How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

My Kid Just Said… #12

Posted by , under "MY KID JUST SAID..."

Fatherhood TattooI got Finnegan’s name in the handwriting of my favorite author, Mark Twain. Click the photo to see it larger.

“Dada was dat?”

“That’s your name, Finn.”


“Because I love you.”


This is one of those interesting topics. I didn’t get a tattoo until my son was born. I always wanted one, but knew it had to have meaning that would never change. Did you get tattoos for your kids? How have you/are you handling talking to them about it?



Previous My Kid Just Said
Poopfingers. Says it all.

My Kid Just Said Facebook Page
This is where YOU can post YOUR kid’s quotes. Go for it!


55 Responses to “My Kid Just Said… #12”

  1. Pete G says:

    Have not done it for my kids. Question: How did you decide the font? I like it.

  2. JP says:

    I have decided that this is going to be my xmas present to myself… A tattoo with the roman numerals XXI-V-MMXII.

    Even at 6 months, Logan is already trying to pull my tattoos off, so I’m sure I’ll have a lot of ‘splaining to do. I have already decided that he will know all about when, where, how and why I got all of my pieces.

    He will also know why you need to wait a decent amount of time before you decide to permanently mark yourself with ink, as one of my big fears is him coming home with one at 16 with a movie logo or something fleeting.

    My brother, now passed, once told me when I asked him what tattoo I should get, “Take the picture that you want tattoo’d and print it out. Now put that picture on the bathroom mirror or somewhere that you will see it at least once a day. If after 2 years, you still like that pic, get the tattoo.”

  3. I ended up doing a half-sleeve devoted to my home-grown family (wife and kids) with a family tree thing woven in there. My kids’ and wife’s names lend themselves to easy symbolic representation and were wound together over a period of a couple years. They like looking at it and saying that picture is for me and that picture is for my brother. For me, it’s a representation of what I feel for my family.

  4. MikeB says:

    I have 9 month old twins and have been thinking about two water dragons (they were born in the year of the water dragon seem to love water…coincidence? heh) with some symbol of my wife and I. This will be my first tattoo but my wife has numerous. Lokuing forward to it, just in the process of selecting the shop and the art….

  5. I have a traditional tramp stamp and my 1.5 yr old tries to scratch it off when it peeks over my jeans. One day, my friend bent down on the floor to clean up the cat food that he made it rain with. He runs up to her, whips up the back of her shirt and pulls down the back of her pants to try and find her tattoo. Umm…she doesn’t have one. Can we say awkward?? I have no clue how to explain the concept!

  6. Dork Dad says:

    How did you explain the tattoo of your college girlfriend’s name at your bikini line?


  7. Mo says:

    I got a tattoo of a hen on my wrist this past spring in honor of my mom. All my siblings (5 of us) got tattoos in honor of our mom (all chickens except my brother). My kids love it. I can’t remember if they asked why I got it, my older one probably did and I’m thinking my response would have been I got it to remind me of my mom. My mom passed away when I was pregnant with my first son and we were very close. Every time I look at my tattoo it makes me smile, I love it. One day, when I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding again, I’ll get a tattoo for my kids, probably an apple tree with 3 apples for each child.

  8. Mo says:

    Oh and my 5 year old definitely asked if he could get a tattoo, I told him he’d have to wait till he was an adult, at which point he was welcome to do whatever he like. That some adults decide they don’t want a tattoo since it is permanent and never goes away. It’s a decision you have to wait to make when you are a grown up. He accepted that.

  9. Emily says:

    I have two in honor of my kids. The first one is their three names on my right bicep (got it about two months after my third son was born) and the second one is hard to explain–it’s sort of like a curlicue of vines with three stars on it. They’re small, medium and large, and they’re colored with my kids’ birthstone colors. That one is on the inside of my left forearm. My 2 year old loves it–he points to the stars and tells me which one belongs to which kid, then he kisses it and lays his head on it and says, “I like my tar!” (star)

  10. Jill says:

    I won’t get a tattoo. Ever. Because I don’t volunteer for pain, physical or otherwise. I have found that life gives me enough of it for free.
    But if I did, I would put “Do not embalm” across my chest.

  11. Kyle says:

    I used to wear a Maori Fish-hook necklace my mother brought me from New Zealand (Prosperity and safe travels over water, I enjoy fishing quite a bit) Never took it off. That finally broke, so I looked up some designs for a tattoo mimicking the design of my pendant.

    I found a tribal design that I liked, and then worked my wife’s first initial into it, as well as a little T (My son’s name is Thomas, and I have a picture of his cowlick as a newborn that made a slightly abnormal “T”, so that’s the shape his initial is)

    It also has a number “2” worked in because I am the second son of a second son πŸ™‚

    Unless I point them out, nobody knows they are there, and it’s an inner bicep tattoo, so nobody sees it unless I want them to. I got it for me.

    My son, at around 8 months, would lift my sleeve and point at it when I asked “Where’s dada’s tattoo?”. Needless to say the doctor at one of his appointments exclaimed “Well that’s a new one!” when we were showing off that he knows “Nose” and “Mouth” and whatnot.

    • Kyle says:

      On a side note, Tattoos are not for everybody. And I don’t judge on that fact πŸ™‚ I enjoy them, and plan on more. Me, my 3 brothers, and also my father all have the same tattoo (Family crest/motto) on our right shoulder blade area.

      • WeirdFish says:

        That’s awesome!

        • Kyle says:

          Thanks! It’s pretty cool to have that special something between all the guys. My sister is pretty jealous (being right in the middle of 4 boys) and didn’t understand that when she said she wanted to get the crest tattoo as a “Lower back” tattoo, I told my brother to rip up the design… Not on my watch she isn’t!

  12. Jess says:

    A few years ago, at the same time I got my super computer geek binary tattoo, I got Dylan’s first and middle name tattooed in the same typewriter font on the opposite arm. Once Dylan learned how to spell his name and recognize the combination of letters, his reaction was pretty hilarious with an, “OH NO, MOMMY! Will it wash off in da baff?!” To which I replied, “No, no, bud. I drew this for keeps.”

    Now he just looooooooooves to lick his finger and try to wipe it off my arm. Delicious.

  13. kevin says:

    My son’s name is Rowan and I have considered a Rowan tree in his honour, if I ever get around to it. I’d pick one of the old Celtic rowan tree motifs for our heritage.

    Either that or Rowan Atkinson. I think Mr. Bean’s big goofy grin learing at you from my shoulder would be a fitting tribute to my son, don’t you?

  14. Courtney says:

    Me husband and I are planning tattoos in honor of our son. I always wanted a tattoo, but like most other posters had a hard time finding anything important enough to memorialize on my skin – until I got married. So my first tattoo, at age 30, was our wedding date and time in a subtle font on my wrist, for all the world to see. We plan to symbolize our son in a similar way, but are still waiting for the perfect totem to reveal itself.

  15. dawn says:

    I’m stuck with a stupid tattoo I selected off the wall of a tat shop when I was 22. My husband is very anti-tattoo. I want one in honor of my kids (small & simple) but he already groans when one of them takes notice of my ankle tattoo & you know it will be my “fault” when they get a tattoo someday. I just hope my son chooses MOM scrolled across a heart as his first ink!

  16. Becky says:

    I have both of my sons footprints from the day they where born. I plan on putting them on my thigh with their initials in the arch of the foot and their birthdays over the toes. I have had this plan sense my first son (who is now 8) was born. Just waiting on the funds so it might be another 20 years before I get it. πŸ™

  17. Sara says:

    I have a friend that took the footprint of his newborn son they made in the hospital, had the artist make a flipped duplicate, and put the pair on his arm. I thought that was super cool.

  18. Seth says:

    I got my wife’s initials (her Maiden name initials) on my chest at my bachelor party. Yeah, I was drunk and feeling guilty for the earlier activities (no, nothing that bad, just drink magnifies my sentimentality) .. When our twin daughters came around a few years later I got their initials added just below hers after their first birthday. So now I’ve got the three most important ladies in my life always near to my heart figuratively and literally.

  19. Marina Oros says:

    I have a bunch of tattoos but the ones that are dedicated to my 2 boys are on too of my right foot, their zodiac signs, a tiny crab & a scorpion. In carton form, and on my right wrist I have their birthdays in Roman numerals!

  20. Meegs says:

    I have many tattoos. Including 2 for my daughter. Gwen calls them my “pretty pictures.” She loves looking at them, and loves wearing temporary tattoos so she can have her own pretty pictures.

  21. WeirdFish says:

    I’ve not gotten a tat for my boy…but then again, I also have a half-sleeve, so tats aren’t anything new for me (just that I prefer to keep my ink above the “business-professional” line of my elbow, for propriety’s sake).

    I’d love to get more (it IS an addiction), but it’s my wife’s turn. She’s got the few on her back, but she wants something more meaningful.

  22. Courtney says:

    I have 5 stars tattooed on the top of my right foot. One for my husband, myself and each of our kids (ages 11, 4, and 2). They’re each a different color and swirl pattern inside the star. The kids know which star is theirs, and the older two chose their color. This was my 3rd tattoo, and by far the one that means the most to me. I plan on getting one every decade to celebrate. Next will probably be a white ink tattoo. Oh, and I’m a mini-van driving, suburban soccer mom. πŸ™‚ Hubby is ink free.

  23. Jessica says:

    I was 23 when my son was born and I got his zodiac sign on my lower back for him. He’s so proud that mom has a tattoo just for him! My twin girls were born when I was 31 and I wanted to do something for them as well as my husband. I took a picture of a tattoo he has on his neck and took it to my guy who re-drew it and added 3 stars around it to represent the kids. Now my girls (3 y/o) like to say good night to my “birdie” tattoo and give it a kiss. And my son gloats that he has 2 tattoos and the girls only have 1. πŸ™‚

  24. beta dad says:

    I’m probably gonna get the twins’ portraits tattooed, one on each bicep, because that always looks awesome.

  25. Tina Reher says:

    I have a heart tattoed on the inside of my left wrist. The meaning of it is Love (that is rather obvious) but it also have a deeper meaning since my daughter has a heartcondition and as such the matters of the heart is pretty much always on our minds. It means that even ‘broken’ hearts can be healed and that we can live through everything having lived through this.

    How have I explained it to my Daughter? I tell her it can never ever come off Mommy’s wrist. That it hurt having it done and that it’s only something adults can do. Ofcourse from time to time it also means I have to take time to wash off various marker drawings off of her body but hey – that’s just ok. – and when she gets old enough to want one of her own, I’ll go with her.

    Actually it’s been harder to ‘explain’ my tattoo to one of my Boyfriend’s bosses. Apparently I was supposed to had asked my Boyfriend for permission before I had it done πŸ˜‰

  26. I always wanted a cricket (my nickname) on my ankle. Now that I have Lilly, I want to get a lily on my ankle, with a cricket sitting on the stem. I already have two other tattoos, so three might push me higher slightly in my badass status, but she’s worth it.

  27. I have a tattoo of a bird for my wife, and i’d like to get a tatt of a flower for my little girl, but i have not yet. Good tattoos aren’t cheap, cheap tattoos aren’t good.

  28. jame says:

    I have about 40% of my body tattooed and Elijah, my son, just flat out accepts it as normal. I got a tattoo of his name and he likes it alot. He doesnt know how they get there , but when he is ready i will tell him.

  29. Faman says:

    My daughter got her first for her 18th birthday and got her 2nd 6 months later, both her and her 15 yr old sister have been wanting to get matching mother-daughter-sister ones but again, I’m a chicken.
    I have been holding off getting one even though I’ve had the crude drawing of what I would like for years.
    Can I get lick and stick paper for my inkjet printer?

  30. Laurie says:

    My baby daddy is a rat on my ankle. The rat symbolizes him. It’s also nice because if we ever split, I don’t have a NAME on me lol! Once my baby’s personality starts to shine, he’ll get a symbol too, to represent him.

  31. Jenna says:

    I have six tattoos (and two more coming). I have one for my daughter that is a marigold (and peony) which is her birth flower, and the month & day of her birth. She knows its for her and loves it. She talks about getting tattoos when she gets “bigger and bigger.” We’ll have a serious talk when the time comes. I think having her know we both waited until we were older to get ours might help deter her. For a bit.

  32. Dawn Marie says:

    Both my husband and I have a few tattoos and my first son was really interested in them at about 18 months, but now, at two and a half, they don’t phase him.

    my son would say ‘dat mama dattoooooo’

    I have one planned out in horror of him, it will go on my lower leg: a multi-armed blue monster, with one eye and orange horns. He will be playing a guitar and a drum set, and holding a baseball bat.
    I had to wait till he got old enough to have a personality to match a tattoo to.
    I will get one for our other son with it when I figure out his personality.

  33. Michael Newman says:

    I did get tattoos for my kids – footprints from day of birth with names and dates. It’s one footprint for each so the two together make a pair. When it was just Sairshe and she was old enough to talk I told her that when she had a sibling the other footprint would be there.

    It’s cool because we can keep referring to my arm – where the tattoo is – to show them how small their feet were when they were born.

    Also, the tattoo for my kids was not my first nor my last. For them tattoos are just kind of normal. Frankly, in Portland, ink is pretty normal.

  34. Jayme says:

    I had a bunch before I had our daughter, so she’s always been aware of tattoos and what they are. I got an origami Japanese crane and her name in Katakana on my forearm (my husband, her dad, is Japanese), and she came with us to the shop when I got it done. She’s 2, so to her, stamps are tattoos too, so when she covers her arms in Hello Kitty! stamps, she says she has tattoos like mama. But when she gets older, we’ll explain that she can get one if she wants, when she’s 18, but not on her face. Or neck. Or hands or chest.

  35. TBone says:

    I got my kids names across my chest in Stonehenge font which is a Celtic font. It took me a while to decide what I wanted, which is interesting because I have full sleeves. I am going to get a background of all flowers though. I have 2 girls.

  36. Lydia. says:

    I did the same thing…Didn’t get a tattoo until my daughter was born.
    I got her silhouette, with a floral wreath, and her name.
    She’s only 1, so she doesn’t get it yet.
    But she does look at it and grab it a lot.
    I figured I’d just go ahead and start talking about it now!
    So, when she’s eyeing it, I usually just say, “That’s you, kid. That’s for you.”
    : )

  37. jen says:

    I have a girl skull and crossbones(cartoonish) with big pink bow on my left foot with my daughters birthdate, and a boy skull and crossbones with electric blue mohawk on my right foot with my sons birthdate on it. My two favorite tattoos. πŸ™‚

  38. Haley says:

    I have Jackson’s name in a very similar cursive font tattooed on my left hip.

  39. Jessica says:

    I want an asyymetrical ambigram of both my children’s names tattooed on my inner left wrist. I’ve got the design drawn out and everything, and have been settled in my decision for over a year. Unfortunately, when showing my mother in law the design recently, she hit me with some Catholic guilt about marking up my body. Now I’m going back and forth, worried about rightness but stuck on ‘I want’.

    • charlie says:

      You win by virtue of using the word “ambigram” on our site.

      The wrist is a very exposed place. “Marking” yourself is going to happen with scars, age and life experiences. Why not choose some for yourself?

  40. Cara says:

    I just found your blog due to your awesome Innnuendon’ts post! But wanted to comment on this one.

    Last spring my husband and I got matching tattoos that represent our kiddos. We both got 5~8 on the inside of our ring fingers (wedding band hand). The 5 represents our oldest son, his birthday is 2-27-06 8+27+06=41 4+1=5. The 8 represents our youngest son, his birthday is 2-7-08 2+7+08=17 1+7=8. The ~ means close to but not quite the same. They know it represents them and I love seeing it throughout the day and seeing it on my husbands hand too.

    I also have plans for a forearm tattoo it will be two trees, woven to make one (that’s me and husband) and two bird flying out (both boys).

    I really like the font you used on yours πŸ™‚ AND I’m happy to have found your blog!

  41. Mark says:

    I’ve been thinking about having them write their names, when they’re old enough to spell AND write and then have that converted into a tattoo.

  42. Andrea says:

    i got my daughter`s name on my ribs….

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.