Baby Socks: A Match Made in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

This morning I…. wait for it… got completely caught up on my laundry!  Hurray!!!!!!

With two little ones; a 16 month old who can stain and destroy an entire outfit with one blueberry and a 5 month old who spits up a lot and creates poop that will instantly stain clothing, blankets, etc if it is not rinsed and soaked immediately, I am always short on time and sleep but never short on dirty laundry.  But today by some miracle, I got caught up.  It could be because it was a long weekend so Hubby was around more so I had someone to hold a baby so I could cycle a load or put one away.  It could also be because the babies were out late last night at a family Thanksgiving dinner so they slept in later than usual this morning giving me some time to A) brush my teeth and B) fold some laundry which led to this sweet, sweet victory.

Here’s the thing though:  even when you are caught up on laundry, you’re not actually caught up.  With two rapidly growing little ones, I frequently find that as I get to the bottom of my laundry pile, I am folding sleepers and onesies that are too small.  Fact:  It takes me so long to get caught up on laundry that my kids outgrow their clothes by the time they are clean.  Obviously I am being a little dramatic but it really does happen from time to time.  So, you go from thinking your laundry is completely caught up to dividing the laundry between baskets of laundry to be hung/put in the babies’ dressers and baskets of laundry that is too small and needs to be packed away.  These are always sentimental moments too because the babies always seem to outgrow the cutest, sweetest little outfit that they did something absolutely adorable in and now they are too big for it.  *Sad face.*  So once I finish having my moment, holding that sweet little sleeper next to my chest remembering my son smiling in it for the first time, I start a small debate with myself.  I think “I should put this in his drawer.  He can wear it one more time.  I will take a picture of him wearing it for the last time in case I don’t already have a picture of him in it.”  versus “No, this needs to be packed away.  I remember his huge feet could barely fit into the foot part of the sleeper and I had to stretttttttch it over his shoulders in order to zip it up.  It needs to be put away.”  So, (most of the time) I manage to fight off my inner hoarder, face the facts that my babies are growing incredibly fast and put it in the basket for packing away.

So, laundry is caught up, folded, divided into baskets to put away and baskets to pack away.  But here’s the problem.  I can only easily and effectively get anything done when the babies are sleeping.  On the odd occasion that the stars align and pigs really do fly and the fat lady sings, the babies WILL nap at the SAME TIME and for more than 5 minutes.  (Normally they tap each other off to make sure I don’t ever get bored…or pee alone.)  This happening is an absolutely glorious experience.  It doesn’t last long so I have to act quickly.  I’m a Pisces, so I’m indecisive by nature.   I have to fight the urge to debate what I should do with this “free time” during this “free time.”  Laundry is always top of mind because A)  I am always ridiculously behind on it. and B) If I fold it when Miss 16 months is up, she will pull it out of the basket and throw it quicker than I can fold it and put it away.  So doing it while she is sleeping makes for a productive Mommy.

The challenge with finishing up on laundry while the babies are sleeping is that it never actually gets finished.  Why?  Because the last phase of the laundry cycle is putting it away.  Whether you’re hanging it or shoving it in a drawer, it has to be put away.  I can’t get this done easily unless the babies are sleeping.  But if the babies are sleeping, I can’t go in their rooms to put their laundry away without risking waking them up.  (I know that a lot of babies sleep through drawers and doors opening and closing.  Mr. 5 months is pretty resilient and will sleep through most things but Miss 16 months is an extremely light sleeper these days.  It’s ironic since we have always filled her room with white noise and have never tip-toed around her.  I think some kids are just light sleepers by nature and there is nothing we can do about it.)  Taking a chance on potentially waking either baby up when they are both actually sleeping at the same time is not something I’m about to risk.  So, I usually end up leaving it in baskets outside of their bedroom doors ready for the next opportunity I have to get in there with two hands and 2 minutes that’s mine… all mine!  This opportunity could arise in an hour or in a week.  My life is one big wild card.  The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not the one in control here.  The babies remind me of that daily.

So, I leave the baskets in the hallway outside of their doors and decide that since I’m caught up on laundry, now will be the time to tackle my mystery basket of odd baby socks that I have been collecting for some time.  Baby socks are a nightmare.  If you have had issues with adult-sized socks evaporating in the wash, you don’t want to go anywhere near baby socks.  Baby socks are so teeny tiny that they get stuck to other articles of clothing without you even knowing.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have put on a pair of pants and a baby sock has fallen out of one of the legs.  The same goes for tops and one time, I even had a baby sock stuck inside my sock.  They are like tiny, little hitchhikers.  It’s unreal.  So, in order to avoid too much frustration caused by chasing stray socks,  I have a small basket where I toss odd baby socks with no matching partner.  I’ve been doing this for close to a year.  Then, every so often I grab the basket and match up the odd socks.  Usually the matches all end up reunited.  If an odd sock remains, it gets tossed back in the basket to hopefully be reunited with its partner later.  My odd baby sock basket used to have 5-7 socks in it.  Today, two babies and far less time for this fun activity later, it had close to 60 socks.  I didn’t count them but that’s a fair guess.

Hubby was up for the challenge, so we sat down and lined up all the odd socks on the ottoman in the living room.  We stared at them and got far too excited each time we identified a matching pair in the bunch.  (Yes, this is our life!)  This activity reminds me of those matching/memory games you play in elementary school where you lay out all of the flashcards and have to try to identity the matching pairs.  Note to self:  When the babies are older, make a game out of this sock mayhem for them to play so I don’t have to do this anymore!  Hubby and I are pretty competitive with this sock game.  He likes to be super quick with the matching while I am more tedious as I examine my options to avoid mistakes.  This is highly reflective of our personalities.  He’s quick to identify what he thinks is a match so he doesn’t see why a sock with a thick pink stripe followed by a thin white stripe doesn’t match up with a sock that has a thick white stripe and then a thin pink stripe.  We actually have a real discussion about how they are two different pairs that probably came in the same package since they are similar but that doesn’t mean they are a pair.  I tell him that “quick and dirty” isn’t as great of a method for this game as “slow and steady.”  (Again, yes, this is our life!  Oh the conversations we never thought we would have while doing things we never imagined we would be doing!)  We manage to match a whole bunch of socks which is awesome since both babies had been running low on socks this week.

Of course, doing an activity like this makes you lose your mind a little so I immediately start singing the song I learned at Brownies as a kid “Black socks, they never get dirty, the longer you wear them, the stronger they get.  Sometimes I think I should wash them but something keeps telling me ‘No, no not yet…not yet…not yet…not yet!”  Hubby looks at me like I’m crazy (no argument there) and like he has never heard this song before which is a total lie because I belt it out often when dealing with laundry chaos.  There’s something about staring at a bunch of miniature socks that makes you flashback to that campfire song from the Brownie days.  Ah, well.  It’s probably best that he pretends he hasn’t heard it.  I suppose this is better than him joining me in singing it.  The kids deserve one somewhat sane parent, after all.

So imagine our surprise and frustration when we are completely caught up on laundry and have finished matching all of the possible sock matches and this remains:  (see image)

baby socks

(Technical difficulties have caused this image to not be shown in some browsers.  The photo is displayed at the top of this post if you are having trouble seeing it.  It’s a picture of… you guessed it! Socks!)

How is this possible?  Where are these socks?  I run downstairs and check the lint trap on the dryer and then make sure I did not start a secondary odd sock basket at some point and not remember.  (I did find a second odd sock pile but that only helped with matching a couple pairs.)  We still have all these socks leftover.  How annoying!  There are 27 leftover socks!

Before we can get too frustrated over where the eff these socks could be hiding, both babies are awake.  We get them up and bring them downstairs to get them ready to go to family Thanksgiving dinner #2.  Miss 16 months old is set free in the living room and immediately eyes the stray socks left out all over the ottoman.  Hubby and I both dive in to collect them before they disappear forever.  Part of me would like them to disappear forever so that I can actually be caught up on laundry.  But you know what will happen, just as these odd, stray socks disappear under couches, behind furniture, inside toy boxes and who knows where else, their matching partners will resurface and we will have to start all over.

Laundry.  What an effing nightmare.  What a never-ending battle.  From now on, I’m buying all the same style and colour baby socks.  It will be a like a uniform dress code for babies.  Is that weird?  I don’t care.  Perfect.  Problem solved.  Except this will never happen because by the time I actually escape and make it to a store, I will forget all about this crazy sock plan.  It’s probably best anyway.  Uniform dress codes for babies are weird.  This mama may just needs some sleep.

2 thoughts on “Baby Socks: A Match Made in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

  1. Leigh Anne Culliford says:

    I have to tell you this…..tucked at the very bottom of my linen closet is a little blue plastic box. If you pull it out you will find…..STRAY SOCKS!!!!! I have my very own stray sock box! And like you, once every few months (or when it overflows, or I am desperate for socks, whichever situation arises first), I spend a few minutes matching them up. If I don’t find partners, I throw them back in (ever the optimist, I keep telling myself I’ll eventually find their mates!). You are not alone in the stray sock dilemma, but I can’t imagine having so many of them that are so small! Good luck in the match game!


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