You don't know me. I just wanted to talk with you a bit about sh*t. I deal with a fair bit of sh*t in my day - both literal and figurative. I have two small babies so there's upwards of 12 nappies a day right there, and many of them are the pooey kind. And it's not just wipe and chuck, you know. I haven't gone as far as cloth nappies, but I try to do the right thing by my local garbage collectors, and the earth, by flipping as much of the poo into the loo before I toss the nappy in the bin. Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond my control, some of the contents escape the nappy, or one of my girls decides they've gotta go right at the time the nappy is off. Then there's sh*t to clean off floors and baths and other surfaces.
I've also got a three-year-old. She's toilet-trained and has very few accidents. But - and you probably don't have to think about this sort of thing - the average three-year-old isn't quite dexterous enough to wipe their own little bum. So their mums and dads have to do it for them. More sh*t.
Then there's the figurative sh*t. There's food to be cleaned off high chairs and tables, paint and texta and crayon off any number of surfaces, general mess and debris and detritus to be wiped and sorted and tidied. And there's the tantrums, the whining and moaning, the negotiating and arranging and pleading. All kinds of sh*tty stuff, especially after a long day on very little sleep. It's just part and parcel of having kids, I guess. They're messy creatures, they're emotional, they're human.
But, you know, I'm trying my best. I try to enjoy my days and be patient and loving and caring. I don't always succeed, but I think on the whole I'm doing OK and I love watching my little ones blossom and thrive. I think a lot about the sort of people I want them to grow into, the things I need to teach them. A big one for me is respect. I try to encourage them (mostly the three-year-old at this stage) to respect themselves and other people. And to respect their toys and books and other belongings, as well as other people's belongings.
Which is why this, scrawled on the front wall of my house...
..has p*ssed me off so much. Because you have shown absolutely no respect for something of mine. This is my home. I don't own it, but for the time being it is the place I am raising my girls and teaching them the sorts of values I mentioned above. It's the place where we sleep and eat and play and laugh and scream and cry. And for however long we're here, it is the place I want my family to feel secure and safe and happy. And what you've done takes from that just a little bit.
I get the graffiti thing. I know that it's all about 'art' and 'statements' and being 'who you are' and 'expressing yourself'. I get that you need a large canvas, that an A3 spiral-bound watercolour pad won't do. I get that it needs to be public and a little bit edgy, a bit controversial. But I've seen some fantastic graffiti that is all of that stuff AND beautiful AND expressive and clearly the work of someone with talent. All you've done is scrawl a few messy words on someone's private property. Man, I perfected those bubble letters in fourth class on the title pages of all my schoolbooks.
I don't know who you are and I could draw all sorts of stereotypical conclusions about you - young, disaffected, rebellious, unemployed, bored. But I actually don't care. What you've done is just boring and annoying. How would you feel if I came and smeared the contents of a day's worth of dirty nappies on your bedroom wall? You'd probably feel angry and a bit violated. You'd probably wonder why someone would bother doing that. But ultimately, you'd just be cleaning someone else's sh*t off your wall, which is what I'm gonna have to spend a couple of precious hours doing tomorrow.
So thanks for that.