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Love and Hate

The ups, downs and overall delights of parenthood
Mar 17, 2010
10:16 AM

I Hate Socks!

It's amazing that such harmless items can cause so much consternation, stress and yes, even arguments in my home. But what can I say? Welcome to my world!

I Hate Socks!

Every member of my little family has sock issues.

My husband Bill is a sock litterbug. As soon as he walks in the house, the shoes come off. He sits down in the family room and off come the socks. The socks never make it to any of our five strategically placed laundry baskets. No, they are flung or simply drop from his sweaty feet and there they remain until I tire of looking at them.

About a year ago, Bill had a rare hissy fit over the lack of socks in his drawer. I felt surprisingly guilty. How could I have let things get so behind? But then I went to the family room and imagine my joy as I found more crumpled, dirty socks than I knew he had – 4, 5, 6 – this is great! – 9, 10, 11 – I can't believe it! The grand total was 19 socks stuffed between cushions, flung under sofas and chairs, and dangling from the ottoman!

Sure, it didn't say much for the condition of that room, but it was a victorious moment in the history of husband/wife quarrels.

"Oh HO-neeeey!" I sang while dumping the grungy pile onto his lap. "Here's why you don't have any clean socks." For once, my debate-loving, take-no-prisoners husband was speechless and blushing.

It was the easiest argument I've ever won.

Sadly, my children's socks don't fall far from the tree. Suzi walks into the house and flings her socks around (in the laundry room, at least), and then, when we have to go out again, there's no way to put those two socks together – one is in with the dirty laundry, but the other has fallen into some mysterious earth crevice where it won't be found for days or weeks. Then we have to go dig out another clean pair.

That's hard because of my sock challenge. I'm not very good about matching the dozens of socks I wash each week. I match what I find. I do my best. But when the straggler, single socks always seem to outnumber the pairs, well, singles often get tossed into drawers without a partner. Midway through the school week I spend mornings rifling through drawers, trying to squeeze out two lousy pairs of socks for the girls.

My troubles don't end there. Somehow the girls just don't see socks. I lay out their ensembles for school with socks sitting on top, hoping just this once they may see them, yet they always show up at the breakfast table fully dressed – without socks! I send them back to look for said socks, but when they eventually wander back to the kitchen, they're still barefooted.

"Where are the socks I left out for you?" I beg to know. The answer is always the same. "What socks?"

I've tried everything from putting their socks on the kitchen table to making them put on their socks while I brush their hair. But somehow, every day begins with the Sock Hunt. I run back and forth, never getting my coffee, burning eggs on the stove, forgetting their snacks, all in the pursuit of those bleeping socks!

This morning was no different.

Suzi came to the table, her feet bare. I prepared to issue my sock speech, when my husband suddenly declared, "These are the best years of our lives."

I glared at him sitting on his sofa, his hands laced behind his head, his feet up on the sock strewn ottoman. "Yes dear," I responded coolly. "Now get up and go find Suzi's socks!"

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