Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fences - And Other Minutiae of Parenting

Mollie writes

A friend of mine was in a dilemma about some money she and her husband had managed to save for a home improvement. First, let me congratulate her, saving money and having four wee ones simultaneously is a feat of Herculean proportion. I have no idea how she did this on a SAHM budget, but, there you have it, she did.

(Pause and bow)

The dilemma was whether to build a fence or a tool shed. Right there, I was in a tizzy because both are really critical purchases. Fences help keep the baddies out and the sweeties in. Tool sheds are great places to store tools (go figure) and other dangerous accoutrements of home ownership.

What's a SAHM to do?

What's a MOLLIE to do? In the end, I figured that a gal who was smart enough to budget her money well enough to save a bit for a home improvement didn't need much advice from ME (Mother Emeritus). So I piped down, but, when she made her decision I just about popped with pride.

She and her husband went for the fence. Their kids are of an age where letting them run free in a fenced back yard is the ultimate in blessings. No little feet will adventure out of a back yard with a fence (or at least not as quickly). It's easier to house break a dog when you have a fenced yard. Strangers see the fence and wonder if the parents are actually vigilant about their kids . . . the list goes on.

Fences make quiet statements. "This is where we begin" is a good one. "We buy fences, not designer clothes" makes another statement. It tells people that you are proud, protective and private. "No quick get away" is another - imagine having to boost your booty (both your keester AND your swag) over a 5 foot fence when being chased by an angry homeowner/parent.

It had to be hard, however. Now where to keep the drills, saws, mowers, chemicals and other dangerous accessories? A shed makes a statement to the kids as well. They see that shed, with the lock and the absent key, and know that there are places that are out of their reach. They know that there are adult issues that are not safe for them.

There were really no bad choices here. But my personal fave was the fence. You can build a cabinet relatively cheaply and hang it in your garage/carport. A simple lock on the door, and voila, no curious fingers 'sploring.

So, here's to you, Mom and Dad, another tough decision masterfully adjudicated.

Mazel tov!


  1. That SAHM certainly sounds terrific, lovely, brave, wonderful and spirited.

    She also still wants a shed, as she has no car port or garage. The drills are in her kitchen cupboards (tied closed with a bit of cord), the extra wood for home improvement projects is taking up precious space in her living room and entry way and the lawn mower is hiding in the back of the house.

    Did she mention the electric saws and extension cord sitting on the bottom shelves of the baker's rack? :D

  2. We've always had a 'shop' room - where we stored tools, etc. But after 15 years in the same place, we also ended up with TWO sheds. By the time I'd collected my gardening arsenal and John stored his seldom used sports equipment (archery, scuba stuff, etc. etc. etc.),

    I kept the house spotless, but those storage areas . . . ripe for an episode of Clean House!!!!!


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