Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Orphan socks

Miriam's teacher assigns her class a chore to do at home every week. This week's chore is to do their own laundry, which Miriam said she informed her teacher she already does. But I wonder if she told her teacher why she does her own laundry.

Technically she and Rachel work together to do their laundry, which works out nicely because between the two of them they make a good sized load with a full week between washing days.

Rachel started doing her laundry last year when I decided that she was old enough to help fold laundry. So instead of folding her laundry for her, I'd just sort her clothes into a basket for her to fold on her own. The problem then became that she'd never get around to folding anything so by the time I came to collect laundry from her room I couldn't tell what was clean or dirty because it was all just thrown about her bedroom.

I told her that if I can't tell what's clean (because it's in your dresser put away) or dirty (because it's in your dirty clothes basket), I guess I don't have to wash anything because it's certainly not my job to sniff every article of clothing in her room to decide whether it needs to be washed or not.

And that's how Rachel came to be in charge of her own laundry.

Miriam joined her ranks late last year when she went on a rampage through the house, trying to find a pair of clean socks, a futile mission.

"You need to be better at getting the laundry done!" she snapped at me. "I don't have any clean socks left!"

In her...defense?...she goes through more socks than the average child. We're renting her organ shoes and part of the arrangement is that she has to change into clean socks before putting on said organ shoes. With organ lessons twice a week, that's an average of two more pairs of socks each week, which doesn't sound like so much when I have it written out like that but do you know how many pairs socks I have to deal with on a weekly basis?!

Something like seventy times seven!

Okay, so it's only seven times seven. And that's only an approximate number because the other day when Benjamin was getting ready for bed I saw him peeling off layer after layer of socks. Turns out he'd worn four pairs of socks to school. But, like, other times he doesn't change his socks until we force him to because we can't stand the smell any more. all evens out to a whole lot of socks.

Anyway, in her defense, Miriam goes through more socks than the average child and I am frequently guilty of being constantly behind in the laundry-folding department. I'm not terrible, but I often have a basket (or two) of laundry sitting around, waiting for me.

But on the particular day she chose to question my laundry skills, I was all caught up and I wasn't in the mood to take any sort of smack talk so I laid down the line.

"Sounds like you need to start doing your own laundry then," I told her.

"Fine!" she retorted (queen of comebacks, this one).

"Fine!" I re-retorted (I don't know where she gets it).

And, thus, Miriam joined the ranks of children who wash their own laundry. She did not however suddenly find herself awash in socks. Rather, her sock drought continued. Finding a matching pair of socks was a daily battle. There were tears.

Andrew and I kept hinting at "secret stashes of stuff" in her room, we kept asking her to dig around under her bed to clear out caches of junk, but she kept hiding her messes rather than taking care of them so finally this weekend we pulled out all sorts of stuff from under her bed and in the corner by her bookshelf. Andrew even made her empty out her sock drawer to look for lonely socks.

Then, after she did her laundry, we had her go through the "orphan sock drawer" (because we have one of those; doesn't everybody?) and she found twenty-one matches, guys. TWENTY-ONE!

To her credit, three of those matches did not belong to her. But the other NINETEEN did.

So now she's the wealthiest girl I know...when it comes to socks, that is!


  1. Several years ago, I acquired proof that socks not only become orphaned, but may also become actually lost, about which experience I have produced this blog post: "Lost left socks".

  2. I finally stopped putting socks in the kids drawers. I have a big kid basket and a little kid basket and a drawer where all the socks go until I want to fold them. I love summer!!1 NO SOCKS!!