I Like Folding Socks

A picture of various brands of socks
Image via Wikipedia

Call me crazy, but I actually like matching socks.

I know, most people would rank this household task someplace north of a root canal and south of eating Brussels sprouts. But if I got to choose between folding miniature children’s clothes and matching socks, I’d take socks any day of the week.

There’s just something restful about stacking like socks in piles around me. It’s finite. It’s a task with clearly-defined boundaries. When I approach the mountain of clean laundry that seems to live at the top of our stairs, socks present the quickest and easiest path to making a dent in it. Matching socks fulfills a rarely-satisfied desire for order.

Like many parents, I’m continually astonished (and often annoyed) by the way household needs explode as kids grow. I couldn’t believe how empty the refrigerator got this week, how creative we had to be to feed everyone until I went grocery shopping. And on Friday night, I caught up on the laundry—even put it away!—only to turn around and find that the bins had magically refilled, like the widow’s jar of oil that never ran dry.

I hate folding baby and toddler clothes. Because let’s face it—they just don’t fold. They’re too small. It’s more a matter of layering them in piles. And it’s not like I can just make a pile of “Julianna’s clothes” and “Nicholas’s clothes.” Little kids’ clothes sometimes come in sets—but not always. So for each of them, I have to make six piles: hung clothes, complete sets, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, long pants, shorts/skirts. Multiply that by three kids, and soon I don’t even have room on the landing of the stairs to put all the clothes!

File:Woolen socks on the floor.JPG
See this? Nightmare!

Socks are such a refreshing change. There’s Julianna’s socks: one pile. Nicholas’s socks: one pile. Alex’s socks: one pile. Obviously, I’m not one of those moms who has to put kids in “cute” socks. We’re a six-pairs-to-a-bag-white-socks family. Neither do I have the exponential multiplication caused by “his” and “hers;” socks get passed down from boy to girl to boy. All this means that I don’t have to pair socks; I just place them in matching stacks. Quick, easy, done. Ah, bliss.

If only all of parenthood could be that way. But that’s tomorrow’s topic.