The Price of Defiance, or Mama Wants a TattooNovember 10, 2009
Apparently 13.1 is my lucky number. Is there an Official Attache for the Half-Marathon? Cuz I want that job. If it’s possible to have a running vice, the half-marathon is mine. Sadly, now I’m paying the price for indulging; I’m in a recovery week. Again. A recovery week means trouble. I’ll probably pierce something. Or get that tattoo.
About that tattoo….
I have a conundrum. I need your help.
Since this is a recovery week, it would be a great time to ink my lower back because I won’t chafe the tattoo in running clothes (priorities, people). The problem is that I’m having some trouble with The Man. He says ‘No way.’ In fact, it’s causing serious friction in our relationship, and I don’t know how to convince him.
Henry, damnit, said no.
You didn’t think I meant Brian, did you? Please. Like I’d let my husband stop me.
I showed Henry the picture of what I want, and his response was both unexpected and firm. With a charming Oedipal twist on Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, he said, “I like you just the way you are, Mama.”
What to say. What to do.
Henry: You can have one of my fake tattoos.
Me: But I want a pretty picture on my back that doesn’t come off.
Henry: Just draw a picture on a piece of paper.
Me: You don’t have to see it if it’s on my back.
Henry: What if I’m watching you when you get dressed?
Me: I love you, my voyeuristic pervert of a boy, but I really want a tattoo.
Henry: You can get it after I die.
Me: Let me tell you a little thing about patriarchy, kid…
And that’s where I lost him. Essentially, my five year old said “Over my dead body.” I hate power games with little boys, but explaining feminist body politics to a kid who often asks where I’m hiding my penis is bound to fail. Same goes for the gender double-standard talk I tried to give him when I made the case that Daddy has a tattoo. The boy wants his mama pure, an idea that requires me to pause so I can snort and cough a little.
I think he needs to have a little sit-down with his dad and grampa about what’s happened when they’ve tried to tell me what to do. Shaking their heads with defeat, they’d no doubt say, “It’s futile, little guy.”
The thing is that I do care what my boy thinks.
At this point, probably the only tattoo he’d approve is Sponge Bob. I honestly don’t know what to do. I’m more of a Patrick fan, and I can’t let my kindergartener dictate what I do with my body. Only my coach gets that privilege, and evidently I don’t even listen to him.
What’s the cost of defying your five year old? Do I go out and just get inked anyway? I’m not asking if you think I should get a tattoo because though I love you all, your opinion on tattoos doesn’t really make a difference. I only want advice on how to finesse this with my kid. It’s a given he’ll end up on a therapist’s couch some day. I just don’t want him to open with, “It all started when my mom got a tattoo…”