Why? Why Am I Keeping These? Why?

If you’ve seen the television show “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, you know little Cindy-lou Who, who is no more than two. And, you know little Cindy-lou Who, who is no more than two, sees Santa trying to stuff her family’s Christmas tree up the chimney. When she sees Santa, she asks, “Why, San’tee Claus? Why? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?”

Now, this is not a post about the Grinch, Cindy-lou Who, who is no more than two, or Christmas. This is a post about ‘why‘. Why do we do some of the things that we do? Why, people of the world? Why do we collect the baby teeth of our kids? Why?

Our oldest has now lost a total of three baby teeth. And, rather than throwing my son’s teeth away, I feel the need to save the teeth. I have the teeth safely stored in a special ‘little teeth’ container. And, I have the little container hidden, so my child doesn’t come across what the tooth fairy was to have taken with her. Why?!

Are we suppose to keep the first nail we clip from our child’s fingers and toes? That’s crazy gross, right? Well, why do we keep the teeth? And, how many parents have a lock of hair from their child’s first haircut? Why do we feel the need to collect bits and pieces of our children? And, why do these sorts of collections leave me feeling like I am a target for Dexter?

Who was the first Mom to keep their child’s tooth? And, why – oh why – did this become tradition? People of the world – is baby-teeth collecting a global thing? Or, are crazy Americans the only weirdos with a collection of baby teeth safely tucked away in a special container in one of their bedroom dresser drawers?

In this day and age where over-sharing is the norm, I am going to spare you a picture of my son’s 3 baby teeth. Let the record show, that even I have limits to the amount of information I share with the world. (Though clearly, my limits are few.) Now, if you’ll excuse me, my child just lost his first eyelash.

A Collection of Collections

A veritable plethora of collections

Most everyone collects some thing or another. Some people collect stamps, some collect antique cars and some collect shells. Many people collect many different things, and you wouldn’t be taken aback if someone told you, “I just added the best Simpsons stamp to my stamp collection.” However, you might politely excuse yourself from talking with someone if s/he said, “Today, I found the coolest fingernail to add to my collection!” Actually, if someone were to tell you about their fingernail collection, you might spit out the beverage you were sipping and run away. Fast.

Yes, some collections are better received than other collections. I ended my Bells and Bunnies post mentioning the Tooth Fairy, which made me realize my son is nearing the age where he will begin losing his baby teeth. As I considered my son losing his teeth, I wondered how my husband and I would handle the whole ‘Tooth Fairy” thing. I also wondered if I would keep the baby teeth my boys lose. I vaguely recall coming across a collection of baby teeth in my Mom and Dad’s room. I know the baby books my Mom put together of my siblings and me contained locks of hair.

Collecting and saving baby teeth and locks of baby hair seems a common practice. I have not saved any locks of hair from the boys, and it remains to be seen whether or not I’ll save the boys’ baby teeth. However, I do have the boys’ belly button stubs. (Should I have warned you prior to sharing?) Why do I have a ‘collection’ of belly button stubs? I haven’t a clue why I kept the stubs. Perhaps it is part of the delirium of parenting newborns. Sleepless nights can make for the start of crazy collections. You pregnant Moms out there – consider yourself warned.

I wonder. Will Joe come to me at the age of say – 17 – and say, “Hey Mom! Do you still have my belly button stub? I want to show it to my girlfriend.” One can only assume that the girlfriend would soon become an ex-girlfriend, screaming in horror as she runs out the front door. “That’s odd.” Joe would say, while watching her run away. “My buddy, Jeff, thought it was really cool.” I can only hope that Charlie would be nearby during the ‘belly button stub sharing’ incident, so he wouldn’t make the same mistake with his girlfriend. Then again, he might use it to rid himself of an annoying girlfriend.

Rest assured, two belly button stubs are not the only thing I have collected over the years. I have a collection of glass ornaments from my days working at a glass gallery, and I have a collection of pictures, picture frames and picture magnets. In addition, I have a collection of watches, though none of the watches have working batteries. So please, though I collect watches, don’t assume I will be on time all the time. I also have a collection of single socks with holes in the toe and/or heal. Why I continue to keep socks with holes and no mates is beyond me. And sadly, I can’t blame it on newborn delirium.

I’m not entirely sure at what age the collection bug hits, but I am guessing it happens early. Already, Joe has his ‘farm’ collection, which consists of hand picked stuffed animals and nick-nacks. Joe keeps his collection on the shelves of his headboard; the shelves are overstuffed, and Joe knows immediately, if one of the animals or nick-nacks is out of place. And, I see hints that lead me to believe Charlie wants to start a collection. He gathers many little things and keeps the items in a box or bag. But, Charlie’s attention span is not quite as fine tuned as Joe’s attention span. The contents of Charlie’s boxes and bags change daily. So far, the boys seem to have ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ collections. No fingernail collections in this house! Sadly, they haven’t asked to see their belly button stubs. No worries. I can wait.