"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

My Trouble with socks

by Julie on March 19, 2012

in Adventures in Parenting

mismatched socks

No two socks are the same...

This isn’t a blogpost about cooking. It’s a post about socks.

Specifically about the four dozen socks in my house that do not match at all, and why every single time I wash socks, half of them disappear. It’s about why neither of my kids can ever find socks that match, or fit, in the morning scramble, even though I am eternally washing said socks.

I can’t be the only mother out there in this great land with sock issues.

The other night I dumped a huge load of clean laundry onto the living room floor to fold. I threw the socks into a pile to sort later. When I got to the socks I laid them all out one by one.  There were, by my count, 14 socks.

Out of these 14 socks I was able to pull two (2) matching pairs.

To use the parlance of our times: WTF.

This pile of ten unmatched socks was a small fraction of the total number of socks in the household. I buy a 12-pack of white crew socks for boys and girls every six months, it seems, and they promptly disappear without trace, probably to where all the pacifiers ares still hiding.

I know there are socks in every room of the house; in the closets, under the couches, hiding in the laundry room, in various drawers and very rarely the drawers they’re meant to be in. If I could muster the courage to check underneath beds I’m sure I’d find great infestations of socks, and probably mutant offspring.

This sock issue has recently hit critical mass. There are NO socks, apparently, to be found that either A.) fit or B.) Match. My kids being my kids, matching is not such an issue. They would like comfortable socks without holes that fit their feet, however, and I agree that is not too much to ask.

Recently my daughter held up a sock that might fit a 3-year-old. She is 15 and has bigger feet than I do.

“Mom. Why?”

I could only shake my head. But the real bottleneck for me is when I start fretting over what to do with this little sock. It’s a perfectly healthy little pink striped sock. Maybe I can put it aside and search for its mate and then give them to the mom of the 6-year-old twins next door, or the 3-year-old across the street.

Or…even better…maybe I can make it into a sock puppet. I did this once or twice when the kids were very small, and they were thrilled with their little sock puppets with button eyes. And didn’t I just feel like a real Mom? And so Martha! and so green, re-purposing like that. Good mommy!

But no, this is when trouble starts. Am I realistically ever going to find the mate? Am I realistically even ever gonna look? No.

And sock puppets. Really? I did that once just to prove I could. So I would never have to make another effing sock puppet. Again.

So I do nothing. And the socks breed on, unfettered by my better intentions.

The boy recently suggested a solution.

“Sock genocide, Mom. We have to wipe out all the old socks so we can start fresh with a new generation.”

I wonder if this thinking is coming from all the video games he plays or the science fiction books he devours, but either way I had to agree it was a fairly sound plan. End it all and start fresh. Very Darwinian.

And so today I hardened my heart and went through the house without mercy. Every sock was plucked and put into a laundry basket of doom. All socks not already paired were pulled screaming from drawers, dragged out from underneath beds, coerced from dark corners in closets, and put into the basket of the damned.

Those that could be paired were spared. The others…

Even that brand new looking green bootie sock was thrown out. All’s fair in love and footwear. I retained the black concert wear. Those socks are under my imperial protection, and so remain safe in pairs. In my drawer.

Now there is one 12-count packet of new boys cushioned crew socks and one 12-count packet of colorful bootie socks for the Drama Teen, who doesn’t care at all what her socks look like as long as she has some for underneath her Doc Martens.

Let us see what happens to the household sock situation now!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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