Two-Year-Old Tagger

by Josh on April 22, 2006 · 4 comments

in Journal

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?

scribble on wood floor

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.

cleaned hardwood floor

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

stuccohouse April 22, 2006 at 1:03 pm

Glad you were able to get that marker off the wood floor! You are going to have the buy the little one, one of those nasty “No Snitches” t-shirts that are so hot with the gang bangers these days. Wonder if they come in a 2T. ;-)

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Shauna April 22, 2006 at 6:34 pm

That’s one of my worst nightmares come true! My husband has a Sharpie attached to a lanyard around his neck during every waking hour, and I’m constantly finding them lying around the house (and hiding them in the highest, most covert locations I can find).
Your quick (and may I say, remarkable — no pun intended) solution is something I’m tucking away for posterity.

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Josh April 24, 2006 at 7:57 am

There’s no shortage of bratty T-shirts for babies and kids these days, but “no snitches” would be new on me. I probably won’t find it at Target, eh?

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