Thursday, May 29, 2008

Respecting Property

As most of you know I am getting closer to 60 and am wondering if I am not an old fashioned in my ways.

Recently on the Frugal Living Forum there was a post about painting the interior of the house because the kids had been pretty hard on the walls. Several women made a comment about their young children had written and doodled on the walls that it was time to paint them.

Another gal made a comment how the walls needed freshening up in her house as the fingerprints, grim and scars from the children’s wear and tear looked pretty bad. There were several posts commiserating on these comments.

These remarks left me scratching my head, as I am wondering if people forgot how to respect the property they are working so hard to pay the mortage on. Why would you allow your children to write on the walls and abuse their property? What happened to pride in your home and all the hard work it takes to keep it looking nice and clean?

IF, as a child, I would have had the courage to even think about writing, coloring, painting or marring my Mother's walls in anyway……………I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN TROUBLE!

Mom was a single parent and worked hard to save to build our 1st house. She was fastididiouss and expected me to learn to be also. Her attitude was if I had to clean up the messes I made, I would make fewer. There was not the attitude of "kids will be kids"; they are going to be messy, doodle and write where ever they feel like it or run their grimy little hands along the hallway walls and smudge dirt around the light switches, spill milk on the floor etc.

After playing a sweaty game of ball it is necessary to use the bathroom and only naturally my grimy little paws, and those of my friends, would be slid down the hallway walls.
Have you noticed it is impossible for children not to lean against a corner or wall while asking to have friends over or perhaps go for ice cream? It is like the wall and you MUST support each other. A few summer evenings of the first year in the new house were spent washing grimy fingerprints off the hallway walls. I may have made a bigger mess on the floors, but Mom was making a point and teaching me respect for taking care of what I was blessed with…a nice home.

I wish I would have a dime for every time Mom told me to keep my hands off the walls AND to tell my friends they do not to put their hands on the walls either. Yes, I did tell my little friends I would be “killed” if the walls were touched!

To this very day, I wash my walls at least once a year and every few months or so wash around the light switches and around the door knobs etc. It is just general cleaning. Since I love decorating I might paint every 4-5 years, but it is not to cover up disrespect and dirt, nor has it been when I have had small children.

Think about it. It is about respect and taking care of the property you are working hard to pay the mortgage on. How much does it save you in grief and even embarrassment to take care of your home? How much does soap and water cost? How much time and money does it save you by not having to paint? What does it teach your children?

My blog and my thoughts……………


Maggie said...

Hey Gayle,
I had some of the same thoguhts on that thread. Last year I was wahing the walls in my house before putting it ont he markey. I have wiped down walls in my new house a couple of times. I need to look closer and assign one of my boys to wipe downt he wall behind the bench at one side of the kitchen table. Mine are old enough to do such a job.

It is interesting to note how the former Housewives anve become stay at home Moms. The focus has shifted from the house to the kids. The more important entity is the kids and not the house. This has good and bad consequences. I don't think making the house a museum-quality house where you can't tough anything is the answer, but some moderation is in order. Clean shortly after a mess is made. Find ways to keep the kids from messing there...

Jackie said...

I agree, I usually wash my walls at least twice a year. I usually paint when I want a change not to cover up anything.