Fear of Sharpies

Now that my kids are a little older, I notice that Sharpies are making their way into their possession. I find Sharpies lying on tables, spilling out of backpacks, scattered about the floor next to shoes.
When they were little, I owned perhaps two Sharpie markers, both of which were hidden in the garage, for my occasional use. I had visions of the Sharpie being found by preschool hands and used in unintended ways: doodling on the wall…or on the furniture. A visit to my preschooler’s friend’s home revealed wall scribbling, albeit with pencil, running the length of a hallway. I gasped, inwardly. How would a small child distinguish between a pencil and a Sharpie? There was my proof, thankfully, though, on another mother’s wall and not my own. It was decided: all Sharpies would remain hidden until further notice.
Lately I’ve been keeping the Sharpies concealed behind some of my things; stamps, craft scissors, an extra set of house keys, in an upper desk cupboard and not in the pens and pencil desk drawer. (I’m not kidding myself that they don’t know how to find the Sharpies if needed.) Although the kids are past the age where they’d be tempted to do wall art, I’m still jittery about the use of Sharpies in the house. If they can reach for another writing instrument, I’d prefer it. Accidents with Sharpies do happen: I recently read on a blog that a Sharpie marker got all over a mom’s new, microfiber couch. Desperate, she wrote in for help. I felt sick for her. Perhaps you can remove Sharpie markings from solid surfaces with nail polish remover, but it had better be the right surface, not porous and certainly not fabric.
School supply lists have requested a few Sharpies which I dutifully bought. But where have all these other Sharpies been coming from? It’s like they’re multiplying. I know I didn’t get ten of them, but there they are: black ones, red ones, blue ones, lying about my house. I can’t hide them all!
I guess it’s a letting go process for me. We talk about trusting our kids, giving them more responsibility…I suppose this means allowing them to own Sharpies – and to use them. Fear still nips at me when I see my middle school girl, seated at the (wooden) kitchen table vigorously shading in the subject name in her own design on a school binder with a black Sharpie marker. Making the word larger, darker, bolder. I didn’t say anything, willing my anxiety down, displaying Trust (although she was oblivious to it all) in her judgement to keep the marker on the binder only.
Until she was finished, and I saw the outcome of her hard work:

I guess we’ll see if that nail polish remover trick really works.


  1. Barbara Jacksier says:

    My little darling just turned 23. The trust keeps expanding (along with the fear!)

  2. Rachel M. says:

    oh that made me laugh!

  3. Felicia says:

    magic eraser…works great on it 🙂

  4. Drawn to The Sea says:

    Here's a Sharpie story for you… puppy chewing on one in the middle of the couch & a late nite trip to the Animal ER, just in case.

  5. Colleen says:

    I love this, Jeanne.

  6. Owlhaven says:

    I'm with you on the fear of sharpies. I hide them too!

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