Do you keep your kid's teeth?

I have a confession to make. I still have the pregnancy tests from each of my three children sitting in my bedside drawer. Sometimes I get them out and gaze at the faded, double pink lines.

I remember the overwhelming feelings of happiness I had when I’d held the sticks in my wee covered hands. (I’ve never been good at holding those things mid-stream). The emotions that come with discovering you’re pregnant are like nothing else and each time I open my drawer and see those pregnancy tests sitting there, among the pens and makeup, I smile.

Those three sticks have even moved house with me. My husband thinks it’s gross I haven’t thrown them out. He can’t understand why I need to keep three wee covered sticks, when we have three actual children in the house. I’m not sure why I still have them either? I think because they represent an emotional connection to my past that I’m just not ready to let go.

What mementos do you hold on to from your child's life?
What mementos do you hold on to from your child's life? Photo: Getty

But when it comes to other mementos, I am quite ruthless. Of course we have videos and home movies of our family and I have their ultrasound photos. I even have a few baby clothes and the little plastic identity bands each of the girls wore in hospital when they were born. We have the books they made in kindy and a pile of paintings. Although, I have ditched most of them because why do we need four thousand paintings of coloured splotches on yellowing butcher’s paper?

However, I have not kept the hair from their first haircuts. That was thrown in the bin. And don’t even get me started on keeping their baby teeth. Gross. To be honest, I don’t like to keep too much stuff at all. I don’t like clutter. I get overwhelmed with boxes full of things. I am not that sentimental about objects.

You see I don’t have any things from when I was a baby. They were all lost in a fire when I was a toddler. I have one baby photo that I know of. I have no baby teeth or locks of hair or outfits or anything like that. And I am okay with it. You could be forgiven for thinking I would be a hoarder of keepsakes; instead I am quite the opposite. Stuff doesn’t matter to me as much as people and experiences. I don’t yearn for sentimental objects. I don’t have scrapbooks full of old concert tickets and travel paraphernalia.

I can see how people do feel an overwhelming need to collect and hold onto everything their children have ever made, including bits from their body. They want their memories to be neatly filed away forever. They want their kids to be able to look back at their past and then show their children and so on and so on. They feel that somehow the memories will be lost if they throw the objects away.

My theory is my kids will be fine with a few things to look at and then when they’re old enough they can choose what they’d like to keep. I’d happily provide them containers to do so. I’d also happily help them move those containers to their own homes one day. I just hope they don’t spend too much time focusing on their past and not looking to the future. I want them to not get too hung up on mementos and instead look at creating moments to remember.

So fess up what are the strangest things you’ve kept from either your past or from your children? Do you still have your pregnancy test sticks too?