This post will probably make me sound crazy cakes. Like I’ve got way too much time and energy invested in my kids’ socks. I guess you’ll just have to take my word that this ranks as only slightly nutty on the scale of wacky parenting moments around here.
We were packing the night before our last trip when I hit this particular bump in the road. Now, some might say waiting until the night before is last minute, and considering I’ve never tried packing farther ahead than that I don’t really have a good counter argument. For me, the night before is infinitely better than the morning of, so it’s what we do.
At any rate, we were setting out things for suitcases and, since the kids are older now, I handed them each a checklist and told them to pitch in. Eventually everything migrated to our room where BrightSide and I began what always turns into a complex process of mixing and matching items into bags so nobody will end up naked if a bag gets lost. Again, it’s the best I’ve got. If you have a better travel system, I’m all ears.
We’d reached 9:00pm and I was starting to feel a bit panicky. (I hit crunch mode the night before a trip, and it can get pretty ugly. BrightSide’s racking up saint points for ignoring my level of crazy on those days.) The kids were tromping in and out of our room, dropping armfuls of clothes onto the (dog hair covered) comforter while I flinched at the mess.
I was working my way through Bear’s clothes when I spotted the problem – there were only three pairs of socks on the bed. If we were heading to a beach I wouldn’t have thought twice, but we were going to be doing a great deal of walking (which was why I distinctly remembered telling the kids to pack eight or nine pairs of socks, allowing for the inevitable crisis that would make at least two pairs useless). Three pairs of socks just wasn’t going to cut it.
So I called Bear back to our room.
Keep in mind I’m already wound so tight you can practically hear me vibrating; it’s no wonder Bear looked a little squirrelly when I fired the question at her, “Where are the rest of your socks?”
It took every ounce of self control I had to just breathe when Bear replied that she didn’t have any that fit. Well, except for the three pairs in her dirty clothes basket that she simply didn’t send through the wash on any of the four days that week when I’d told them I was doing trip laundry, give me everything you’ve got.
So Many Questions were raging through my head.
What do you mean, you only have six pairs of socks that fit? It never occurred to you to mention that you needed new socks? And why are half of them stinky and buried in your laundry basket? You didn’t figure you’d need socks on this trip? Of course I’d be learning this at 9:00 at night, because you can damn skippy bet if I’d known that afternoon Bear would have been running a load of laundry so we could pack socks for her.
Deep breathing instead.
Since my daughter’s now wearing a size 8 shoe (what?!?) I simply loaned her socks for the trip and got on with our packing.
Fast forward ten days or so. We’d returned from our trip (that was, indeed, filled with walking) and were settling back into home. I happened to find myself in Target and, with the packing fiasco fresh in my mind, I bought Bear a boatload of new socks. In her size. Done.
Or so I thought.
Bear got home from school that day and I showed her the bag from Target, explaining I’d gotten her socks that fit and she could take them to her room as soon as she brought me all of the pairs she’d outgrown. (See? Mama gets a little smarter every single day.)
That’s when Bear dropped her second bombshell with an offhand, “Oh, I have socks that fit, I just can’t find them.”
a) WHAT?! What do you mean you have socks that fit? You told me before the trip that your socks don’t fit! (“No, I didn’t.”) Yes, you did! You stood right in my bedroom and said you don’t have any socks that fit except the three I was packing and the three in your dirty clothes! (“No, I didn’t. I just can’t find the ones that fit.”) Oh sweet Jesus in heaven above…
b) That’s because your room is a pit. Guess you’ll be cleaning that up this weekend.
It’s the little things that drive me right off the cliff.