15 Things I Love About This, The Greatest Gift of All

Let's Talk About Socks, Baby*

*Ugh. Yes. With each passing year I am growing ever more aware that the bulk of my pop cultural references/puns are growing ever more outdated. I'm a walking Onion article. From 2003. Which is also suspiciously the last time I made a joke that could be considered "current" or "with-it" or "a far-out-happening-fun-time gag."

Photo (98)

ANYWAY. We need to discuss the above pile of socks. After letting my children's laundry pile up to embarassing levels over winter break — to the point where one or more of them were wandering into my bedroom every morning to mournfully inform me that they had no pants/underwear/socks/long-sleeve shirts, while I muttered fitfully from under the covers to just GET SOMETHING OUT OF THE HAMPER, Y'ALL GOTS NO PLACE TO BE TODAY ANYWAY -- I finally had to cave and run eleventy different loads of wash, one right after another. 

At one point, three complete wardrobes were arranged in teetering piles around my living room as I folded and folded and sorted and stacked. There were size 6s and 3Ts and 24 months to set aside, as everyone is solidly in 7s and 4Ts and 2Ts and I KNOW, it's like there's this whole mythical clothing code that only makes sense to parents of very young children, but only kind of, because how has my 19-month-old outgrown the 24-month clothing, and why do the 3T pants show off Ezra's ankles while the 4Ts puddle around his toes and tackle him to the floor on a regular basis, and DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN I JUST BOUGHT NOAH SIZE 6 PANTS, HOW ARE THEY TOO SMALL ON HIM ALREADY? 

ALSO WHAT: Do you children just wander around leaving a trail of mismatched mittens behind you at all times like breadcrumbs? Because Jesus.

But the socks. The socks were the worst. They covered the entire coffee table and Jason and I very literally spent several hours sorting through them, trying to pair them up and guess whose foot they currently fit, since we rarely splurge on the "fancy" socks anymore, the kind with the sizes printed on the bottom, like them fancy movie stars wear. 

And also what, you know, the fuck:

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Did the sock on the left shrink? Or did we (foolishly! like foolish fools!) buy Noah and Ezra identical packs of socks in different sizes? And good Christ, seriously? We managed to lose the same sock twice, basically? For double the uselessness but quadruple the "oh look I found a match oh wait shit nevermind" annoyance?

And speaking of poor purchasing decisions:

Photo (100)

These three little orphans came from the same jumbo-sized value pack (VALUPAK!) of socks, and I'm guessing we already lost most of the over fourteen slightly-different color/stripe variations. 

Now, I'm aware that different stripe colors should not matter in the slightest, when you're talking about 1) BOYS, and 2) stripes that go on the BOTTOM OF THE FOOT, but somehow I managed to birth not one, but two boy children who care — DEEPLY — about the exact matching status of their socks. They will routinely put their underwear on backwards and their shirts on inside-out and will fail to notice that hey, buddy, I think that shirt is actually one of the baby's unsnapped onesies.

And yet if I were to hand them any two of the above socks and say something like, "It doesn't matter, just put your shoes on and no one will ever know,"...well. Look. I tried it once. It did not go over well. Ezra spent the entire day trying to hide from us so he could remove his shoes and socks in peace, and eventually succeeded and I found the socks in his coat pockets, when I was looking for his mittens.

The mittens were never found, and on second thought I think those socks might be Noah's, anyway, so maybe they were annoying him for size reasons as well. But NOAH'S sock issues go just as deep — if not deeper, as we once got into an argument over a pair of gray socks because gray socks are not real socks. Only white socks are real, Mom. 


(Needless to say, Noah has a wonderful supply of pristine and fully paired-up gray socks up in his room. One day they shall pass down to Ezra and we shall promply lose 79.3892% of them within a week.)

(Rubs temples, pulls sock lint out of forehead wrinkles)

There are 35 different socks in that top picture. THIRTY. FIVE. None of which have a match anymore, thanks to (I assume) our sock-eating washing machine and/or the sock-eating space behind our washing machine or some other sock-eating vortex I am not aware of. How did my children even come to OWN that many pairs of socks? Doesn't that seem...excessive, especially considering the several dozen intact pairs I managed to put together? 

Anyway, I cannot believe I just ranted for that many paragraphs about socks. (AND WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH AIRLINE PEANUTS?) They've just been sitting there in front of me for two days now, taunting me in their own little socky pile way. Throw us out! They say. We dare you! You'll find our mate 10 seconds later and will regret it forever! Turn us into (disgusting, pilly) mini sock puppets or (gross, greyish-brown) lavender sachets so we may better haunt you for years!

In other words, parenting. You will spend all of your money on socks. You will spend all of your time sorting and folding and cursing at socks. You will then promptly lose all the socks. Then one day when you are old you will find this in between the couch cushions and cry yourself to sleep, because WOOKIT THE WITTLE SOCK GAH OH GOD SUNRISE SUNSET. 

Dino sock




I had a similar winter break with the socks. Minus two kids. WTF happens to all the socks?

Amy M

In my house I've managed to convince everyone that socks are matched by thickness, not decoration.

Salome Ellen

I recommend the "sock withdrawal" bag. Bag up the odd ones, tag 'em with the date, and if you haven't found the other one in six months, toss 'em! (Because by that time they won't fit anybody, probably...)


I have girl/boy twins. For the reasons you so eloquently stated above, the house rule now is all white socks. No pink, no stripes, no blue. THEY ALL MATCH each other, mwuahahahahaa. But the gloves. Oh my christ the gloves!


I tend to throw the lonely dateless socks in a bag for Goodwill. Surely they'll meet their match there.


Thank goodness my toddler doesn't care. I let him choose from the pile of socks I haven't sorted and chalk it up to toddler fashion sense.

cagey (Kelli Oliver George)

I used to have a FIRM policy that only ONE kind of sock could be purchased for each kid. And then, my girl began having "opinions".


Ha! As I searched last night for some socks for my 3 year old, I also questioned why the hell I brought the same socks in each of the different sizes. They do have the size on the bottom, but of course they come in six pairs with a different colored stripe(s) on each pair. And they taunt me. Sometimes the boy gets the same matching stripe, although different sizes and sometimes he gets the same size, just but matching stripes in different colors. Also, less concern of his socks happens when I know no one but us will see said socks. The boy has also started wanting certain socks on certain feet, but I'm sure that's just to drive us nuts.


I am not a big sci-fi fan (in fact I am not a sci-fi fan period), but Douglas Adams has a wonderful explanation on the fate of lost socks. If I remember correctly they form the orbit around Pluto, according to him. Can't remember but I think it's in Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish.


I heard that fairies steal left socks -- so find out where the fairies live in your house and maybe you'll find all the missing (left) socks.

Kari Weber

This could not be more timely, as I just spent hours yesterday sorting clothes from the two boys... First the younger gets his closet and dresser completely cleaned and organized. Clothes are separated into sell/ donate/ toss piles... Then older boy's room is attacked and all ill fitting clothes are promptly put into smaller boy's dresser. There is no donating his clothes. My boys are 4 years apart... But only 4 pounds and one clothing size. Sigh. At the end? I too have a rediculous pile of crappy mismatched socks. I chucked them. Now I buy all white, same size for all.


I feel your pain. I think I've developed an OCD in sock matching. I have tried a form a self-therapy by buying missmatched socks for my youngest (a brand of socks that comes as a multipack of socks with cute patterns that have similar colors and hues but none match) and give up the idea that socks have to match. My hope was that I could simply grab the two socks closest to the top of the dresser drawer (ahem, laundry basket) (okay, dryer) and away we'd go. But now I find I try to match the socks that are most similar, and finding two socks that sort of match in style (stripes and stripes, but not stripes on one sock and flowers on the other) but but still sort of match the shirt adds a layer of complexity that I can't handle.

My father buys a pack of socks every year, all identical, all white, and numbers them on the bottom of the socks so he can tell if he's lost a sock or not. I'm beginning to think he has the right idea.


I cannot even begin to tell you how many conversations my best friend and I have had over text or IM about socks. Freaking socks man. Two adult women in their early 30's and we have spent a zillion hours bemoaning little socks.

My advice in the moment is toss all the socks and go buy new ones. (I did this last week. My kids right now have only brand new socks!) Give each boy a color and just buy in that color. My mom used to do this and I thought she was INSANE! Now I see her brilliance. Buy them all at one place. I recommend Children's Place, just because they ALWAYS have the same sock colors.

I did that for years...but now my girls won't let me. They have gotten very very opinionated. Also my son is the only boy and he's four and well yeah, his socks are obvious. Normally now it's always CRAZY SOCK day at our house. Basically if you are wearing two socks, you win.

ps. I can't even discuss kids clothes sizes. It's pure insanity. Made worse by the fact that my girls are wee things.


I have ALL the socks pictured above, including the two sizes of identical orange and white socks missing their partners. And the almost matched but not quite stripey ones. We share the same sock pain, I'm quite sure. (My kids are size 5T and 2T yet strangely closer in size feet-wise). My husband, who is our resident folder-of-the-laundry, refuses to do the socks. He can't tell whose are whose and can't match them and just throws the pile of single socks at me every week. Also, someone gave me some advice awhile ago to never throw out the single kid socks because you will ALWAYS find the match. I've been blindly following this advice, and yet, now that I'm actually thinking about it, it's pretty terrible advice. I have 60 billion single itty bitty outgrown socks and so what if I ever find the match? I don't have a kid to fit into them now.

Claire H.

The last paragraph is the best summation of parenting ever. Also, I FEEL YOUR PAIN re: socks!



Reb @ Sink or Swim

I love this... I am very happy that my 10 year old daughter loves wearing mismatched socks, bright, neon whatever. So I just keep buying them and have no clue how many matches she even has.
My son rarely wear socks, he pretty much lives in crocs, but we have the same situation where in an identical pair of socks one seems to have shrunk? I don't understand it!

Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

So funny! Looking at that pile of socks just makes me cringe.


I actually have a solution to this incredibly vexing problem! Hanes color codes the "Hanes" on the bottom of the socks by size. Red for little, green for medium, blue for larger, gray for men's. So my three year old gets the green socks, my seven year old gets the blue socks and the 36 year old gets the gray socks. No one is allowed to have any socks that do not match the Hanes-color-coded formula.

And there is, at worst, one unmatched sock per size, since ALL THE SOCKS ARE THE SAME.

I admit, this sometimes makes me feel brilliant. Right up until all of them have grownup feet. Then I will need a new solution.


OMG! That so happened at my house, but I only have 2 boys. This made me laugh sooooo hard. Thanks.


Good. God. The socks. I spent five YEARS matching all the socks for my daughter. I had a basket, tossed all socks from dryer into basket, paired once a month and tossed whatever I couldn't pair.

Then comes kindergarten and the realization (bless you other children) that MIX MATCH is the way to go.

Now, with baby I only buy one kind of sock. Tube socks, grey bottom, value pack. He has no other kinds. I plan to continue that trend until he is doing his own laundry. I am sure that will work out just exactly as I have planned.


Washing them in a lingerie bag will generally prevent the washing machine from swallowing them. Getting all the matching socks into a lingerie bag...that is a whole different issue.


I have a different solution for you. My mom did this and it works so well:
Each child gets a mesh lingerie bag that hangs on the back of their door. They place their dirty socks in it each night. Once a week the bag is zipped up and thrown in the wash. Once dry, remove and fold socks.


You have completely encapsulated my feelings about baby clothes, and now I am going to show this to my husband so he understands what is swirling in my head when we discuss my son's wardrobe. :)


I have no comment on socks, except for this one time I was at a park and placed in wet sock on a bench in the sun, we did some swinging, came back to the bench - sock was gone. We were the only people at this park, save for two 8-9ish yr old girls. Who I questioned relentlessly and who disavowed knowledge of such sock. *side-eye*
Anyway clothing sizes! Soooo glad clothes are labeled in Europe according the height. How tall your kid is=size clothes you buy. With slight variations according to manufacturer of course, but basically it works! My kid is 101cm, and I'd currently on the last legs (ba dum dum!) of her size 98, and a bit baggy but working her way into size 104. It confused me at first but now I looooove it :-)

My husband's sock drawer resembles that pile. I just keep my eyes averted.


It gets even better when they get older, because then they try to take (and often succeed until you get wise) YOUR socks. I have 2 boys and I now only by pink, flowery, pretty socks for me!


Oh, the wee sock. And I can't help on the boys caring about the matchage of socks because somehow the boy from my body gives way too many damns about whether his socks match. The girls? The girls who are constantly rearranging themselves clothing-wise when there is no intention to leave the house? Neither could care any less about matching socks. In fact, they seem to think it fun to wear mismatched socks and no, I will not take you to the Little MisMatched store because um, create your own from look, two different socks!

I read once that the socks get stuck in some vent in the back of the dryer. Whatever. Zombie sock monsters is funnier. I also read that it makes sense to wash the kids' socks in mesh bags. While I've done that for years and it has finally happened: THE WHOLE FUCKING BAG DONE DISAPPEARED! Now. I know I probably dropped it when bringing clothes from the dryer upstairs on that day I was too lazy to first get a laundry bag or basket to transport them, but once the bag of socks fell, what then happened to it? What was its fate? Did someone hide it? Is my husband having a hell of a laugh at my constant, "Where are his socks? Seriously, where are his socks?" (in a perfect Brad Pitt in Seven "What's in the box" voice).

You know I've forgotten what I was talking about, right?


Hanes makes socks with different colored "HANES" on the bottom for the different sizes. I went that route and now my 14 year old wears "whatever" mismatched, that's the style. Oh and the rule is whatever school clothes you bought in Sept (jeans) will be outgrown over winter break. It happened three years straight for me, I quit "back to school shopping" and even though I was asked that Santa bring "no cwothes, only toys" he sure did bring some after that.


Laughing out loud with tears running down my face! Yes! Except I periodically find our socks around the neighborhood... seriously, I can't find socks in the house but on a walk with the kids found one of my son's socks in the gutter, and then a block later found its match. How in the Sam Hill did that happen? This goes up there with the things that no one tells you about parenting: You will spend an inordinate amount of time being baffled and annoyed by socks.


I wish there was a community for unpaired socks where you could go and see if someone has a match for your stray. Anyway, also on socks: My 5YO son has now outgrown his favorite Old Navy triple roll socks. He won't wear the Hanes crew socks I got him because they feel "crunchy" on the inside. Any ideas for a nice soft boys sock?


This makes me SO happy I just splurged on the "fancy" socks with the size on the bottom. :)


Once again you have brought tears to my eyes over the most frustrating of issues! Thanks for the much-needed laugh.


I hate to tell you, but it doesn't end. Now that my 14 year old does his own laundry, his socks don't even get folded. What?! You can do that? Apparently so because my husband also stopped folding his socks.

But me and my 10 year old still stick together on sock folding. He's a odd one though. He doesn't mind if his socks match or not, and half the time he doesn't even have them on his feet in his tennis shoes or boots (eww), but just try to sneak an orphan sock in his drawer. Holy Moses.


Amy, I'm pretty sure the matches for some of those socks showed up in my dryer.

Synnove @ dontchewonthedinnertable.blogspot.com/

We call our children's socks "Laundry Shrapnel". At least there are two different types... (pink or blue)


Lol i wear non matching socks most of the time. Life is too short to worry about matching socks. Kind of my life motto, there. Don't try to hand my partner two slightly different socks though. He can't stand it.


I have those stupid stripes on the bottom and my 12 yo won't wear them either. Plus he randomly takes his socks off all over the house so the laundry can be completely done and no clean socks, cuz they are hiding under furniture. I just found three boys socks under my bed and five downstairs under the sofa in front of the Wii. Plus, I knit and he now wants wool hand knit socks because they are warm and comfy. Strangely, one of my lovely hand knit socks is missing. I have my suspicions.


Everyone gets one brand of sock, and several pairs. The boy had the same socks for over two years, then the nasty gray remnants become tiny tossable dust rags. He has a drawer full of 20 pairs of pristene white socks. The girl is more problematic...

The Other Dawn


My friend with four boys does this: When her oldest/largest boy gets a new set of socks (she only buys white tube socks, black tube socks, and a few "dress" sock pairs for each kid) she puts a dot with Sharpie on the foot under the toe. When that kid grows out of those socks, and it goes to the next oldest/largest, it gets another dot. All of #2 son's socks are double-dotted. When he grows out of those, if they aren't too nasty, they get another dot and go on to son #3 with three dots. And then on to son #4 although I cannot imagine a pair of socks lasting through three boys.

Also, she taught me to wash all my baby-type socks in lingerie bags so that they don't float up and over the washer tub in your washing machine.

She's kindova genius.


Bwahaha. "Throw us out! They say. We dare you! You'll find our mate 10 seconds later and will regret it forever!" <---This is why i've had a pile of socks on my dresser waiting for their matches to show up for WEEKS.


The socks don't disappear. It's just that socks are the larval form of coat hangers.


I only buy socks in one color. Black for me, navy blue for the Offspring. And always multiple identical pairs, so when some get lost, the rest still pair.


Oh gawd - I made the mistake of buying my girls matching socks but in different sizes. I don't think I have regretted a choice more. Mainly because I still don't understand why I thought that was a good idea. Thankfully, most of our socks don't go missing and if they do, they reappear in a day or two. Seriously, I must have some awesome sock karma because I rarely have one go permanently missing.

Sippy cup lids, on the other hand, are my nemisis. They go missing all the time. I think the dishwasher eats them. Or the cat hordes them. Seriously. It's not like the girls ever take them off or drink without them, so how are they missing?!? My kingdom for a clean sippy cup lid!


I know it's probably a long shot but maybe try hanging a lingerie bag in each kid's room for the socks. Zip it up, throw it in the wash and no size sorting. Also none to be eaten by the washer or dryer. Works for us, but our kid is 21 months, so. Who knows.


I'm in the "lingerie bag" camp for kids' socks. My son's hamper has a pocket on the side that we use to collect dirty socks, and I hung a command hook above my daughter's hamper to hold her lingerie bag. It's not flawless, especially when a grandparent or babysitter does the undressing, but in 2.5 years I've lost only one baby sock!


Too funny! I was just dealing with this myself last week... I had like 1 of every sock and no matches. Then, I figured out where they had gone! I will share my secret with you now: In a front loading washing machine, pull back the round rubber seal piece that runs all around between the door and the washing bin - at the bottom in there were like 12 socks, I kid you not! Good luck!

Little Neddie

A couple times a year, I buy a package of socks for each of my three kids, and write their initial on them. Then, throw all of the old socks away. Seriously works.


We tried the lingerie bags but my kids like to leave their socks all over the house like special little presents for their mama.


I buy each boy a certain brand of sock. Gold toe for the older one and champion for the younger one. Both at Target. When I go off course and buy something else all hell breaks loose. So, I don't. The best is when my husband gives my 10 year old my socks and puts my 10 year old's socks in my drawer. Oh, and socks don't make it to hand me down status now so I can stick to the gold toe/champion thing until they out grown that section of Target.


Yes! All of this yes! Where do the socks go and why do my children care if they don't match?! It's boot weather anyways. sigh. I hate kids' socks.


I have, at this moment, an entire laundry hamper - the big kind, for towels and such - completely and utterly full of socks. Some are matched, most are not but nobody seems to know which girl they belong to, or if they fit anyone. I've left them there for the past YEAR and nobody seems to care, so they are going to Goodwill this week. New plain white socks for everyone!


I always enjoy your take on parenting, but I have to say, I REALLY enjoyed this post after having consumed a large frozen margarita after a very stressful day. Never have socks made me laugh so hard!!


I have the lingerie bag. Got it when the Big was a baby. Still lost socks. Now I have a lingerie bag in the girls room, holding all the single socks,and one in my sock closet holding all the single socks. (My husband has white socks, ankle socks, and black socks, all unmatched.) I throw out the ones that have been in there too long, and I don't handmedown socks. Because socks, damn.


This post and all the comments are my favorite!


I have threatened to buy that rubber stuff you dip hammer handles into. It'd totally be cheaper. (My kids abandon their socks throughout the day, so I can't even blame the washer.)


I have sock weirdos at my house. As I would fold the laundry, I'd check out the condition of their socks. If they were threadbare or had holes in them, I'd toss them out and buy new ones the next time I went to the store. Then I caught them picking through the trash and "rescuing" the old socks. Both The Boy and his father do it. Yeah, well, I fixed their little asses. Now I hook my fingers into the holes and rip until the sock CAN'T be worn again. The first time they saw me do this, they looked at me like they'd just caught me clubbing baby seals to death in the laundry room. How was I to know that men form an emotional attachment to their nasty old socks?


This is the funniest post I've read in a long time. I have two boys and refuse to buy socks without the size on the bottom. Even still, we have dozens without mates and the 4t/5t still end up shacking up with the 2t/3t socks. A conspiracy, I say.

Michelle Smiles

Tears rolling down my face because my husband and I just had this discussion new years day. We have 2 girls and a bajillion non matching socks. It makes me crazy every single morning. So we said eff it and went and bought new socks to start the new year. I'm sure we'll have to do it again around valentine's days. WHERE DO THEY GO?


My 4-year-old thinks mismatched socks are the height of fashion. I've given up trying to match his socks, because he'll just unmatch them to wear them. sigh...


My son (4 years old) also is very specific about his socks. He doesn't really care if they're matching, but oh - the ITCHINESS. And if they don't go on perfectly the first time, "They're twisted!!!!" Oh, the agony.
Some people I've heard of - and by that I mean NOT ME - buy those mesh lingerie bags and throw the socks in them before they put them in the wash, so at least, theoretically, they don't get separated in the wash.


Non-sponsored Assvice: these changed my life: http://www.sock-locks.com/ My husband makes fun of me, but WHO'S GOT MATCHING SOCKS NOW, SUCKER?


My pop cultural references are stuck in about 2000 so it's nice when I can actually get the pun.


Fortunately, in our world (just outside of Boston) it is cool for boys to wear non matching socks (especially the middle school ones). And I have been lucky because my two boys have never really cared if they match - they just pick the first two that come out of the sock basket (we keep socks and underware in baskets instead of drawers). My big problem is that they continue to wear them even when they have holes and that they leave socks ALL over the house!


I don't have a big issue with socks (yet) despite my daughter's habit of taking them off and flinging them around the room. (I just get my mean voice on and tell her to "Go get your socks, right now, and put them in the hamper.")

Anyway, my problem is the missing mittens. She has probably 6 pairs floating around, but can we find one complete set? No.


I only have one kid, eighteen months old, and I'm already feeling Sock Woe. What I can't figure out is why I can never find matches for his current socks, but the little ones he's outgrown keep turning up perfectly matched no matter what I do to get rid of them. I swear there are some that I've mailed to his cousin in another state, and they're back!


My boys are 9, 4 and 2, and we have the exact same sock situation at our house. I keep a basket of clean socks Every couple weeks, I attempt to mate socks from within the basket of sock doom. I'd love to know where all of the missing socks are hiding.


My 6-year-old stepson is here for TWO WEEKS, and within that short timeframe, he's already generated multiple misfit socks. He also changes his clothes about 3 times per day and leaves everything INSIDE OUT in the middle of the floor. So... yeah. Frustration on many levels.

Fortunately, my 15-month-old has ZERO SOCKS, because Florida. I plan to ride that out until the fall, when we'll likely move to a cooler, sock-mandatory climate.


I know where the socks have gone! I have them. Years ago when my step-kids were still kids, my husband inform me that he had received a very upset phone call from his Ex. She was demanding the "other" socks back. Clearly we had been purposefully sending the children back without the "other" socks.


Just last night, I discovered at least one vortex where all of these insanity-causing missing socks go! My washer was not draining properly, and I managed to figure out how to open the drain trap. It's not that big, and there were 9 (NINE!!) single, various-child-size socks in there!! And I only have one child! No wonder it wasn't draining right, good grief. Of course I had already given up hope and thrown out the mates of those random socks... But bonus for fixing the washer AND solving a mystery! I might have to check that thing once in a while, in the future.


In a rare moment of genius, I bought a packet of pink fabric dye from Michaels and dyed all of my daughters socks pink, so that they are easy to tell apart from my son's socks. It was a huge time saver. If you dye all of the socks the same color, then they all match, right?


Girl, please! I had my 4 kids out shopping for shoes and realized that none of them had on matching socks. We can't keep up with socks. EVER! This post made me feel a bit better about our sock situation.


Socks are my undoing. . .but my daughters favorite kind lately are "littlemissmatched" which come with 3 to a package in coordinating/colors patterns.

Also, unsolicited assvice. . .my husband was number 8 of 9 kids (6 boys, 3 girls) and his next older brother was always stealing his socks (or else my husband was just paranoid) but he dealt with it by pinning his socks together before they got washed. That way he knew they were his and if he lost one sock, he lost both. 20 years of marriage in a family where he's the only y chromosome and he's still pinning them together.


At Xmas, my mother handed me one of DD's baby socks that she found between her washer and dryer. DD is 3.5 so figure its been there somewhere around 2.5 - 3 years. All of her baby clothes are in a tub in the attic. What are the odds that the mate is in there?


Oh and my aunt just kept a laundry basket full of socks in the upstairs hall. Her 4 boys just dug out whatever they needed: school socks, soccer socks, boyscout socks etc..., matched it up and wore them.

Sandra Timmerman

Hahahaha, I love this story this is so familiar! Good to know some things are the same all over the world :-)


I've had about 35 odd socks for two years. I even made a movie for a graphics class about odd socks.. I moved all furniture, looked behind and under the washer and dryer, washed all the sorts in each kids' drawers, and only wash socks by themselves and I still end up with 35 odd socks. Periodically I ditch too small socks. But the pile just grows with a few extras.

Stacy Wilson

nice to know this is a common thing. I thought I was extra lame for not keeping track of socks and gloves. So... I have taken to turning the spare socks inside out and washing my face with them. Remember "Buff Puffs"? They are a gentler, kinder Buff Puff. Also, good for general housework.


Hilarious! I also have to wonder if I'm one of the only ones who got your song reference..."let's talk about you and me. Lets talk about all the good things and the bad things..."


This is why all of the males in my life (husband included) are allowed exactly one type of sock. For the boys it's the Old Navy ones with the size printed on the bottom. Depending on your needs I MAY let you have colors other than white - by which I mean black or brown - but that's as much variation is allowed. No pairing, no worried about lost ones, just make sure they end up in the right drawer. And if the stash starts to get a little low I go buy a new pack. DONE! I do not have the patience for things like sorting itty bitty socks. It would be my undoing.


I know what you mean about laundry piling up over the holidays. We ran out of clean towels and resorted to beach towels.

Laura S

Seriously, this just made me laugh out loud/want to cry because YES. THIS.

That, and I love and get all your pop culture references. Sometimes it might just take a while.

Thanks for being awesome. Really.

Sue C

Muwahahaha........Ah yes, the sock wars.......I SO remember the sock wars. Past it, past it!! Zippadedodah, zippadiday!

Cameron from WNL

Maybe life would be simpler without socks? Maybe?


First of all, keep on with the pop culture references because I get 'em...and it makes me feel all cool and with it.

And secondly, WHAT the FRICK with the damn socks?? I have one boy, a wee babe, and half of his socks are missing. I don't even care if they match or not but it would be nice if they at least came from the same bag so they fit the same way. We wash his clothes separately from ours so where are they going? I'm also missing some of his legwarmers (ohmygod, the cuteness) but then I found some behind his changing table so methinks my husband, though big-hearted and open-minded that he is, thinks they are a little too much. "He's a maaaaaaniac, maniac on the floor / And he's dancing like he never danced before..."


You are a saint. I don't sort socks-- not mine, not my husband's, not the kid's. Each person gets their own, but after that they're just tossed in the drawers. We just find a pair from the jumble when we need one. Totally works for me! For mittens, hats, etc., get a clear plastic over the door shoe holder that has little compartments for each shoe and put the mittens, hats, etc. in there. Hang it on the back of the door of your coat closet. There are pockets low enough that the kids can even occasionally put their own mittens away!


Ah, socks! I was just sitting down with a big pile of socks to match up while catching up on my favorite blogs. The timing of this one. The thing is, I only have one child...I can't even imagine three!
I have a good friend who wears any socks she can find. Always has, even if the heights and fabrics don't match. I never understood this until recently. I think it's a survival technique she learned being one of four kids...


Here's how stupid/sentimental/lazy I am: I put all the teeny-tiny adorable single socks in the new baby's sock drawer ... as if I would magically FIND the pairs and be able to put them on my new baby. (Spoiler: I never found them)


Sock matching is my least favourite job. Am I the only one who throws the mismatched socks back into the dirty laundry pile in hopes that it AND its mate will magically appear in the next clean load?

Also, my kids always seem to be between sizes. Their clothes are always either too tight/short or hanging off them. There needs to be a 0.5 size (I'm currently wishing for a 3.5T).


OH MAH GOODNESS. I am having this exact problem right now. I just got home from the laundromat and desperately needed a break from the clothes and the socks and the I-don't-think-this-belongs-to-my-children of it all. Perfectly timed post, as usual. :)


Life is too short to sort socks.

I never manage to wear matching socks so my offspring and husband have no chance.

I do however feel that socks that came out the same pack officially count as a pair. Or even different packs but the same shop. Or maybe just the same day.


I laughed. So hard. Thank you for this. Every time I'm in my laundry room (i.e. the basement) peering at the bottom of a sock to see if it has a size and then looking around to see if it has a match, I will think of this. I think maybe my 3-year-old and 1-year-old eat them.


Or, you could take all those mismatched socks and free a bunch of house elves... :)


I've made a rule that I now only buy socks that have the sizes clearly printed on the sole of the sock. It doesn't prevent them from getting lost, but at least I can put the proper sock on the proper kid. I've started throwing out any sock donations that don't fit my rule. Wasteful, yes, but the price I'm willing to pay for a bit of sanity.

Lynda M O

If I could buy each commenter, poster, reader and giggler of this article a hot cuppa, we'd all be wiping off our monitors. YOU: my lady friends with sox, are the Tits of the InnerWebs. I so love this I may have to print and frame these comments.

Hugs to all and to all a basket of sox for the New Year.


I have one child and still seem to have this problem.

Also: Where do I buy socks for a 4T girl? I can find 2T/3T in the toddler section. I can find giant-mah-baybee-will-never-be-that-big ones in the big girl section. There are a few stripey boy ones in a weird spot at Target. And some of those that disappear in the shoe and leave cold, nakey ankles.

But fold-down, solid, "girl color," crew (bobby) to fit a 4T kid?

Do. Not. Exist.


I think pairing my kids' socks is like playing a giant game of Memory.

Miss Cavendish

I see mates for three of my orphan Tar-Zhay socks in your pile!


I can't even stand the idea of throwing out a sock. I have a few of my own orphaned socks sitting in my drawer that are God knows how old....the boys socks are far too cute to even consider pitching. Their socks will forever await their mates...sad really.


We just did a BIG move (6 hours away) and have been in the same house my whole 3.5 yr old boy/girl twins lives....so you can imagine our sock basket. IT had about 50 socks in it. I have been holding out for 3 years on some of the baby ones but nope nowhere to be found. I finally threw the whole basket out and THEN OF COURSE while packing the garage I found ANOTHER random bag full of socks...pretty sure they were the matches. Oh well. I have decided from now on they will share plain white socks from Target even though this makes them super unhappy and my son has about 3 shoe sizes on my daughter...I'M NOT CAVING.


This only with tiny girl panties, I just put them in pile and let them figure it out. At one point youngest had a set of "day of the week" panties and it was mandatory that the day on her butt matched the day of the week. That was a fun stage!

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