Ben’s Purple Mustache


Adultitis was kicking our butt.

It had been exactly a month since Virginia Rose was born. A good month, to be sure, but also a long one. Weary of the bitter cold weather, our entire family was tired of being cooped up, and the older two kids were passing time by pushing our buttons. Two-year-old Ben had a streak of purple under his nose, a colorful souvenir from “smelling” the markers we used to keep him quiet. Although we pined for an afternoon at a Florida beach, it was decided that going out to lunch was the best we could hope for today.

As I went to wipe the marker from Ben’s face, Kim made some comment about him looking a bit like Hitler. Then she said, “I wish we could just draw mustaches on our kids, wouldn’t that be awesome?”

“It would be,” I agreed.

“Why don’t we?” she asked.

I could tell by her tone that she was kind of serious. And so I paused to ponder a serious response.

“Because of what other people might think,” I answered.

Before I even finished the sentence, I knew what I had to do.

“Give me that purple marker,” I said. After glancing to confirm it was the washable variety, I removed the cap and called Ben over. Then I drew a bold and curly mustache on my son. Although he cooperated, it’s fair to say he had no idea what I was doing.

“Ok.” I proclaimed. “NOW, let’s go to lunch.

And we did, with our purple mustachioed son in tow.


It did garner some attention. No calls from DCFS, as Adultitis had warned. Instead, the people who noticed universally responded with smiles of delight at my oblivious son who looked like a tiny ringleader in a circus sponsored by Willy Wonka. And it was awesome.

Here’s a tip: If you are faced with an opportunity to do something, and the only reason you don’t is because of what someone else might think, you can be certain that Adultitis is up to no good. If you are serious about winning this war, and you are desirous of living an amazing story, you must do that very thing, without hesitation. You must.

Family with spring fever and three kids, five and under: 1, Adultitis: 0.

Share a time when YOU did something fun without regard to what other people might think. Leave a comment below!

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  1. Steven says:

    Ride the Ducks. It’s a program where they give city tours on amphibious vehicles that work as a bus on the city streets, and then slide into the water and become a boat. Before boarding, each passenger gets a duck whistle which looks like a duck bill and sounds like a duck quacking when you blow it. As we rode down the busy streets of Seattle, our tour guide had us blow our duck whistles regularly, drawing many smiles from passersby. I am taking you guys when you come to Seattle. Even though I live in the area, I learned more about the city, and had fun learning it, than any other method of learning. Definitely more fun than a stuffy classroom where the teacher doesn’t even bother making a pun, treating the street like a roller coaster, or making everyone in the classroom quack randomly. Either that or “quack” up laughing.

    • Had a chance to do the same thing when in Philadelphia last summer. Although it rained, it couldn’t dampen our childlike spirits!

  2. Laurie says:

    Crossing a parking lot with my (then) teenage and almost-teenage daughters, I invited them to skip with me to the car. Of course, they were appalled, but it was so much fun, and a pretty good workout, too! I did it once or twice again right after, but now it’s been years. I think it’s time to do a little skipping!

  3. Missy Brown says:

    My husband and two sons were notorious for pretending to be from England when we were in the grocery store. They loved honing their accents while receiving weird glances from others.

  4. Stacie Hackl says:

    Would have been better if all of you had purple mustaches!

  5. Onaysha says:

    I let my soon to be 7 yr old daughter ride in the front seat of the grocery cart, while grocery shopping, lol. She kept asking can she ride in it, so I’m like you kno what sure your legs might almost touch the ground but hey let’s go for it. Lol I got alot of snares that night but it was hilarious, I could care less what people thought. She finally decided to get out after she said mommy it’s starting to feel uncomfortable sitting in here, lol but hey she enjoyed the ride while it lasted.

  6. paula evenson says:

    I love this !!!!! I also had 5 children under 5. I loved doing things like this with them. I am 69 this month, still love to do this type of thing with them. always, paula

  7. What is it about purple that is so much fun?! I have a very long day of meetings tomorrow and will be wearing my lilac and royal purple striped toe socks to counteract the ‘adult-ness’ of the day. Somehow, my ‘silly’ clothes cheer me up EVEN MORE when no one else can see them; they are part of my secret identity, my super suit that makes me well nigh invulnerable to…whatever. Bureaucracy, boredom, defensiveness: it all just bounces right off…because I’m wearing purple toe socks inside my very professional looking boots! LOL!

  8. Melissa says:

    The year my son was 3 he refused to dress up in a costume for Halloween, so the year he turned 4 I was just hoping he would cooperate and dress up so we could take him Trick or Treating for the first time. I bought a costume of one of his favorite characters and brought it home and he refused to even try it on. His dad said that maybe if he was able to pick it out himself that would make the difference. So that is what we did. And three weeks before Halloween he wanted to try it on and loved it so much he didn’t take it off. He wore it from the moment he woke up until he went to bed that weekend. So, when we needed to do the weekend shopping he was still in his costume and I asked him if he would be wearing it to the store. He said yes, so I let him wear it out shopping for the day. He was happy dressed up as a Power Ranger and was eager to tell anyone who asked him about his costume. I just walked around with a smile on my face thinking how great it was that he was so carefree to be what he wanted and wear what he wanted without a second thought. And I was proud of myself, as an adult, to let him be himself and not make him take off the costume because of what other adults might think.

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