Friday, March 4, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Freezing Cold Adventures, Passive-Aggressive Tooth Fairies, and a Word of Encouragement for Exhausted Young Parents

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Apparently I'm not a very knowledgeable pet owner, because I didn't realize that rats grow their teeth back. Our pet rat Piper's tooth fell out last week, and I thought we'd have to get her teeny rat dentures or something.

To my credit I did know rats' teeth grow continuously and that's why they have to gnaw on things, but I didn't realize that a tooth that fell out completely would just regrow like a great white shark. #themoreyouknow


My 8-year-old got baptized this past weekend! In our church we believe that baptism is a promise between a person and God, so we wait until they're old enough to understand and choose it for themselves (read more here if you're curious about baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

We arrived before the baptism to a scene of panic. They'd started to fill the font with water (our church does the type of baptism where your whole body goes under the water) and realized there was no hot water.

This is March in New England, by the way, so it wasn't just lukewarm. It was freezing.

We made phone calls, we had someone look in the boiler room who knows about such things, and in the end, decided there was nothing we could do to fix it right now. 

I told them to start filling the font with cold water and thought about how to broach the topic with my son. 

"Guess what?" I told him, "There's good news and bad news. The good news is, you get to get baptized!"

He nodded and smiled.

"The bad news is, they don't have any warm water and it's very, very cold."

I waited for his reaction, unsure of what he'd say next, but he answered, "That's okay! It'll be just like going to the lake!"

Bless that kid. I wish you could've seen his happy face. It was a fantastic service, and I was glowing all day about what a nice experience it had been for my son and everyone who came to see it. And I'm sure even the cold water will make a great story afterward, too.


I was unaware when we first moved to this part of the country, but February break is a thing they do in New England, so Monday was my kids' first day back at school after a week of vacation. It was pretty rough.

It started with the 8-year-old realizing he left his only pair of tennis shoes at church during his baptism, so we had to go get them and bring him to school late.

That afternoon, I took my 15-year-old to an occupational therapy appointment 35 minutes away, only to find out we'd showed up at the wrong office location, and then it took us even longer to get home because we had to go around an accident on the freeway.

To cap off the evening, my mother-in-law dropped the 5-year-old and I off at his gymnastics class and went to go do an errand, but I absent-mindedly took the car key with me and she found herself stranded in a car that wouldn't start after she stopped at the store. (Note to self: the keyless push-button start on new cars is nice until it's not.)

It was a killer day from start to finish.


In addition to being forgetful about promptly coming to get lost teeth sometimes, the tooth fairy in our house is developing a bit of an attitude.

When the 10-year-old lost a baby tooth with a cavity in it, the tooth fairy let it quarantine for three days before she'd touch it.

When she lost a second one with a cavity, the tooth fairy left her a dime instead of the customary quarter with the following note:

"Dear 10-Year Old: Please note that I deducted a 15-cent hazardous waste disposal fee for your latest lost tooth. It appears that there was quite a large and smelly cavity in this one! Keep brushing and flossing, both to keep your teeth healthy and to avoid any more fees in the future. -T.F."

Sorry it's not easy to read. The tooth fairy writes so tiny it's hard to get a good picture.

Maybe next time she'll also leave an electric toothbush.


My 5- and 7-year-olds have been battling eczema so bad that I've been coating their wrists in Vaseline at night and putting them to bed with socks on their hands.

One night we'd gotten ready, socks on hands and all, and then my 5-year-old wandered downstairs to the and joined his brother in the kitchen eating an evening snack of pistachios. (When you're 5 and it's lights-out, I guess that just seems like the logical thing to do.)

I stopped short when I saw him standing in front of a pile of shelled pistachios and out of all the questions I could have asked, I opted for: "How in the world are you cracking those with socks on your hands?"

He shrugged and said, "Uhhh... skill?"


I laughed out loud when I received this text from an acquaintance at church:

If you don't know, Ragnar is a 120-mile race that you run relay-style in a team of 8 people. So you're like camped out in a van somewhere waiting for your turn to run your second of three 5-mile legs at 2AM. I know for sure I've never encountered anything that horrible in my life, and I hope that continues to be the case.

I had to think for a while about how to politely respond to her text, since my initial impulse was to send puking emojis and block her number.


We've been helping an elderly couple in our neighborhood shovel their driveway when it snows, and they always ask us to bring our littlest kids over when we come. The kids aren't particularly helpful, but the people say it makes them happy to see them playing in the yard, and that made me think.

I know when I was deep in the trenches of raising babies and toddlers, I didn't feel like I was able to make much of a contribution to the world. Just trying to keep everyone fed, clothed, and alive was often all I could accomplish in a day.

But parents of young kids, raising them the best you can is a public service. 

Not only will those babies and toddlers grow up to be amazing friends, role models, and community servants, but just taking them out in public right now  to Target, to the post office, to church  makes people happy. Just try taking them to the grocery store and counting the number of people who smile when your cart full of chaos rolls past them.

You're doing one of the most important things a human can do, and everywhere you go your kids are brightening peoples' day by just existing and being themselves. Never forget that!

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Anonymous said...

My son gets eczema on his wrists also. We put on Aquaphor at night, it's basically vaseline plus lotion, then he puts his "sleevies" on. We got these: then I tacked them together in one spot so his thumb goes through one side of the tacked spot and his fingers on the other. That keeps it from riding up his arm overnight, but his fingers are still free. I've more recently seen these: that I think I might try next because I won't have to alter them and because they're not white!

Caitlin Spearson said...

I'm going to print out #7 and tape it to me when I fly with my 3 children under 5 next week :)

Jenny Evans said...

Caitlyn: You should probably also watch this.

Good luck!