Monday, June 07, 2010

the battle of the sidewalk chalk

So one day Jasper is drawing on the sidewalk with his sidewalk chalk, no big deal, he does it every so often as children do,and I get approached on my back porch by our new apartment manager. She proceeds to tell me that the chalk is tacky and takes away from "curb appeal". She says it's not allowed and not to do it anymore. I was mad, we lived here for 2 years, a third of Jasper's life, and in that time it has always been ok to draw with sidewalk chalk.
So I argued with her about it. She said it was in my lease that it was not allowed, which I said give me proof. Later that day she arrived(with a manager from another complex) with a copy of of a page from my lease with this sentence highlighted, "Tenants shall not interfere with the rights, comforts or convenience of other tenants.".
I told her that I fail to understand how temporary sidewalk chalk drawings would be impeding any of those. The other manager then started saying it was defacement of private property. They kept changing their reasons as I logically argued why their reasons were invalid.
It all was ridiculous, and just angered me. When she first approached me it made Jasper cry because he thought he did something wrong, this made me want to fight this. Also Jasper wasn't the only child drawing but she chose to single me out.
I was speaking with the other parents about this and one of them contacted the District Manager of the properties. To her credit this woman came out the next day to check out the issue.
I got a text that the District Manager was outside so I went out to talk to her. I had a great discussion with her while the manager was present. I presented my argument well and let her know my frustrations with the current management. She was extremely nice and helpful.
Cut to two weeks later....
I receive the apartment newsletter, on the front it says that the area, that Jasper got in trouble for drawing on, is now the designated chalk drawing area, and all children are welcome to draw there.
It felt good to win the battle of the sidewalk chalk and now Jasper and friends draw with a smile knowing it's ok and no one will tell them differently.


Anonymous said...

Right On!

Daddy Dudley

Suanne said...

Chalk one up for the little guys!

Love, Gramma

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a certain car accident which court case you won. I'm proud of you son. You deserve your win.

Love You,