like a story she wrote or report and the rest gets recycled. Team and school pictures go in her ‘baby box’ along with her various art and reports. Art that she just likes but I don’t consider ‘keep’ worthy, will hang in her room for a while before being replaced by the next piece of art. I refuse to be one of those parents with a fridge box full of stuff. My mom did that, and wanted me to have it when I grew up..truth was, I didn’t care. I kept a handful of things that mattered to me, my mom kept ‘gifts’ we made her and the rest got recycled. I think there’s a fine line to be tread and it’s difficult to find especially in the moment when the kid thinks that single pencil mark is their Picasso that will never be recreated and-mom-you’d-keep-it-if-you-loved-me while dying on the floor in their misunderstood artist angst. Good luck to you!

    • Your second to last sentence hit the nail on the head — they do think their scribbles are masterpieces, & then they give you those puppy dog eyes that guilt you into saving the crap.

  6. Baby Teeth Necklace—-ewww..but you go ahead girl.

    As the self-proclaimed organizing queen, I will admit that I still have my kids teeth in envelopes somewhere (I’m afraid if they saw them in the trash then I’d have to explain why).

    As for artwork, each kid has a memory box. We keep special things in it, and take them out and reevaluate every year (or when it gets full). That way they are not in my house making piles. It’s been funny to watch how last year’s Valentine from a classmate is gold one year, and they can’t even remember the kid the next year.

  7. I remember playing dress-up on my mom and aunt’s (you know who) prom dresses. I didn’t save anybaby teeth except the first one that went in their scrapbooks. Which by the way are great for all those cheesy team pictures.

  8. I remember playing dress-up on my mom and aunt’s (you know who) prom dresses. I didn’t save anybaby teeth except the first one that went in their scrapbooks. Which by the way are great for all those cheesy team pictures.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  9. This is so funny…I might pass on having a tooth necklace but my Mom still has things of mine from my first week of life. She wanted to give our son one of my stuffed animals that has been rotting in the attic for 30 years. LOL.

    But I still have some of our little son’s baby clothes. And we have 800 pieces of “artwork” and he is only two. 🙂

  10. christian grandparenting…

    Thanks for all that you said,And the way that you said it And thank you just taking the time to write this post……

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