Death by Sharpie

December 12, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with Sharpie markers. Or maybe it’s more like love-fear. I buy them in mass quantities, in all colors and sizes, fat point, fine point and everything in between. I use them at home to label anything that’s not moving, and at work, I have a set of Sharpie pens that I guard like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This obsession probably started back in college when, living in the sorority house, I had to brand my possessions in permanent ink to prevent them from growing legs and walking away. Now, as a mother, nary a day goes by when I’m not busting out my Sharpie to label the kids’ clothes, or their lunches, or yet another box of clothing they have outgrown.

So that’s the love part. Now for the fear.

My mind frequently wanders into “worst case scenario” mode when I explore the possible events that could transpire to shatter my happy existence. Come on, you know you all do it. “What would I do if I lost my kid at the grocery store?” “What if my husband meets someone else?” “What if I get really sick?”

Among these rather serious fears, another terrible scenario strikes panic in my soul: Wyatt or Graham left alone for two minutes with an open Sharpie in hand. Imagine the destruction! My couches permanently tattooed in kinder-scribble. Walls scarred beyond scrubbing. Body art on the kids’ faces, hands, arms, legs, tongues, etc. that takes weeks to fully disappear. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

While my fear of Sharpie permanence haunts me, I’m too foolish to store my collection away in some secure location—a water-proof, hermitically sealed bunker that ought to prevent my markers from falling into the wrong mits. Every time I see a Sharpie hanging out on the kitchen countertop, mixed in with Wyatt’s washable Crayolas, or rolling around on the floor within inches of Grammy’s grasp, I think, “You big bozo. You are really asking for it.” And I usually snatch the Sharpie up and put it just out of rug-rat reach. But inevitably, the marker o’ death finds its way back to a place within three feet of ground level.  

I’m an idiot. Or maybe there’s a little bit of a rebellious teenager left in me who likes to play with fire. Probably both, and whatever the case, it’s only a matter of time before I issue the screech heard round the world upon entering the living room and finding my one-year-old with a permanent mustache drawn by his older brother’s loving and creative hands.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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