Maybe I’m alone in this feeling, but whenever I see a baby room decorated with block letters or stenciling that spells out the kid’s name, I want to pull out my hair and scream. I want to scream WHY? Why do parents do this?
Don’t they know their own kid’s name? Do they think they might forget because they call the baby sugar-pumpkin or sweetie-pie? Are they plum out of interior decorating ideas?
When I’m out touring property, I often see this phenomenon. It’s certainly not a requirement of home staging. Kids are named Jennifer, Kyle, Jamie or Gracie. I figure that’s their name when I see it inscribed above the crib or bouncing out at me in big, fat letters. It seems presumptuous and in-my-face.
A home I looked at yesterday had the name Gracie on the bedroom wall. It made me wonder if maybe the dad wanted to call the kid George -- same number of letters and all -- but the mom insisted on Gracie. Or maybe that’s how Johnny Cash came to write A Boy Named Sue. The name was already on the wall, so nobody bothered to change the kid’s name.
It’s not like the kid can read it or even see it from the crib. Because if little Gracie could stand up high enough to reach it, she’d probably pull those blocks right off the wall.
Reminds me of when I was a kid. My parents hung shadow-box shelving on my wall, made up of two squares overlapping each other. Each of the little square shelves held a doll from a foreign country. This was very popular in the 1950s. Of course, I was not allowed to touch it. Which was ridiculous. Nobody in their right mind can expect a five-year-old girl to keep her hands off a doll, much less a doll dressed in native clothing from another country. I was fascinated. All I can tell you is that after I carefully unpinned and removed the kimono on the Japanese doll, I spent hours trying to figure out how to piece it back together so my mom wouldn’t notice. It didn’t work out as I had hoped. The doll looked like it had been run over by a train. I caught holy hell for touching the thing.
But my name wasn’t over my crib. If it had been, I would have scribbled in magenta crayon “has been a bad girl” after Elizabeth.
Maybe these parents who feel the need to proclaim the name of their kid to the world are the same parents who hire nannies. Many of my clients have hired nannies. Which is understandable if both parents work outside the home. But in many cases, at least one parent is home during the day.
I showed a home earlier this week to a buyer where it was evident the seller had kids. Each of the baby rooms was decorated with the requisite names on the walls and toys scattered about. The mother was taking her dog for a walk when I arrived. There were no babies anywhere in the house. I began to wonder if she was hiding them in the basement or attic, but it was too quiet. I assume they were in day care. Or maybe she asked the nanny to take them for a stroll around the park, affording her the opportunity to spend the day in solitude, playing with the dog or perhaps meeting with other moms at her spinning class.
I don’t know why this bothers me. Maybe deep down inside I want all these mothers to suffer like my mother, who had to handle four screaming kids day in and day out. Or maybe it’s the lack of direct attention and supervision of their children that makes parents feel as though they need to compensate somehow, and that’s why they put their kids’ names on the walls. It says, “See, you’re special to us. Now go to sleep.”
Well, good night, Gracie.
Certified HAFA Specialist
Sacramento Real Estate Listings
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.
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Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.