Over the past few months, there has been a surge in graffiti vandalism in our neighborhood. We are fortunate that our property has not been tagged, particularly considering the difficulty of removing spray paint from brick, stucco and concrete.
Unfortunately, our two-and-a-half-year-old son has been negatively influenced by the graffiti. What else could explain the tag he threw on my office floor yesterday?
His ink of choice was a wide-tipped Sharpie marker, lifted from my desk drawer. Like most graffiti, this was hastily committed during a brief period of unsupervised time. (I was in the bathroom.) Unlike with most graffiti, however, the tagger immediately turned himself in to the authorities. This gave me the opportunity to act while the ink was fresh.
I found that the denatured alcohol I had down in the garage for paint stripping did a fine job of removing 90% of the ink stain from the hardwood floor. For the last shadow of ink, I put down some baking soda and scrubbed at the ink with the cloth I has used for the alcohol treatment. After applying a little elbow grease to the baking soda and alcohol mixture, the stain was gone.
Since this incident, I have found a cache of “coloring books” where my toddler has been practicing his tags. Obviously, the warning signs were there all along, but as the child’s parent, it can be easy to think a scribble is just a scribble.