Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Tattoos for tots

My son's got a thing about tattoos.

I don't know when it started, I don't know why, I don't know what about the things fascinates him so greatly, but it's entered the top 10 of his conversational repertoire, with a bullet.

It's bad enough when he asks me if he can get a tattoo. What I want to do, of course, is scream "over my dead body!" but we enlightened parents of the '00s don't want to prejudice our kidlets against the personal choices of others. So I just tell him no, kids can't get tattoos. I don't know if this is true. It had better be.

I try to deter him with the explanation that getting a tattoo involves being stuck with a needle, a lot, and if he doesn't like getting a shot he won't like getting a tattoo. He ain't buying it. He wants to know: Is it good to have a tattoo? Why do people have tattoos? When can he get a tattoo, too?

Never, never, never.

What's worse, though, is when he sees someone with a tattoo and feels compelled to point that out. Loudly. Like in church this weekend, in the quiet of prayer time, suddenly pipes a little voice saying: "Look, Mama, that man in front of us has a tattoo! Why does he have a tattoo? Is it good to have a tattoo?"

So far, the tattoo-bearers so pointed out have not turned to listen to my answers to those questions, and have taken no notice of the small boy asking them. Perhaps tattooing imparts some sort of hearing impairment, and for that I am grateful.

In the meantime, I suppose I'll have to look into some of those rub-on tattoos to distract the little guy from the real thing.

Do they do that heart with the word "Mom" on it design in the temporary variety?

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