When people ask, "What do the kids want for their birthday?" or "What do the kids want for Christmas?" my response is usually the same thing; anything but markers. Please, whatever you do, do not give my kids markers!

Inevitably, there's always one distant great Aunt who doesn't get the memo, and slips markers in to a stocking, or in with some cards, and then, well, this happens....

or this...

 or even this...I think this one was supposed to be "a half-elf, half-human with glasses." Or at least, that's what I was told, when I asked for an explanation. My mistake.

Sometimes they even write me notes....on the car seat of their grandmother's new car...

But my all-time favorite is when they decide there's no better canvas, than themselves. And so this happens...

You see, all of my kids like to practice with markers. All of them. In particular, that last little sassy-pants. She likes to use the youngest as a living piece of paper. I nearly spit out a mouthful of coffee the day she brought her sister in to the kitchen and said, "Look, Mom. I made her into a zebra!

But she's not alone. Her older sister set the example, starting very young. Her specialty was permanent marker. These are a few of my favorites:

I call this one the "Hulk Brow"!

And this one, "Cheeto Face"--orange permanent marker that had her resembling more of an Oompa-Loompa than my beautiful little girl.

I'm not even sure what she was going for here.

Unfortunately, they have not grown out of the habit, as this picture of my two eldest will prove.

Bottom line: Either they'll all be fantastic tattoo artists one day, or I'm going to have to invest in thousands of Magic Erasers to get them through to adulthood!

You know how they have signs posted out in the wild: Please Don't Feed The Animals?

 I want one to hang on my front door that reads: Please Don't Give My Kids Markers!