49 Odd Socks
Have you ever done your washing and thrown in one pair of socks only to find that when you take the clothes out of the dryer, one sock has mysteriously disappeared? Well I have many times and it doesn't matter how many pairs of socks enter the washing machine, at least two or three single socks leave the dryer, their mates never to be seen again. Is their an "Odd Sock Heaven? Where do these missing socks go?
After sorting out odd socks every wash day and noticing that some of them have been around for maybe six months, I finally decide to throw some of them out, feeling that I will never find the matching sock. Next wash day comes around and guess what shows up hidden among the clothes..the matching sock that the garbage men took away that morning.
I think there is an "Odd Sock Monster" that lives in the bottom of the washing machine or sink who only eats odd socks. It doesn't matter how many times you throw the mate into the washer, the "monster" will not take it or cough up the missing sock. Granted sometimes you will find socks stuck to towels, sheets or static nighties, but they're never the mate to one of the 49 odd socks that are in the bottom drawer, just another one to add to the collection.
If by some chance a missing sock reappears after its long absence, it is usually a child's sock and feeling quite elated, I rush to the odd sock drawer, only to find that the child has grown out of it and it is of no use to me anyway.
Cursing the washing machine, I drop not one but a pair of perfectly good, too small socks into the garbage never to be worn again. That brings to mind another thing, the "monster" never eats an old worn out sock, but always prefers the brand new one that you or the children received this Christmas from Aunt Bessy, who comes around only to see if you wear her present. Needless to say when she asks how come you are not wearing "my socks that cost a fortune", I have to say that they are in the wash. She must think it quite strange that every time she comes to visit the socks are being washed.
After speaking to many people about this subject and laughing as they tell their stories about their missing socks, I have come to the conclusion that in every drain, in every house, in every city, lies a monster waiting and watching for his next meal....the odd sock.
"Not Me"...Please Go Home
There is an invisible child living in my home. I have three children, two girls and a boy and yet when something goes wrong or a dish is broken, it seems that not one of them have done the dirty deed, but a child by the name of "not me" or "I don't know" is at fault.
I believe every family has one of these little people, but no one seems to know what he or she looks like and it amazes me how much trouble they can cause. When my children are asked, "Did you do this or who forgot that or where is that certain object I have been looking for, for the past two weeks?" the answer is "not me" or I don't know". Maybe there is more than one of these mischievous creatures.
Another typical name for the invisible child is "I forgot". "I forgot" is always getting into trouble for not doing the chores that are asked to be done and washing and drying that seems to always be forgotten and left either in the washer or dryer for days. Meanwhile my eldest, whose job it is to put away the drying is getting the blame for what "I forgot" forgot to do.
When I ask the children, "where is your jacket or hat and gloves? we all know who the culprit is... "I don't know". He or she is always hiding the coats that the children have dropped in the front hall after coming in from outside or stealing their hats and gloves that were not put away. "I forgot" always forgets to brush his or her teeth in the morning or change his/her socks and is notorious for forgetting to walk the dog or put away their things. "I forgot" is to blame when one of the children arrive at school minus, their homework, gym shorts or their lunch. "I forgot" is definitely at fault when a house key is left in the pocket of a pair of jeans and not taken to school the next day and the children are locked out in the cold for 1/2 an hour.
When the children are asked whose turn it is to vacuum the rug, "not me" rears it's little head because it is never one of their turns. Too bad "not me" couldn't vacuum the rug. When it comes to the time for the dishes to be washed there is a great battle as to whose turn it is to wash, dry or put away. "Not me" did not wash yesterday or dried this morning, so the fight rages on until either mother or father have to referee and decide that "not me" will not do the dishes but either one of the children in certain order will, wash, dry and put away the dishes at once. Poor "not me" gets himself into so much trouble we have to feel sorry for him sometimes.
The most mysterious of these little gremlins is "I don't know". He/she is the guilty one when a child is asked who broke the favourite lamp shade that now is virtually impossible to replace. Out of the two children that were wrestling and shoving in front of the lamp, the third "not me" actually broke the lamp shade, with the other two helping just a little.
Only when a woman gets married and has children of her own, do we realize what our mothers went through and appreciate how mom felt on certain days. Kids will be kids, the saying goes and even when you think you are at the end of your rope after asking ten times for them to do as they are told, as soon as they are gone for a few hours the house seems empty and lonely without them.
When the kids have grown up and there is no longer the "patter of little feet" or the arguing of brother and sister, you can look back and laugh at the antics that at times infuriated us. I often think that I should thank my mother for putting up with me and teaching me to be a good parent and I hope that one day my children will do the same.
Children will never change and there will always be stories among mothers that will bring laughter and sometimes anger and yet what would we do without kids and with every child comes the invisible ones, "I forgot", "I don't know" and the unforgettable "not me".
The preceding stories were written many years ago when my children were a lot younger and living at home. They have all moved away and have families of their own now.
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