"The Tooth Fairy Didn't Take My Fingernail"

We started writing down memorable things the kids said, starting when they were very young. The journal captured more of their personality, humor, fears, and wisdom than photos ever could. As adults, we had forgotten how the world looks with the fresh perspective of youth, but the kids reminded us.

If you want to try this with your family, keep your ears open and get the words down on paper within five minutes. With practice, you get better at listening to the wisdom of your children and saving it for posterity.

Lost Sandals

You have to buy me new sandals
Because I can't find my sandals,
And Mama doesn't know where they are,
And you don't know,
And Matthew doesn't know where anything is
'Cause he just wanders around
And finds things that aren't lost.

Sarah, 4 1/2 years

The Hungry Christian

I am too Jewish
'Cause today the teacher said,
"If you're Jewish,
You can have a cracker,"
And I did!

Sarah, 5 years

The Size of People

People are little of cars
So they could fit inside.

Sarah, 5 years

Love Universal

I love Mama, and Matthew, and you,
And my grammas and grampas,
And my cousins and aunts and uncles,
And me,
And people that I don't know.


No Substitutions Allowed

The Tooth Fairy
Didn't take
My fingernail.

Sarah, 5 years

Who's The Boss?

I ate all the crunchy part.
I didn't eat everything you said,
But Mom said I could have some ice cream.
She's the most in charge of me.

Sarah, 5 years

Not Afraid

I don't want to go upstairs alone
Because I'm still allergic to the dark.

Sarah, 5 1/2 years

The Animal Protection League

We'll never, ever kill a pig
Because we get our bacon from the store.

Sarah, 5 1/2 years

And Now a Word From...

You see,
The dirt and oil
Gets in your hair
And makes it flat.
But the Concentrate in the green bottle
Makes it all so Fluffy,
and Beautiful,
and Shiney.

Sarah, 5 1/2 years

First Time Out At Night

Sun is dark!

Matthew 2 1/2 years

Are You Sleeping?

Matthew's wide asleep
'Cause I did this to him,
And he didn't wake up.

Sarah, 5 1/2 years

The Test of Value

Kittens should cost money
And dogs should be free
Because they're not delicate.

Sarah, 6 years


I love kittens best in the whole, wide world...
And gum.

Sarah, 6 years

I'll Let You Know

I'll play with you after dinner...
But if I don't come,
I won't come.

Sarah, 6 years


Hey Dad!
I drank the whole cup of water
Before you could say,
That part.
Before you could say that.

Sarah, 6 years

Late Autumn

Those trees are all bare.
They took all their makeup off.

Sarah, 6 years

Innocence Lost

The only thing
That's real on TV
Is sports.

Sarah, 6 1/2 years

Remember Halloween, Mom?

I was Robin,
And Sarah was Bat Girl,
And you was nothing.

Matthew, 3 1/2years

Appearances Are Deceiving

I wasn't crying;
Tears was comin'
Out of my eyes.

Matthew, 3 1/2 years

All In A Day's Work

What you do at work, Dad?
I make telephones.
When you get done
With all those telephones,
You come back. OK?

Matthew, 3 1/2 years

A Fall

It doesn't hurt...
It hurts a little bit...
(More tears)
It hurts!!

Matthew, 3 1/2 years

So Big

When I get Four,
I'll be up to my head.

Matthew, 3 1/2 years

The Brownie Handbook

A handbook means
You put your hand on it
Just like this,
And promise not
To do something.

Sarah, 7 years


A Free Choice

Do you want the Colgate,
Or the kind you don't like?

Sarah, 7 years

A Dime

This is called a Tooth Fairy
'Cause it's got trees on it.
You put it under your pillow,
And you get a tooth.

Matthew, 4 years


Give it to my Daddy.
He can do it.
He can do anything!

Matthew, 4 years

Children's Day

There should be
A Children's Day
Like there's a Mother's Day
And a Father's Day.

Sarah, 7 years

Matthew's Fall

My floor is the slipperiest!
It's fun...
Not for Matthew.

Sarah, 7 years

Four-Poster Bed

Hey, your bed is
Upside down.

Matthew, 4 years

Door In The Ground

Does that go to the basement,
Or to the Devil?

Matthew, 4 years

Parents' Punishment

I'm not going to talk to anyone
Until I'm all grown up!

Sarah, 7 years

Homemade Pasta

Yankee Doodle made macaroni
That looks like a feather.
He didn't make it right,
But we do.

Matthew, 4 years

Who Will I Be?

When I grow up to a daddy,
I'm still Matthew.

Matthew, 4 years

Body Language

When I run,
My body goes,
"Slosh, slosh"
'Cause I drank soda.

Matthew, 4 1/2 years


A rooster doesn't lay eggs;
They just make noise.

Matthew, 4 1/2 years

Instructions to Mom

When I say
Everything I want,
You say, "Yes."

Matthew, 4 1/2 years

Right Hand Plays the Piano

Now, listen, left hand...
Now you try...
Try again...
That's perfect!

Sarah, 7 years

Your Turn To Wash The Dishes

Now I know what it's
Like to be a
Big kid...
It's boring!

Sarah, 7 years

I Know!

Dad: This is plastic wood.
Matt: I know.
Dad: Matthew, you didn't know that!
Matt: But I always say, "I know."
Dad: But you don't always know.
Matt: I know.

Matthew, 4 1/2 years


Matt: Are we going to take down the Christmas tree the next day?
Mom: Matthew, there's no such thing as "the next day." What is it called?
Matt: Tomorrow?
Mom: That's right.
Matt: Are we going to take down the Christmas tree tomorrow?
Mom: No, the next day.

Matthew, 4 1/2 years

A Young Galileo

Matt: The moon's following us.
Dad: It just looks that way.
Matt: I know; we go around the moon.

Matthew, 4 1/2 years


I have a bus
Just like that one,
'Cept mine's a toy one,
And that's a live one.

Matthew, 5 years

Now I Understand

Dad: Those aren't mosquitoes, they're gnats.
Matt: Like my name, right?
Dad: No, watch my mouth... Gnats.
Matt: Oh yeah, like you swing and catch butterflies with. Right?

Matthew, 5 years

Why Can't We Cut Down the Tree?

But the kite is new,
And it's an old tree.

Sarah, 8 years

The Third World

France doesn't have
Any roads.
All they have is
Grass and houses.

Sarah, 8 years

Jungle Daddy

Daddy, you're like a jungle gym.
You're even funner than a jungle gym!

Matthew, 5 years



Every kid has to
Go through a stage of
Loving apple sauce.

Sarah, 8 years


A Match

The red part
On the stick
Is the fire
That's all dried up.

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

What's in a Name?

Mountains are called "mountains"
Because they're so big!

Sarah, 8 years

Wet Tissue on the Ceiling

I didn't do it,
And Sarah was doing it too.

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

Actions Speak Louder

I don't
Lose my

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

A Drink at Bedtime

You don't have to put your hand out
When I stop and breathe.
Everybody's gotta stop and breathe...
When we drink.

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

How to Get Clean Hair

You pull out a hair,
And a clean hair
Grows into place.
(But you don't pull out all the hairs.)

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

Mister Clean

Make the house
As bright as my eyes.
Always look at my eyes
So you 'member.

Matthew, 5 1/2 years


How come that it always goes
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night, day and night?
I don't want it to always go
Day and night, day and night,
Will I be a grampa?

Matthew, 5 1/2 years

As Tall As Mom?

Will I be taller than you
When I grow up?
I've got a lot of growing to do.
So far I'm just a kid!

Sarah, 8 years

A Brief History of the World

Once there was
A Tyrannosaurus Rex,
And he died.
The end.

Sarah, 8 years

Mom's Good Cookin'

I'm gonna have seconds.
Three times!

Matthew, 6 years

The Tricorn Hat

Guess what kind of hat this is.
It's a pirate's hat.
No, it's a... um... uh...
I guess it is a pirate's hat.

Matthew, 6 years

The Nun

What's she called—
A "nothing"?

Sarah, 9 years


Hot Summer Road

When it looks like
Water on the road it's
Really just a

Sarah, 9 years


Matt: Will you play that game with me, Mom?
Mom: No Matthew, you have to know how to read.
Matt: You don't know how to read??!!

Matthew, 6 years

The Washed Footstool

I liked it before
When it was sticky.

Sarah, 9 years

Keeping Track of Dad

I almost lost you.
When I looked at the car
I could see the steering wheel
But not your head.
Stay right here.
I'll be right back.

Matthew, 6 1/2 years

Bath Time

I don't need a bath.
I just took one
Two days ago.

Matthew, 6 1/2 years

The Harlem Globetrotter

When I grow up
I'm going to be black
And a basketball player.

Matthew, 6 1/2 years

The Best Time of Year

I like winter
And summer
And spring,
Fall's OK.

Winter is Christmas and snow,
Summer is swimming and no school,
Spring is my birthday and Easter,
Fall is Halloween.

Sarah, 9 years

Spelling Bee

It's none of your
B - I - ...

Sarah, 10 years

Close Your Eyes and Play Ball

Matt: I'm praying that I hit the ball.
Sarah: I'm praying that he doesn't hit the ball.

Matthew, 7 years
Sarah, 10 years

People That Count

There are fourteen people here,
Not counting adults though.

Matthew, 7 years

Fish Story

If I catch a whale
I would throw
The fishing rod in.
Wouldn't you?
(Even if it was my favorite one!)

Matthew, 7 years

The Best Of Both Worlds

Turn my night light on.
I'm still a little kid.
But I'm big.
I'm sort of medium.

Matthew, 7 years

Svelte Dog

Bo doesn't have any fat
His fat is all muscle.

Sarah, 10 years

Winter Musical

I'm glad we don't
Hibernate in the winter
Because then going to Mom's show
Would just be a dream.

Matthew, 7 years

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

We broke up the fight
By making friends.

Matthew, 7 years

'Round Midnight

You sure can feel
The darkness under your eyes
When you're hardly awake.

Matthew, 8 years

Kids' Stuff

I want to see
"Bambi" again
Even if it is
Only rated "G."

Sarah, 11 years

The Gourmet

I like everything
With cheese in it,
Except the things I don't like
With cheese in it.

Matthew, 8 years


I can't remember what it's called.
Then I look at it,
And I remember what it's called.

Matthew, 9 years

The Conservationist

When you woke me up,
I was in the middle
Of drawing a picture,
But I can start over.

The good thing is
You don't waste any paper.

Matthew, 10 years

Myth Lesson

Vampires don't like garlic,
That's a fiction fact.

Sarah, 13 years

Mom's Zucchini Soup

It has to taste bad
To be good for you.

Sarah, 13 years

Sarah's Sprayed Hair

It's bulletproof !

Matthew, 10 years

Cheap Motels

I don't want to stay
In any cheap motel
That some fat old guy
Named "Sid" owns.

Matthew, 15 years


Who's Responsible ?

Just because things need to be done
doesn't mean you need to do them

Matthew, 32 years

The End

The End