See this? This is my collection of 37+ single kids’ socks. With each load of laundry, the number of mate-less socks grows. I ask you: how is that even POSSIBLE?!
I once read somewhere that you should keep solo socks only until the next time you do laundry, then toss any remaining singles. But where’s the fun in that? From time to time I actually DO find the mate, and then it’s like Christmas. (I lead a sad, sad life, don’t I?)
I’ve also heard people say you should buy only one kind of sock – say, white tube socks. What are we, barbarians?! Dressing boys is dreary enough without limiting myself to plain white socks. Sometimes finding a cute pair with fire engines on them on sale at Gymboree is the most fun I have at the mall! (I know… sad, sad life.)
You know those people with grown kids who love to tell us moms of wee ones how it all goes so fast? And to enjoy every minute? And to blah, blah, blah until you want to stab them with a plastic Elmo fork? (If any of them are reading this, I meant “I appreciate your words of wisdom.” Now I have to go keep my toddler from stabbing someone with a fork.)
I’d like to turn the tables for a minute. I’d like to speak to all those single people and empty-nesters and even parents of children who are primarily responsible for their own clothing and bodily fluids. I’ll start with laundry.
Remember the days when you used to do maybe 2 loads a week of darks and whites? In my world, those days are OVER. In a typical week I might do a load each of bath towels, kids’ sheets, adults’ sheets, kids’ whites, kids’ darks, kids’ mediums, kids’ pajamas, my own whites and darks, and another load of kids’ bedding.
Because multiple changes of clothes are required daily, thanks to diaper blowouts and mud puddles, and those changes of clothes might occur anywhere, we have approximately 5 dirty clothes hampers throughout the house. And my washer and dryer are conveniently located in the most remote and child-unfriendly corner of the basement. Sitting in a Laundromat reading a book in my single days seems SO much more appealing now.
Next, enjoy the silence. I know everyone says they love the pitter-patter of little feet, and I’ll be the first to admit that a toddler talking to himself while he plays with his trucks is adorable. But do you really miss the escalating shrieks of “Mo’ milk!” and “I had it first!” Do you miss someone screeching “MAAAAMAAAA!!” at 4:30am? Do you miss small children with no concept of “indoor voice” bellowing at you for fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers? I didn’t think so.
Even though I’m dying to, I won’t say anything about getting to go to the bathroom by yourself or shower daily or eat sitting down because that’s such well-trodden territory. (Especially on this blog!) But I WILL say, be grateful for those small moments of alone time you never noticed or appreciated.
For instance, before I had small children I never recognized what a treat it was to be able to answer the phone – even FIND the phone – when it rang. Or to conduct a 4-minute conversation about my electric bill without anyone interrupting me to whine that his brother ran over his toe with a tricycle.
Sometimes I’ll be talking (I mean TRYING to talk) on the phone to my mom, who’s a retired empty-nester now, and she’ll have to go so she can dash off to her third yoga class of the week or her book club or a dinner party or out to a midweek movie with my dad. And I’ll think, “Wow! She doesn’t even have to pack a diaper bag or call a sitter or anything. She can just go! Can you IMAGINE?!” I bet she even ends up with the same number of socks when she does her 2 loads of laundry each week.
NEWS O’ THE WEEK: Register by March 1 for fun, practical, 6-week online nonfiction writing classes with me and/or Writer Mama Christina Katz! I haven’t taught one yet in which at least 1 person didn’t publish an essay they wrote in class. Find out more and sign up here. The price is going up next session so if you’re interested, don’t wait!