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Why GeekDad Gives us Sticker Shock

By jeannesager |

stickersHis list of what not to let your kids take on a car trip is silly and spot on, but we can’t help feeling bad for GeekDad over here at Strollerderby. It seems he was deprived a prime bit of childhood realty.

By his own account: stickers were a scarce commodity in his day.

From his latest column: “I don’t remember stickers being such a big thing when I was a kid. Yes, we had them, but they seemed less common and were therefore more prized. You didn’t just slap a sticker on anything, you made sure the surface was worthy. I don’t know if its the advances in cheap printing or the fact that destinations feel obligated to give every kid at least something as a takeaway, but sticker use is epidemic.”

I thought perhaps it was my generation, but I checked in with a Strollerderby colleague who is ten years older than me, and we came to an agreement: stickers have ALWAYS been a big deal. Or at least they were as big a deal for most of today’s parents as they are for most of today’s kids.

And they’re used in much the same manner. In the way that my daughter landed in a time out just last week for covering the top section of her princess toy box in the foam dinosaur stickers left over from the crown decorating table at her birthday party (I blame myself for ever letting those foul things in my house), I remember my own run ins with the parental hand of the law for sticker plastering infractions.

Details are hazy, but a toilet seat, a sheet of “Jeanne” stickers and a swift hand across my behind still stand out in my mind. Oops.

Stickers may well have gotten cheaper (the foam ones, in particular landed in my house because a whole bucket was just a buck at the dollar store). But my informal survey shows that as long as there was sticky stuff, kids have been gumming up the works.

Because to people of a certain height, the desire to slather a sheet of paper with stickers is human . . . to cover a closet door looks simply divine.

What sticker trouble did you get up to when you were a kid?

Image: Dusty Reagan via Flickr

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About jeannesager



Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at

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0 thoughts on “Why GeekDad Gives us Sticker Shock

  1. PlumbLucky says:

    Metal closet door and wood dresser. Those were the most outstanding sticker jobs in our house, or at least they meritted the most punishment!

  2. Courtney says:

    I also covered my (very expensive…what were my parents thinking?) dresser with stickers, including the sticky labels that bound new socks. The stickers I understand, even now…there’s just something wonderful about covering things in stickers. What I haven’t been able to figure out was why I filled the drawers of that same dresser with cocoa powder. Ah well, at least my clothes smelled faintly of cocoa for the next few years.

  3. Hamilton Doula says:

    Stickers as a tool of parenting is a very 90s thing. Stickers as childhood entertainment are a much more late 70s, early 80s thing. I prefer stickers as a tool for political expression, personally :)

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