Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cute puke bags make morning sickness fun

I was never nauseous when I was pregnant. Not one day. Not even before Truman, when that blighted ovum sat in my uterus fooling me by placing a plus-sign on my pee stick. But I thought about it. I thought once while opening the fridge that I might feel a little queasy. I was so excited I called my husband. But that feeling passed even before my husband picked up the other line. I was fine.

ModelusingbamboobooIf I had a wave of anything remotely like nausea it would be when I thought about or walked into Italian restaurants. I kept this secret from my husband because one of our favorite places, Gianmarco, is Italian. Practically once a week while my bean-shaped son grew in my belly we dined at Gianmarco as I nibbled on pasta and quietly wondered if this would be the day I would finally find my pregnant self bottomed-up to the ceramic can in the ladies room. If I knew now what I didn’t know then, I would not have feared having to even leave the table, because one company has made morning sickness bags chic. They call them Morning Chicness Bags.

I swear to god this product is true! I am totally buying a pack so that when I have a friend who announces she is pregnant (because thanks to medical technology, it should not happen to me again) I can just gift her some of the colorful and lovingly decorated bags (with names like “Labor of Love” and “Bambooboo”). I suppose, if she manages not to use them they can double as gift bags for Easter treats. The bags, measuring 5 inches by 3 inches by 9.5 inches, are made of sturdy paper with leak-proof polyethylene lining and horizontal closure clip. A pack of 10 is only $7.50 plus shipping! (I wonder if they have an odor shield…) They’re also available at some retail locations, far, far from my state.morning chicness bags

The bags are intended to replace airline vomit bags, plastic shopping bags, or whatever you women who suffered from morning sickness carried around to puke in. As I said, I wouldn’t know because I never threw up during pregnancy. And I’m glad for that, except it sure would be fun to walk around with those groovy puke purses! Who says I can’t do it anyway? Never know when I’ll catch a stomach bug from my glorious son!

Photos, Model heaving into Bambooboo, above, and Morning Chicness Bags design options, right, courtesy of www.morningchicknessbags.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping mom healthy when baby is sick

It has been five weeks since my son came home from school with strep throat. But somehow the virus must have lingered maybe on his backpack or his toothbrush or his delicate skin because this weekend the same virus leveled me. When my son comes down with a cold or fever, I expect to catch his ailment. I usually don’t, which I credit to a healthy immune system that built up strength when as a kid I tangled with a variety of mud, germs and lake water. Besides, people are most contagious up to two to three days before they start exhibiting symptoms. I figure, by the time my son’s fever spikes or his nose starts to drip, the damage has been done.

sick2And when my most precious little boy is miserable sick, I have to love on him. I have to cradle his hot body in my arms and hold the tissue when he blows and press my cheek to his blazing forehead and rub his back when his small tummy turns concave and rejects everything in its grasp.

According to a University of Arizona study, this is one of the many reasons why a woman’s chances of getting sick double when she becomes a mother. And since it is almost impossible for mothers – and fathers, too – to be sick when we have young kids, we must get our germ-fighting game on. Here are some pointers:

Be the Hand-Washing Nazi. Most infections spread through hand-to-hand contact. The Centers for DiseaseControl recommends that you scrub your hands with soap for 20 seconds. If you want to be extra safe, try following up with a moisturizing alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Use Hot Water for Laundry. This goes against the green movement, but when your child is sick, hot water will kill more germs than cold. Some studies show that people who launder their clothes in hot water miss fewer days of work and their children register fewer sick days at school. Oh yeah, and after you handle those dirty clothes, be sure to wash your hands again.

Beware the Favorite Toys. My son’s stuffed kitty and his race cars get sneezed and snotted on more than any other object in the house … besides me. Best to avoid touching those things until my son is on the mend. Once your sick one starts feeling better, be sure to wash and sanitize those toys in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to one gallon of water. Drain, rinse and then allow toys to air dry overnight.

Do the Disinfectant Dance. Back when I used to work in an office, I would laugh at people who walked around with Lysol cans spraying their computer keyboards and telephones. But apparently, they are the ones with the last laugh. Those sprays and wipes can kill germs on commonly touched surfaces around the house, too, such as the telephone, remote control and countertops. The most effective disinfectants are those with an EPA registration number and the word “disinfectant” on the label.

Teach Your Family How to Cough and Sneeze. Back in the olden days when I was a kid we were taught it was polite to cover our mouths with our hands when we coughed or sneezed. Turns out, hand-to-hand contact spreads the most germs. The Centers for Disease Control suggests, if you don’t have a tissue handy, to sneeze into your elbow or on your sleeve. If that freaks you out, consider sending your child off with aGermy Wormy disposable sleeve.

Get Plenty of Rest. Sleep is key to a healthy immune system. Be sure your kids are getting adequate sleep so that their little bodies have the energy to fight any germs that latch on them during the day.


Photo, JWJourney

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Great gift idea for overworked school nurse

Three times in the past six days (that includes the weekend) the school nurse at my son’s elementary school has called me, and three times I’ve had to pick up my little boy from school. He’s not sick. If anything, he was a little stuffy. The first two check-outs were due to him spitting up mucus – a ritual he does every time he cries heartily or wakes up stuffy from a cold or allergies. The last time was from the scabby crust that formed on the end of his nose – just in time for school picture day. The school nurse feared it was some sort of staph infection, which of course sent me into a tizzy. I rushed my son Truman straight to the doctor who told me he was fine. The doctor gave me a topical ointment and a note saying my son was OK to attend school the next day.

Truman didn’t want to miss school for those three days he was sent home, and that was pretty much all that made him feel miserable. Once home, he bounced off the walls and ran wild through the yard. He was fine.

This morning, I walked my son into school (I had to deliver Fall Festival donations anyway) and he handed his teachers (he has two) the note from the doctor. He said, “I hope I can stay the whole day today.” I said, “Me too.” I was overwhelmed with guilt that I had sent my son to school with germs to spread to other students. The teachers shook their heads. Apparently the school nurse has been on double-duty these days, being extra precautionary with most of the kids and sending them home for most any ailment in light of the swine flu epidemic. I recalled the two other kids in the nurse’s office when I was there last week, and the vomit spot I had to step over in the office when I checked Truman out Thursday. I began to feel sorry for that school nurse, no doubt more overwhelmed than usual. I thought I might send her a gift to show my appreciation, considering she had seen so much of my son these past two weeks.

school nurse gift setCheck out what I found! It’s a gift set especially for school nurses! This gift set from Educational Innovations/Teacher Source is adorable, funny, and outrageously expensive, but it includes several giant Microbes including Louse, Sore Throat, Stomach Ache, Common Cold, Cough, Ear Ache, Flu and Mono. Or, as the Web site says, “the germs most common in schools.” Now, what better way to show your appreciation to the school nurse than giving her germs? Awesome!

Photo, Educational Innovations, TeacherSource.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How to survive school picture day

It is picture day at my son’s elementary school. I found out about it two weeks ago, but because my memory sucks I completely forgot until my son came home from school with a “SMILE! Tomorrow is picture day!” sticker on his shirt.

beautiful boyHe really needed a haircut, but it was nothing that a little product couldn’t tame. I laid out his most adorable outfit and even decided to put him in improper shoes but pack his light-up sneakers in his backpack for gym. (There would be no recess again, as the rain is never ending.)

The thought of school pictures makes me nervous, I suppose because I’ve never had a decent picture taken of myself. Thus, I’ve learned to hate the camera. My son seems to love it. (Must get it from his dad.) Images 4 Kids, a school portrait company, had some tips on how to prepare your child for picture day.

First, be sensitive to your child’s emotions and needs.Springing picture day on your child may “tax” the child. Images 4 Kids suggests talking about picture day as if it were a family tradition of sorts.

Bathe or shower your child the night before school picture day. As opposed to in the morning, so that the morning schedule isn’t disrupted and you’re not rushing to get ready in time for school.

Pick out what your child will wear the night before. Again, this speeds up the morning getting-ready-for-school process.

Get an early start on picture day. This buys you time for those little disasters that arise, like the “one missing shoe” or the “bed head tragedy.”

Try not to dress your child in all white. I have one of those all-boy kids. I buy him nothing white because my precious son is a stain magnet. Surely I’m not the only one who gets this tip!

Keep picture school day in perspective. Do you really think his school picture will be the be-all-to-end-all? So what if his smile is askew or his eyes are halfway closed. What you want the picture to capture is your child’s beautiful personality.

That said, my son woke this morning and announced he was not going to wear the outfit I laid out. “But it’s picture day,” I said. He shrugged. He wanted to wear his green T-shirt with the tiger playing basketball. “No, honey, you have to wear church clothes today for your picture. See?” I held up his adorable plaid shorts with pink-striped dress shirt and complimenting argyle vest. He said, “No. You said church clothes, then I want to wear the blue and black shirt that goes like this,” he drew a design on his chest with his finger. Yes, the collared shirt we got from the Gap. The casual one. Too casual for capturing a photo of my most precious. “But honey,” I said, pointing to the adorable ensemble I had picked out. My son laid on the floor and started crying. “But you said it had to be church clothes and I wore that blue and black shirt to church once.”

I looked at my little boy writhing on the floor. His hair was out of control and just the thought of fighing him to sneak a little product on it wore me out. His nose was red and crusty from the cold he has been harboring. I had just wiped the goo from it and more good immediately came to replace it. I doubted the photographer would take time to wipe his nose before the picture is taken.

I sighed defeat. “Ok, love. The we’ll do the blue-and-black shirt today.” So much for a clean-cut picture of my little boy. At least this photo will be a proper representative of his rough-and-tumble personality.

Photo, JWJourney

Friday, September 25, 2009

Comfort tips for that first loose tooth

My son has his first loose tooth. I saw it last night and broke into tears. My husband said, “You didn’t even cry this much when he started Kindergarten.” But Kindergarten was different. We knew the start of school nearly a year in advanced. We registered in the late spring, bought his backpack and new Keens, met his teacher and even went to orientation. As much as we could be, we were prepared for Kindergarten. I was not prepared for the loose tooth.

2205181561_5f686bf424Sure, I had read loose teeth usually happen around age 6. But Truman doesn’t turn 6 for another three months. I thought we had more time. And I’ve grown rather attached to those tiny pearls, those slivers of white that hid inside his gums at birth and didn’t break through until he was four months old. They caused him to drool and fuss and drool and fuss. Despite that, I welcomed those little teeth. And now they are beginning their great departure.

Some research into the subject has taught me this – that my son may already have two adult teeth breaking the surface of his mouth. His 6-year molars should sprout behind his baby teeth in the back of his mouth sometime around age 6. This is all relative, because the rate at which a child loses his baby teeth and grows adult teeth is related to how early or late he started getting his baby teeth. If he was late in getting his baby teeth, he likely will be late in getting his adult teeth.

Baby teeth fall out in about the same order as they came in. The two front teeth on the bottom of the mouth are usually the first to go, followed by the two front teeth at the top. Most kids will lose their last baby tooth around age 12. And those wisdom teeth? Yeah, they usually drop in around age 17 and again at age 21.

Now, back to that first loose tooth. Truman knew he would eventually lose his teeth, like some of his friends have. But the loose tooth sort of took him by surprise. And it’s a little sore at times. Losing a tooth is a new experience for kids, so it can cause kids some anxiety. The online magazine Professor’s House offers these tips on how to get your child through that first loose tooth:

  • Loose and permanent teeth just breaking the surface may be painful and may even bleed, which can be frightening for a young child. Reassure you child that the process is normal and a part of growing into a big boy or girl.
  • If your child is in pain, consult your doctor or dentist about the best way to manage it. Sometimes a cold compress can handle the trick. (Remember teethers or frozen peas?) Your doctor or dentist may also suggest Tylenol or Motrin to get him over particularly painful episodes.
  • Let your child wiggle that loose tooth, but encourage him not to pull a tooth (loose or otherwise) that isn’t ready to come out. Teeth that fall out on their own result in less bleeding and pain.
  • And don’t forget to mention the Tooth Fairy, if she visits your house. Knowing that the Tooth Fairy will leave a reward for that tooth when it falls out should take the sting out of a sore tooth.

Photo, Flickr, dL76

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can cold, wet weather make you sick?

Day after day we have had rain and rain and more rain to the point I believe we may never have to suffer through another drought again. It is frustrating for my little boy whose season-opening T-ball and soccer games have been canceled due to too-soggy playing fields. The five-day forecast has no glimmer of sun, just gray clouds and lightning bolts. I fear this next week of ballgames will be canceled as well.

playing in the rainFor entertainment Saturday my son burned some of his energy by dancing in a heavy downpour of rain. I watched from my in-law’s garage and laughed as he tumbled in the wet grass and spun around in the driveway like a dancer. My mother-in-law peeked out the back door and was mortified. “Come in from out of that rain! You will catch a cold!” she cried. I didn’t enforce that order. My rationale – if standing in streaming water made you sick, we would never take showers. I told my MIL that it simply was not true. She said, yes it was.

The old wives tales of getting soaked in the rain or going outside in cold weather without a coat will make you sick have been circulating for more than 500 years. In fact, the common sickness back then was called a “cold” because it was believed that cold weather was what caused the ailment. We now know that colds and flu are caused by viruses that invade the body and take over our defenses. More than 200 different viruses can cause the common cold.

It’s true that colds and flu are most prevalent in the colder months. Some experts say that it is because we spend more time indoors in close contact with other people. The low humidity of winter also helps viruses flourish, especially in noses, which are more apt to be dry and cracked during the colder months.

Here’s another interesting fact about illnesses. The flu tends to be more rampant when temperatures drop below 41 degrees.

Here’s where my MIL may have one up on me on this old wives tale. A UK study showed that volunteers who submerged their feet in 50-degree water for 20 minutes were more likely to develop cold symptoms over the following week than those whose feet stayed warm and dry. Researchers explain this by saying the body can keep a cold virus in check but when exposed to cold, wet feet, the immune system can weaken causing a full-fledge illness.

Coincidentally, my son has cold today. He started showing symptoms late last week, days before he wallowed in the rain. But I still hold firm to my belief that the rain did not cause his symptoms. As long as there is rain in the forecast and my son is hungry for entertainment (and it is not thundering and lightning outside), then he has my blessing to frolic in the rain and find some joy is this never-ending miserable weather.

Sources: About.com, How-come.net, VideoJug.com
Flickr, markomni

Monday, September 21, 2009

News Flash: Vigorous activity helps kids sleep

To say my son is active is an understatement. He is constantly charged. I called him “rambunctious” this weekend – much to my MIL’s dismay. That was after a stack of pancakes with syrup, two doughnuts, and a slice of cinnamon roll cake. (We were at the grandparents.) He was confined to the house, somewhat, because of the constant rain we’ve been having, but he made due tossing packing peanuts about like snowflakes, tumbling over furniture, and dancing in the rain. When we packed up the car and left for home that evening, my son took his first nap in months.

beautiful sleep2I have always been a believer in wearing kids out for the benefit of a swift and peaceful bedtime. Now a University of Ackland, New Zealand, study shows that there is some truth to that belief. The study’s lead author, Dr. Ed A. Mitchell, looked at 591 seven-year-olds and found that kids who spent more time in sedentary activities took longer to fall asleep after they went to bed. The study also showed that one in six parents of school-aged kids say their children have trouble falling to sleep at night.

Most children take about 26 minutes to fall asleep once they hit the bed at night. If the child has been active during the day, the less time it takes for him to nod off. As much as one hour of vigorous activity can shave as much as 6 minutes off a kid’s fall-asleep time. The study also showed that children who fall asleep faster tend to stay asleep longer.

Ingenious? Maybe. But I’ve found if my son goes to bed too exhausted he tends to wake up more during the night and sometimes has frightening night terrors.

Source, ABC News
Photo, JWJourney

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CDC: School-aged kids at high risk of complications with N1H1

In the first three weeks of school, my son was home sick for four days. The second week of school he had strep throat. The following week he came home with a high fever, chills, and was lethargic and vomiting. Normally, I’d feed him Tylenol and baby him unless his symptoms got worse. But N1H1, the feared swine flu, is making its way through the Southeast. Virtually all flu cases at this time are considered to be the Swine flu by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I had heard too many stories of otherwise healthy people dying because of the disease, so I rushed my son to the doctor. He tested negative for both flu and a reoccurrence of strep, and within 24 hours he was feeling fine. I heaved a sigh of relief, but was hungry to learn more about this feared outbreak and who was at risk.

sickA detailed report released by the CDC, and reported today by theNorth County Times, puts the condition into perspective, but hardly puts my mind at ease. According to the report, unlike the usual seasonal flu that kills half or more of children age 4 and younger, the swine flu is taking a higher toll on school-age kids. At least 40 – or about one in 13 U.S. swine flu deaths – are in children between the ages of 5 and 17. Some epidemiologists say that may be because school-age kids are more apt to be around other kids at camps and school than younger children. That may also explain why the Southeast is seeing more cases of swine flu than other regions, because our schools tend to start earlier.

Other differences between the ordinary flu and N1H1 detailed in the CDC report include secondary conditions. For example, two-thirds of the children who died from swine flu had an underlying neurodevelopmental condition such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy, compared to one-third with ordinary flu. And, other germs, such as a bacterial infection, on top of the swine flu proves more deadly to otherwise healthy children. Of the 10 children who were healthy before they got N1H1 but died from the virus, eight had a bacterial infection, such as bacterial pneumonia, along with the flu.

The CDC doesn’t track the usual seasonal flu so it is hard to say whether the swine flu is more prevalent than the ordinary flu. But there is some good news. The virus doesn’t appear to be mutating to become more deadly than it is now, as some scientists have feared.

Photo, JWJourney

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What triggers your midlife crisis?

He was the editor of our small town college newspaper. I was the Lifestyles editor. He was all hard news, always searching for the story that would excite people and motivate change. I was all frills and features, more interested in telling a story than shaking the tree. But he challenged me. He encouraged me to step beyond my timid limits and look beyond the obvious. My stories became more flashy and brave. He was brilliant that way, his lanky form always head-butting the tiny Southern campus like a wedge going into a steel beam. He had media internships that made me sick with envy, and then turned away from journalism, a bit, to dive into the ivy-patched halls of law school. That was the last I heard of him.

cliff jumperNearly two decades later, I was wallowing in my own insufficiencies. The writing career I was hell-bent on pursuing as a college grad – and did enjoy for a decade afterwards – was now tucked behind a wall of public relations bullshit. I was considering selling my soul to sales just to get away, a most gruesome thought, when I received a newsletter from my alma mater. My old college newspaper editor, it announced, had moved far beyond the halls of that small Tennessee school to found a human rights organization. He had become a well-known advocate for the environment and even published a book, becoming the only African-American to write a New York Timesbest seller on the topic. I turned to my husband and announced, “I am a failure.”

There was no contest. I was not racing toward any goal against any of my peers. My friend had gone beyond what probably any of us from that school could have, and I was riddled with jealously and guilt. Here he was charging toward that ambition and need to help others that always bloomed in his spirit. And then there was I, wallowing in a job I hated just to get a paycheck. What happened to my dream?

It is because of my old friend, who I have not talked with since senior year in college, that I quit my PR job and began writing again. I call that transition my midlife crisis.

Gail Sheehy in her book New Passages, calls the midlife crisis the “second adulthood.” It is, essentially, a second chance at becoming the person we are meant to be. It happens, some say, when we wake up one day and realize we’re not the young person we used to be, and that the “when I grow up I will do THIS” mentality is suddenly replaced with the “I am grown up and I never did THAT” frame of mind. Thus, some of us find ourselves at a crossroads known often as the midlife crisis.

The Chinese word for crisis is “dangerous opportunity.” Like any crisis, the one that happens in midlife – many say between ages 35 and 45, but really, life-changing midlife crises can come at any age – provides an opportunity for change and growth. Sheehy says it is a time to “stop and recalculate. … Imagine the day you turn 45 as the infancy of another life.”

For some, that may mean a new sports car or a new spouse. For me, it meant redirecting the career path I was on. (Sheehy would call that my “new map of adult life,” something she says we need to plot our course so we don’t get off track and do anything crazy, like date our daughter’s boyfriends.)

Last week I began hearing disturbing reports about my old friend, the former college newspaper editor who had recently been named a special advisor to the president. He was caught up in a flurry of controversy stirred by a conservative talk show host and old petitions and speeches on YouTube. In the wee hours Sunday morning, I read that he had resigned that high profile post. It broke my heart, not just for him, but for the advances he was making that would benefit not only the health of our planet but provide jobs our citizens so sorely need.

In my midlife revelation, I am grounded enough not to expect success on the level my friend was able to achieve. I suspect there are greater heights for him still. Because even now, so far away from those formidable college years, I still find myself learning from him.

Flickr, MacAllenBrothers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to humanely euthanize a pet fish

Years ago, when I hoped time would make minds forget, I promised Rick that Truman could have a dog for his sixth birthday. The idea was that our then-baby would be old enough to participate in his puppy’s care and I would not be solely responsible for the pup. But I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I would be the one maintaining the dog, and so I hoped that the comment I made in a moment of weakness (there was likely some wine involved, too) would be forgotten.

Fast-forward two years, and here we are staring down the barrel of Truman’s sixth birthday. I was discussing party options with him and he said, “I want a puppy for my birthday.” I said, “ Wouldn’t you rather have asaltwater fish tank instead?” He responded, “Yes. I think I would. And I could get the puppy for my 13th birthday.” I said, “Deal!” so fast my husband actually looked up from the New York Times to see what the ruckus was about.


Coco Conundrum inspects our new fish, Picasso II.

Obviously, some research is in order since we have a particular talent for killing betas, goldfish and other freshwater fish. So over cocktails at our house the other day I asked my friend, who is also a veterinarian, if he treated fish and had any saltwater fish advise. He said, “No, but I did have someone ask me to euthanize their fish once.”

He said a client had made an appointment for a fish euthanasia, and he was surprised to see it on the books. The fish wasn’t sick or in pain, mind you. The woman, for whatever reason, just wasn’t able to care for the fish any more. She loved the fish. He would talk to her every morning and blow bubbles at her as she scatteredfood in his tank. Giving him away to another human just didn’t seem … humane. The only resolution that made sense was sending him on to the afterlife, humanely. And that’s when she turned to my friend, her vet.

Over emptying glasses of sauvignon blanc, the gathered group of friends and I joked about the many ways fish could meet their demise – the giant flush, the old don’t-clean-the-tank-for-a-month, sticking the guppy in the freezer, and forcing our Coco Conundrum on the little guy. But euthanasia, my veterinarian friend explained, is different. Euthanisa means giving someone (or something) an easy and painless death, and an appropriate technique should provide rapid unconsciousness followed by cardiac or respiratory arrest and ultimate loss of brain function. He was being paid to give this woman’s pet a humane death and he had to do it properly. After all, she would be witnessing the entire thing.

My friend admitted to his customer that he had never euthanized a fish before, but he did do his research. One suggested technique involved grasping the fish by the tail and whopping his head against a wall. We all agreed with him that witnessing such a death would have been a bit painful for the fish’s owner. My friend finally settled on a more humane-sounding practice. First, he added a smidgen or so of eugenol, also known as clove oil, to the fish’s water. That got the fish feeling no pain and maybe a little sleepy. Then he poured in a jigger of ethanol, also called pure grain alcohol, the same stuff that courses through the veins of most fraternity houses. The technique worked like a charm, killing the fish quickly, swiftly and humanely.

And now you know how to euthanize a pet fish. Rest in peace, little guppy.

Photo, JWJourney

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How much do you pay the Tooth Fairy?

It happened. My son pulled out his first baby tooth. We weren’t there to see the hallowed event – he was with his favorite sitter, Jessica. Truman was mindlessly wiggling his tooth while watching SpongeBob when his tooth just slipped out. He was a little shaken up about the little bit of blood that poured into his mouth, but by the time we arrived home he was proudly showing off his accomplishment, sealed tight in a snack-sized Ziploc bag.


This is not my son, but same expression!

Just a few hours earlier our friend Eric had told Truman that all he had to do was pull that tooth and the Tooth Fairy would leave $50 under his pillow. “Fifty dollars?” My son said, surprised. Rick and I started mumbling about the state of the economy and that likely the Fairy wouldn’t leave that much, but Eric winked at us and said, “Yes, that’s right. Fifty dollars!”

Well, the Tooth Fairy did not leave $50. But after the Truman went to bed, we debated what to actually put under our son’s pillow. I figured we’d leave a couple dollars. I got 50 cents as a child. Rick, who got 50-cent pieces for his lost teeth, suggested we leave $15. FIFTEEN DOLLARS? Eric was still pushing for the $50 bill, and that sure wasn’t going to happen. (We do have friends whose son lost his tooth unexpectedly late one night. The only cash they had on hand was $20, and reluctantly, they left that for their son. Needless to say, he was thrilled.)

I had done research, however, on what to pay the Tooth Fairy. I talked to some friends and searched the Internet. As it turns out, 52 percent of the more than 25,500 people surveyed by Baby Center leave just $1. Eleven percent are still putting coins totaling less than a buck under their kids’ pillows. And a smidgen – 3 percent – leave no money at all.

We ultimately decided to leave $5 under Truman’s pillow, and then had to raid his piggy bank for a new bill as ours looked a bit worse for wear. We weren’t alone. The second largest percentage of people surveyed – 19 percent – give more than $2.

But I’m going with the majority of the group when it comes to the Tooth Fairy in general. “Visits from the Tooth Fairy are a magical part of childhood,” (51 percent). And, I’m going to keep up her pretense “as long as I possibly can!” (54 percent)

Want to see how your thoughts on the Tooth Fairy rank? Take the Baby Center Tooth Fairy poll.

Photo, Flickr, srett