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The Handwriting Is On The Wall

I wrote on the walls when I was a child.

I got my butt whooped a lot when I was a child.

I learned writing, drawing, marking, or defacing the walls in any way was a bad thing. Bad for my Mom, and really bad for me.

Cleaning writing off the walls is not an easy task. I speak from experience.

I no longer write on the walls. Even though the walls are mine and I can write on them freely if I want to. But if I did I would whoop my butt, make myself clean the walls, then I would put me in time out. I’d also be very mad at myself.

Having spent too much time cleaning walls, imagine my shock when my dear friend Margaret announced that she had become a big time writer of words on walls.

She encourages people to do this.

She advocates it.

Hell, she even sells the stuff to put the writing on the walls.

She is now a consultant for Simply Said Designs.

Have you seen this stuff?

It’s words. Huge words. Colored words. For walls.

As an adult, how could I ever teach my children not to write on the walls when I am doing it?

Doing it boldly?

With great joy, lack of fear, and total freedom.

Sure it looks pretty.

The words are nice.

The penmanship is gorgeous.

But it’s still writing.

On the walls!

She wants us to purchase this stuff to put these words, ON THE WALLS.

Purchase as in pay money.

Money to put writing – ON THE WALLS.

It may sound like I have a problem with her new venture. Not at all. I wish her the best of luck.

I’m just not sure how much success she will have getting people of my generation to write on the walls. Much less pay money to do it.

If she comes to my house and puts words on my wall she may just find herself scrubbing them back off as soon as she gets out of time out.

From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
© 2010 All Rights Reserved

About Wanda Argersinger


  1. I had a friend back in Grand Forks (she was a school teacher, no less) who put some sort of erasable paper on one wall in her kids’ bedroom. We all thought it was a brilliant idea–until the kids started drawing on other walls too. They couldn’t figure out why it was ok to do it on one wall but not on others. The best laid plans of mice and men–or moms!
    Janet Elaine Smith, multi-genre author

  2. Margaret is going to get her butt whooped! lol
    Another hilarious post, Miss Wanda! Love the two first sentences…

  3. Time out and a whooping? Geez louise you are brutal! hahaha I will be sending you your very own desing soon..to hang on YOUR WALLS!! I laughed like a crazy cat lady in the car reading this!! You never fail me Wanda..just when I need to laugh..there you are!!!!!

  4. hmmmmm, I agree with Dawn and think that the memories of the punishment(s) I received as a child would prevent me from putting any kind of writing on the walls….the thoughts of that punishment makes me want to run to my room now….LOL

  5. I would put up a wall of eraseable paper and have the kids write on it; “I will not write on walls”

  6. One whooping was enough to teach me not to write on walls. So I doubt if I’ll pay someone $$ to write on mine. But then, her design is prettier than my pre-school writing and a lot of what passes for art. Great story, Wanda. Hilarious! Thanks for the laughs.

  7. haha – I’m with Sharon. Though I was never in the house long enough to write on the walls as a kid, it’s something that’ll never be in my house. After all, it’s not like a picture you can move around when you decide to redecorate.

  8. Hey Wanda, the grandkids wrote all over the ceiling in my bedroom. God,I love it! Every time I look up I think of them and it warms my heart.
    After too man close calls,I once took a tube of red lipstick and wrote a note on our kitchen walls right over the stove. It was a reminder for someone to “Turn off the damn burners.”

  9. Writing on the walls is right up there with dog earring a page in a book, laying a book open face down, going to bed with make-up on, drinking milk with fish. You just don’t!
    If I can still remember those, shouldn’t be too hard to keep the kids on the straight and narrow. Guess a whooping at the most impressionable time might not hurt also. Good job! Always read your stuff.

  10. When our first son got to the age of wall writing, my wife told him, “Just wait till your Daddy gets home.” She told me all about it and had him lined up next to it to await the whooping.

    Actually, he had drawn a picture and this was “My Boy” afterall. I asked him to explain the drawing to me then told him how great a job he had done. I proceeded to put a frame on the wall around it. This was no less like whooping his mother, but I told him no more wall works until I said it was OK.

    I went to the toy store and found a large piece of white plastic to attach to the wall. We let him draw there and we could erase it and he could draw some more.

    He didn’t turn into a great artist, but did become a design engineer for Honda of America.

  11. This is such an interesting piece and it made me think a lot. I remember listening to Tomie DePaola, famous children’s author speak. As a young boy he was sat in the corner a lot for misbehaving. He would draw on the walls when he was there. His mother never cleaned off his pictures and they remained all through the time she was alive. He is now a famous illustrator and author and those childhood drawings are a precursor to his success.
    Also, we were told never to write in books. Now, as readers and writers, I never sit down without a pencil and highlighter when I read. But I still don’t think I would want my kids to write on the walls.

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