Imagine my surprise the other day when we were out for a walk and as my eight year old leaned down to tie his shoe; a vision of blue covered in polka dots popped out. He was wearing a pair of my fuzzy socks!
“Sam, those are my socks!” I was in a state of giggles and shock.
“I know,” he said, “and they fit my feet perfectly.”
What? This is not supposed to be happening. I have boys–boys don’t wear girl socks. This is one of those battles where being in an all-male house was meant to work in my favor. Not only that, but he had on my “mom socks”; my comfy, around-the-house (sometimes the grocery store if I have on jeans–no shame here) socks.
After raising boys for twelve years now, you’d think I’d be used to the concept that nothing is off limits. I mean, these are the same kids that fashion my headbands into slingshots, confiscate my nail care products for survival kits, and use kitchen utensils that resemble weapons in any way, shape or form (thaaat’s…pretty much everything) to go into battle.
As I pondered these facts and the visibly assaulted socks, it struck me that a pattern was occurring. My oldest had been caught red-handed with my favorite pair of lime green running socks on several occasions lately. (Who cares that he ran in them more than I had in an entire year; they were mine!) And Drew had on some of my whites ones a few days ago that I had yet to see come through the wash again. (I am certain I will end up donating those to him.) I hated admitting this to myself but I knew what the culprit was; the dreaded “community sock basket.”
Apparently, many homes contain one of these to some degree. Ours is very scary and intimidating. I’m not really sure how over half of the socks belonging to seven people don’t come through the laundry with their mates but…they don’t. I promise you; I can put a pair into the dryer together and one will go M.I.A.; hence our machine’s nickname the “Great Pit of Carkoon.” (Sarlacci exist and no one can convince me otherwise!) It is because of this reality that I created the “community sock basket.” It can be a magical place complete with happy reunions of long, lost sock mates or a death trap; anything in that container is free game.
I had several choices to consider in solving this problem:
1. Clean my clothes separately from theirs and fold them immediately. (I really liked the sound of that idea but have learned over the years that being “real” with yourself is the best way to function as a homemaker.)
2. Start buying socks with pink princess and flying unicorn themes to deter them. (Something in my gut said they would wear them anyway since 30 minutes outside in red sand would make Barbie and Batman look exactly alike.)
3. Tell them NOT to touch my socks. (Seeing that typed out I can’t believe I allowed it to even qualify as an actual solution…moving on…)
4. OR start borrowing their socks when mine went missing.
I’ll let you guess which one I chose.