Payton has been asking about tattoos since he was about three years old. Matt and I both have tattoos and we've already come up with our policy on tattoos for our boys.
They may have one when
1) They can present an idea and design that means something to them.
2) They want the same design for more than 1 year.
3) They may NOT have any cartoon character or person's name other than a relative.
I guess we're trying to ensure mature tattoo making decisions. If that's possible. My parents outlawed all tattoos and therefore, as soon as I turned 18, I had one.
Today at school, one of Payton's classmates gave out temporary tattoos for their birthday. Payton, knowing that real tattoos hurt, has always been hesitant about even the temporary kind. When I picked him up, he gave it to me and said he didn't want it. Through a few questions I found out he thought it was "the hurting kind".
I decided the only way to solve this problem was to visit a real tattoo store. Right now. Before I forgot (I do that a lot). So, we went straight from school to Rock Star Tattoo, not far from our house. As we pulled in, he again asked if it was going to hurt. I promised I wouldn't let anyone hurt him and he FIRMLY took my hand and we entered the shop.
Thankfully, it was a very nice and clean store. There wasn't anything a five year old shouldn't see hanging on the walls and the man behind the counter seemed as "clean cut" as a tattoo artist can be. Cezar introduced himself and, inquisitively, asked if he could help us. I'm sure he was curious as to why I was bringing my five year old into the shop.
I explained our problem and he asked Payton if he'd like to see a tattoo machine. Payton said "yes" right away and Cezar laughed and took us to his tattoo room. He held the little machine in his hand and explained where the tube and needle went and how it plugged in. He showed Payton all the ink colors and then showed him a book of (thankfully, appropriate) tattoos that he had done.
When Payton was satisfied, Cezar, still laughing, asked if he'd like to see a tattoo being done. Payton, again, agreed. He kindly asked permission from the recipient in the next room and we went in to see her receiving a tattoo of a heart and star on her lower back. Payton asked a few questions about why it hurt and why she was bleeding, but didn't seem scared at all.
When Payton was again satisfied with the process, Cezar led us out of the room back to the lobby and handed Payton a business card. He said he should hold onto that until he was grownup and wanted to get a tattoo. We left the shop and Payton said he was VERY happy to know "sticker tattoos don't hurt" and he "can get a grownup tattoo when he's bigger".
Cezar was still laughing when we left the store. I'm sure our visit isn't the norm. When we got home, Payton wanted his sticker tattoo on after all.