Friday, 11 October 2013

nobody told me about the socks

Since I started on this doula-ing gig I have read a lot of articles about the things people wish they had been told about pregnancy / birth / children. Things along the lines of

  • nobody told me i wouldn't have sex for months after the birth
  • nobody told me my five year old would still want to share my bed (sideways, arms and legs flailing)
  • i wish someone had told me i didnt need an induction
  • nobody told me how hard breastfeeding is
  • i didnt know i would have to hold her all the time
  • i thought you couldnt get pregnant while breastfeeding!
I, Kylie, faced all of those challenges years ago. I faced them and I did ok. I guess it wasnt all beer & skittles but I look back and dont remember any huge traumas (none that werent worth it, anyway) but today, nearly 19 years since I first became a mother I am still wishing that I had known about the socks.

I just can not keep up with the socks.

The baby socks were good: I remember the boys in cute little red ones with embroidery, green socks and  navy blue. I was delighted to put the girls in frilly pink and white confections. It was nice. Easy.

Then they went to school. The boys wore grey socks to start with but then they wanted white so I got white but they were too long, so I got shorter socks and then their feet grew inches overnight and all the new socks were too small so we got more and then they were suddenly thin, stretched and holey. Every time I get just the right number of just  the right type their preferences change, their feet grow or there is an epidemic of sock death.

There is always a sock or two missing from the collection and then when a random sock shows up I dont know whether it is the lost one or whether the original lone sock has been wandering the house in search of it's mate.....

I can't get the socks right for the girls, either. I bought them white crew socks but they wanted the ones you cant even see in the shoe. We got those and they were ok for a bit but they dont really have any lee-way for aging and so after a few washes they are so out of shape they slip off the heel and bunch up inside the shoe. I bought those on fast rotation, always struggling to keep up with the washing, sorting, folding and purchasing of the ideal quantity of ideal socks. Just when I thought I had it right the shoes fell apart. The new shoes were sturdier, heavier, they looked unbalanced with teeny-tiny-micro-mini socks so I had to quickly go get more longer, thicker, cushier socks. The socks are always in short supply (mostly because they gather in sock orgies on bedroom floors) so I bought extras this week. After 14 years of school sock buying, of trying and failing, I was sure I had finally got it all under control. I was about to rest on my laurels for a wee while and then the report came:

"Those new socks are so fluffy and thick and soft! They slide around in my shoe and they were so annoying I walked home in bare feet"


  1. I see what you mean about the sock angle! I don't remember big sock crises when I was a kid but perhaps that's because my socks were mainly standard school issue, and I guess I wasn't fashion-conscious enough to keep wanting something different. I do remember being very specific about shoes in my teenage years - chisel toes and winklepickers especially.

    Interesting about the things new mothers weren't told about....

  2. I grew up in Florida... so we didn't wear socks unless we had to.

  3. Nobody does tell you the important things do they?
    The battle of the socks is a scary one...

  4. My daughter was dying to have T-Bar shoes when she was starting High school.Her all girls school didn't allow them and they were to wear black lace up shoes. Now a 20 yr old she has purchased a pair she wears to work as a Bar Attendant at the local RSL club.

  5. Kia ora Kylie,
    I am a sock freak. Now that my 20 year old is back home, long story, all of the sudden my drawer of matching paired white and dress socks is in turmoil. I have it most when people say "it's only socks".., my tramping socks are hidden away. Hope you and yours are well.

  6. hey nick,
    i dont think my kids have sock crises, i do! who knows what domestic crises your mother faced while you were dreaming of fashionable shoes :)

  7. bob!
    when i went to primary school i wore sandals in the summer but these days they are all safety conscious and so on so covered shoes it is!

  8. EC,
    i suspect that the sock battle is uniquely mine!

  9. jo,
    my girls are stuck in black lace ups because it's the safety requirement when cooking. t-bars are very cute, tho :)

  10. robb,
    i guess i shouldnt tell you my socks today are unmatched?
    i'm going to assume that having your boy home is a good thing, apart from the sock chaos.
    Kia Kaha!

  11. Most every day with me is a sock crisis. I am the princess and the pea of socks. Nothing feels right. I have to take off my shoes a half dozen times to straighten my socks so they feel right.

    Finally, I gave up on cute socks. I buy bags of white socks and bags of black socks. So, there are two colors. But, I cannot put on a pair unless the right sock goes on the right foot and the left of the left.

    I can tell by looking which sock went on which foot. Then, at the same time, I have to put a worn right sock with a worn left sock, a holey right sock with a holey left sock, a newish right sock with a newish left sock. Then, some socks from the same bag are different at the top. The quarter inch "band" must got with the other quarter inch "band."

    I am not that particular, but my feet are. My daughter was saying it takes her son forever to get his socks on where they feel right. I begged her to be patient and told her my sock dilemma.

    I always find stray socks, sometimes a year later. Once, I got out fuzzy pajama pants for winter and found a sock up the leg. You have to be patient with socks. They have their own timeline.

  12. practical parsimony! thanks for the visit
    i love that line "you have to be patient with socks. they have their own timeline" how true it is!

  13. kylie, I am glad you came to my blog because I forgot where I read about socks. I even wrote a blog post about socks. Maybe I won't lose you again.

  14. Man I wish I could get my Marcia to read this post of yours. I haven't had a matching pair of socks in years!

    And what happens, I ask you, to all the bloody handkerchiefs?

  15. practical parsimony,
    you wont lose me, i'm going to update my blogroll so i know when you post.

    once that happens you will never get rid of me! muahahahahaha

  16. hippo,
    handkerchiefs are easy! just wash, dry and shove into your pocket ready for the next nose blowing/ brow wiping/ toe wrapping emergency!
    frank will fix it for you

  17. My problem is that I put the handkerchiefs, used as you have described, into the wash but they never come out again! I am sure there is a special place somewhere for divorced socks and runaway handkerchiefs!


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