two little tough guys, even without tattoos
Ah, the dilemma! Our sons are only (almost) 4 and 5 year old, and already they want to get tattoos. Of course, not the real kind, especially since we told them that to get a real tattoo, you have to get stuck with a needle over and over again (a good deterrent for them at this age anyway). Nevertheless, we recently got a copy of a Family Fun magazine, and while I was de-boning it (removing all the card-stock inserts and magazine subscription postcards), I came across what looked like stickers. Upon further investigation, (and before I could hide them from my children) I discovered they were in fact temporary tattoos courtesy of the Ohio Travel Bureau, encouraging us to bring our family to vacation in Ohio.
Daddy taking his own short vacation, but not dead yet!
A few years ago when we were first approaching our 30's, Enoch and I had an ongoing conversation about tattoos: if he or I were to get one, what would it look like, where would it be located, and what would it say? It was an ongoing conversation because, like bumper stickers, I feel that no one statement can sufficiently "label" me, and because tattoos are as permanent as marriage--until death. I couldn't see myself even tattooing Enoch's name on my body, because (here's my practical/morbid side) if he dies prematurely and I one day decided to re-marry, I wouldn't think it would be appropriate. Many people have other (better) reasons not to get tattooed (supported by Scripture), but those are just a few of my own reasons.
still tough, still no tattoos
Anyway, back to the kids. So, the dilemma: do we let them do something "temporarily" for the sake of fun and granting them their desires, or do we strongly forbid it's use any time? Have I made too big an issue over something that's not that big of a deal? (Comments and replies are welcome!) Well, I must confess: we let them do it.
two tough guys with tattoos
We made it clear to them that we're not that crazy about tattoos, but we would allow it this once, so they could experience it first-hand. We made them put them in inconspicuous places (upper arms) so that the tattoos would remain unseen by most of the world (at least while they lasted). I think the big draw to tattoos (aside from the thrill of being permanently stamped) is the thrill of the attention that it draws from others. I think one of the things in the back of Julien's head is getting the attention of his classmates at church when he shows it off to them. I'm thinking of making him removing it before then. We'll see. (I'm pretty sure this is where the "lesson I've learned from this experience" lies.)
So we had a good time. I made a big deal of it and took photos because I figured it would make for good blog-fodder. I tried to make them think it was going to hurt--just to add to the suspense. When the wet cloth was applied for 30 seconds, I made sure it was nice and hot to make it cost a little something (their faces reflect the shock and uncertainty of the pain factor).
Step 1: clean the arm. Step 2: press the sticky tattoo to the arm.
Pray for their mother!
P.S. Note to Grandmas and Aunts: Please don't send us any tattoos in the mail. We do not plan to make a regular practice of this activity! Stickers do just about as good of a job, and don't come with a moral dilemma attached--usually. Thanks.