The Texture Of Things

Phone Number as Body Art

January 4th, 2007

All the way back in November, we took the tot to her first Detroit Lions game. HG and I were a bit worried about what would happen if we both got separated from her in a sold-out stadium, so I rummaged around in my brain for an idea and came up with a light bulb. We could make it work.

I remembered a post on Parent Hacks about writing your phone number on your child’s body in marker before going to a crowded place. Yay! Hooray! Our child will have identifying material on her body that is neither a tattoo nor a cat collar!

But would she let me write on her body? My child, the one who doesn’t like fluid splashed on her or spilled on her or rained on her or touching her or… You know the one. I pondered this and decided that I would act like any other parent on the planet: I would simply assume it would work and I would play to her weaknesses.

I’ve heard tell that toddlers like to write on themselves, and I could imagine that the tot would like the control I would be handing her if I stripped her down, handed her a marker, and gave her permission to do what I normally stop her from doing. So, armed with a Sharpie, I sat down with the tot and a giant pile of washable Crayola markers. We drew all over with the Crayolas and periodically I would reach in with the Sharpie and write a number or two on her tummy.

I thought I would have to be all stealthy, but the truth is that after a couple of times, she was fine with it. I finished the numbers and a note on her hand, reading “See Tummy,” wrapped up the marker play, and scooted her off to the bathroom, where we washed all of the marker off, except the important info.


It was the greatest victory of all time! Okay, maybe just that week. But still, my hat’s off to Parent Hacks. They are awesome. But so am I. My self-confident, multi-marker approach rendered the activity so mundane that we didn’t need to play markers in order to write on her again for the next game we took her to (Christmas Eve). Woo hoo!

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