Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Zoe vs. Sticker Shock

Literally, stickers. I'm not referring to inflated prices, because to Zoe, money is no object. Though it's occasionally been mistaken for food.

You've never seen The Incredible
Mr. Limpet

Sticker shock is a state of being. For me. For the Husband. For the walls and the furniture. And for the rug.
But not the cat.
In fact, she's the only thing in the apartment, animate or inanimate, to remain unaffected by Zoe's obsession with stickers. For one thing, Harley routinely runs from Zoe (her only exercise). And for another, she's the only self-cleaning organism who's got enough time on her hands (paws) to be thorough.
Therefore, unlike Harley, the Husband and I are covered in stickers---clothes, hair, skin. It's as if Zoe's attempting to mummify us, one smiley face or sparkly star at a time.
Stickers appear on every surface Zoe can reach. Stars and hearts line the windowsill and the coffee table. Fire engines, hydrants, and Dalmatians dot the TV stand. Smiley faces stick to the bottoms of my socks, still there after I wash them.
I pull back my bedcovers and, surprise!, a little pink heart. Or Foofa, waving hello.
The living room rug has perhaps suffered the most. Star of David stickers Zoe got from the Jewish book fair are ground into it; they combine with other stickers plus dirt and hair.
Once, when I vacuumed, I got rid of a lot of them. If I should ever vacuum a second time I'll hopefully get more.

This picture is worth a 1,000 words, all of them the same.

Zoe's favorite thing to do with her stickers is to re-stick them. The problem is, stickers don't retain their stickiness. If you can even peel them off without ripping them. So Zoe gets upset. Her frustration has three phases.
1) She gets upset if she can't remove a sticker, so I have to peel it off for her, but  sometimes then it . . .
2) Rips. More drama.
If it doesn't rip, she places it in some new spot or, more likely, back in the same exact spot, and we repeat sticking and re-sticking until . . .
3) The sticker loses its stickiness and she sinks into despair, hurling harsh recriminations against me, her hapless dealer.
But sometimes Zoe doesn't want to stick her stickers anyplace in particular and prefers to put them on her fingers, one on each, and then attempts to switch them around, using fingers WITH STICKERS ON THEM to rearrange the other stickers, which leads to stickers sticking to stickers and thus, more and more and more drama. 
Growing tired of sticking them to herself, realizing how it limits her agency, she begins sticking them on us.
Down our arms and legs. On our clothes. Toodee and Muno and Broby circling my elbow. Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and Geo climbing up my leg. Stars, one memorable occasion, on my face in a goatee formation.

Sexy times!

Eventually I remembered Colorforms, aka, reusable stickers, and thought I'd discovered the treatment for sticker shock. So I bought Zoe a Melissa & Doug version with animals and dinosaurs and vegetation to be placed in their appropriate tableaus: jungle, farm, ocean depths, prehistoric tar pit. But guess what? She didn't stick them in the scenery book. She didn't stick them on furniture or on us. Instead, she stuck them to the magnetic board I'd put up outside her room, and which used to hold all her magnets.

This exact one!

What happened to the magnets? you ask. You got me. I haven't seen them in a long time. I think they disappeared around the same time I vacuumed.
Zoe: 35; Universe: 0


  1. Can I confess that Henry got stickers for his birthday and December and I've hid them? Because I can't. I just can't. Also, magnets were nearly all eaten or chewed beyond oblivion by my dog. I live in a zoo.

    1. Haha. I used to hide a lot of things....stickers, play-doh, bubbles . . . I gave up. And my cat eats crayons too. What is the attraction?

  2. Ugh, seriously- we have had months when we've banned sticker use altogether because we Just. Can't. Take it. Anymore. :) They are helpful on airplane trips!

    1. I'm at about that point. Spent way too much of my weekend trying to scrape stickers off furniture. And then Grandma bought her more!

  3. Love the sticker goatee!! I want one! Thanks for visiting my site and listening tomy ParentZ Bop parody. Cheers!

    1. Luckily you, too, can get a sticker goatee. My crafts are so easy you don't even need instructions.