Let’s talk about laundry, shall we?  It’s been a while. . .

When Mama Syd was here, she dove into the socks.  Oh, the socks.  While I was pregnant with Gem, I had a flash of brilliance and designated a spot for all of the lonely socks instead of chasing them through drawers.  It has worked great and about once a month I sort through it, find the matches and put it back.  It seems like Mama Syd always visits right about that time. . .

Mom? I go through the socks, I do.  But they multiply. You understand.

She sat with those stinkin’ socks for hours.  Granted, there were A L-O-O-O-OT of distractions during those hours but still, it was a task.

She texted Monday, “Math question for the boys this morning. 7 people in family, how many socks get dirty in 1 day? How many in 1 week if each person wears a clean pair each day?”

(An aside: the ‘clean’ designation is actually very important here.  Certain individuals who shall remain nameless don’t always remember to don a clean pair.)

Anyway, we did the math. 14 socks in a day, 98 in a week.


I got light headed.  Then we wondered just how many socks everyone owned.  We estimated 10 pairs (a serious low-ball considering we KNEW that Tess had been gifted 20 pairs just for Christmas) and counted things up.  That meant 20 socks per person and 140 in the house. Here is where I started to choke back the tears.

The boys at this point were uninterested in socks and chose instead to wrestle over and around a U.S. map puzzle.  It fell to Ellie then to count out the basket of loner socks.  She was happy to sort by color and count things into piles.  We did fives and tens and learned that 2 tens makes twenty.  She stayed chipper while I sweated over the running total in my head.

99 unmatched socks languished in the basket.  Ellie was proud and I was hysterical.  I knew there was a load in the wash which meant potential mates for some of the basket dwellers and also an entirely new crop of singletons to add to the ranks.

I should have chucked the whole basket right then and started over. Instead, I gave it to Tess to put back in the laundry room so I could pretend all was normal and dream of living in the tropics where they don’t wear socks. Ever.

And then? THIS Monday Jac took on the job of folding laundry while I grocery shopped.  I came home to our bed littered with socks – and these were just the freshly cleaned. He searched in vain for matches and kept throwing mismatched  and near-matched socks aside in frustration.  There was a wild look in his eyes and he was unable to string full sentences together.

“What the . . .?” “I just -” “Wait! Is this . . .? No.” “Grrrrr!”

I slipped out of the room and down to the laundry.  The look on his face when I came in with The Basket! Awesome.  He almost cried.

It was a good night.  We all put away at least 10 pairs of socks. We found long lost matches and called out our findings like treasure.  It felt good.  And the basket? Well, it’s still full.  But we tossed a number of inhabitants that night into the wastebasket and that adds up to success in my book.