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The pen war May 13, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in mommyfest, parenting & family, toddlers, writing/editing/blogging.
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I‘ve always had a great love for pens — all writing utensils, actually. Even from young, there was something about having a good pen that ranked among one of life’s important necessities. And while a perfectly sharpened, brand-new No. 2 pencil was a joy to write with, the pen was supreme. Make it a fountain pen and I was all a-tingle. Perhaps, it was a sign that I was destined to be a writer. Perhaps I was just a freak. Maybe both.

One can imagine then, the great pride I take in selecting my manual writing tools, even the mundane ones for daily writing tasks.

Both my husband and son are also quite enamored with my pens.

My son seems to think that any pen that I am writing with is the exact same pen that he must use. It doesn’t matter that I give him one that looks exactly like the one in my hand, it’s the one in my hand that he covets. This usually occurs at precisely the wrong moment, such as in the middle of a brilliant thought or a serious edit that warrants an explanation to the author. It is uncanny. I’ve learned however, to keep in my pocket, or stashed behind me several proxy pens, so that I can relinquish the one in my hand and temporarily appease the toddler who is compelled to write. Some battles are not worth fighting … and as far as toddler battles go, it could be much, much worse. Let’s face it, Mama’s tickled pink at his desire to write. And hey, he knows a good pen when he sees (and feels) it. (The boy wants no part of generic tube ball-point pens.)

Now, my husband, the notorious pen nibbler, likes my pens because, well … they’re nice. For me, it’s all about the weight of the pen, the way it writes, how smooth the ink flows (and without skipping). And depending upon the nature of the writing task before me, the size of the point (or nib, when I break out the fountain pen). A former pen-chewer myself, a habit that I eschewed shortly after the first explosion of ink all over my mouth, I realize that there is nothing quite as unprofessional as whipping out a pen to sign something, or give someone your card only to reveal that the back end of it looks as if someone tried to send it through a manual pencil sharpener and with all the success expected from such an endeavor. In fact, on occasion, we have had “words” about his pen chewing. His pens are fine to make a repast of; mine, however, not so much. Not at all, in fact. He wonders why I get my knickers in a twist about it, but then also wonders why the caps of his pens never quite seem to stay on while in the act of writing. Hmm … cause and effect maybe? To this effect, there are several containers of pens around the house and once a pen has been rendered a snack, that’s where it goes. (The funny thing, is that the 27-month-old isn’t the pen chewer. See? Destined to be a writer.) The crappy ones for anyone’s use go in the general areas like near the phone and near the front door. My pens, which are stashed in the various places that I write or edit. Michael’s pens, which are in with his crayons and other writing and coloring supplies. And then, there’s the super secret spot, for the ultimate of ultimates (at least for me anyway) — my fountain pen. It is strictly off-limits to them both.

Although were my pen-chewer to get a hold of it, I’m sure that he’d use his snacking as a way to appropriate it and claim it for his own. After all, all is fair in love and pen wars.



1. Allena - May 13, 2008

lol Erika! Ahh, those were good days. How you like the pretty weather around here lately? Gorgeous.

2. emsgeiss - May 13, 2008

Thankfully, the sun finally came out … but we should *not* need to wear jackets or sweaters outside in mid-May.

3. Thursday - May 14, 2008

I have a definite thing for writing with fountain pens — somehow I just write better with a good pen. This does mean, of course, that I find the need to buy many fountain pens, in many colors, just so that I always have a pen when I need one.

4. Dawn Allcot - May 15, 2008

Writes the girl with a typewriter as an avatar??? LOL 😉

I have the same love for pens that you do and so does TJ. He’s much better at picking out pens, though, because I tend to be more frugal… so I just let him buy the pens of his choice–then I steal them!

I used to chew my pens, until, just like you said, I realized how disgusting and unprofessional it looks. Now I either tend to just suck on them, or keep water on my desk to drink constantly to keep myself occupied. (Wow, is that TMI about my oral fixation? LOL)

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