On Solo Socks & Enjoying Every Moment

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!



Looks like a sock puppet project is in your future! 😉

I have to disagree about the boredom of dressing boys, though. There are so many cute things out there, if you keep your eyes peeled.


OMG the phone calls. I have been trying to make contact with a few different docs for postpartum depression stuff, and EVERY TIME one of those impossibly-hard-to-reach people calls me back, BOTH KIDS are having meltdowns. I can either attempt to make an appointment while the tantrumming toddler is jumping on the spitting-up-and-screaming-with-gas-pains baby, or I can shout something into the phone about calling them back in the afternoon and hope they hear me above all the screaming and crying. It's at least 4 days before I make contact with the person again.

I recently spent an evening with a bunch of young, urban, TOTALLY SINGLE late-20- and early-30-somethings. Man, do those people have time to burn! They get to hang out at each other's houses all the time, go out and get drunk, hang out more and rehash their evenings…until the wee hours of the morning. I cannot imagine that that is like anymore. I am happy to shower twice a week these days.
Very happy.


PS I think we have some matches to some of your single socks. I'm not kidding. I have a drawerful and get tremendously excited every time a missing mate shakes out of a fitted sheet or something.

Sheila Siler said…

Did you know that now you can BUY mismatched socks? At least little girls can at the Justice store, go figure? My daughter can do that just from her own sock drawer . . .

Mom2Miles said…

Sock puppets!! Brilliant, Lisa. 🙂

NotLikeaCat: Those docs should give you the next available appt w/ all that going on in the background!! And I'm glad someone else gets excited about finding missing socks!

Sheila: I HAVE some of those mismatched socks! I guess it's OK when they're intentionally mismatched.

Ali said…

My niece is often seen wearing two different kinds of socks on her feet. When she can't find a match, she just grabs two random singles. It's all the same to her, and quite adorable.

Kathleen@so much to say said…

This sounds suspiciously familiar. 🙂

iPhone game for kids said…

I am a mother of 3 kids, so I have alwaya a lot of socks. It is especially difficult with boys, who are very active all the time. But, anyway, I would like to say that our kids are our happinies.

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said…

I'm ashamed to say that I just bought my kid a package of white (and black! woo! exciting!) tube socks the other week. And I was secretly relieved. I suppose now that I have a girl to clothe (wheee!!), I've abandoned my attempts to have fun dressing a boy.

Also – isn't it sad that you look forward to having an uninterrupted phone call about a BILL? I got an unexpected phone call about a job last week, and had to tell the caller to hold on so I could tell my son to stop screaming for me through a crack in the sliding glass door. So embarrassing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails