Seriously, Where Do All the Baby Socks Go?

Where do all the baby socks go? If you're a parent, you can probably relate to this dilemma: Two socks go into the washer, are transferred to the dryer and yet only ONE little baby sock resurfaces.
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Where do all the baby socks go? If you're a parent, you can probably relate to this dilemma: Two socks go into the washer, are transferred to the dryer (hopefully after only one wash, two MAX, pending any re-washing due to wet towels that you forgot about overnight... darn!) and yet only ONE little baby sock resurfaces.

But why? Where did the other sock go?

Sure, this happens to adult socks too. But the loss is not as prevalent as it is with those itty bitty baby socks. Baby socks may be adorably cute, but they are oh-so annoying when we can't find their mates. In the absence of a matching pair, I'm often forced to do the following:

1. Mix and match socks (apparently that's a trend in middle school, so new parents have THAT going for them in oh, a DOZEN years).

2. Buy new socks (um, no).

3. Make my kid wear yesterday's stinky socks.

4. Transition my child from sneakers to sandals pre-summer. (Good luck, kid. Stay warm!)

A better parent might organize his or her laundry more efficiently, perhaps utilizing those handy-dandy net bags that keep everything tidy. Honestly, I'm lucky if I finish sorting the laundry before I give up and put the clean laundry back into the basket to tackle another day. Eeeeesh.

And forget the parenting magazine advice that recommends folding laundry as a great co-activity. Have those authors ever enlisted their tots in this activity? What starts out as a fun, family folding party quickly turns into kids running around naked with undies on their heads throwing clothes "in the air like they just don't care." Hootenanny. (Good intentions, sure, but successful, no.)

So, back to the dilemma. Where are all the baby socks?

That we have different sized socks in our house only adds to the confusion. (Again, a better parent would probably separate the adult, preschooler and baby laundry). Me, no! Apparently, I like a challenge! I'm Type A, after all! (Exclamation points!) Maybe I want to thwart early onset mental illness. It's my sudoku of sorts. (Sure.)

Thus, I sort the clothing into about a dozen piles. T-shirts, shorts, pants, undies and socks x 3 (adult, child, baby). INSANE.

Where do the missing socks go? Here are five possible scenarios:

1. All missing baby socks are trapped in the same unforgiving black hole at the very back of the dryer where all socks go to die... which is really one big anxiety-inducing fire hazard. (Shudder. Let's move on.)

2. Only ONE sock made it into the laundry basket to be washed, while the mate is a) safely hidden under the bed, or b) currently doubling as a mitten on an unsuspecting doll or stuffed animal. (Sorry, Care Bear.)

3. Inadvertently, the sad sock was paired with a wrong mate during wine-induced folding, which went something like this: We couldn't find the mate so we paired it with a different sock that was-close-enough-a-match-to the-original, thus re-branding the pair as the new official set. What we didn't realize is that this only perpetuates the cycle... forcing us to repeat the offense over and over again... (More wine?)

4. Thanks to the modern marvel of static electricity, the missing sock is now stuck to another piece of clothing (pants, t-shirt, undies). Most likely, the sock is trapped in the far corner of an already tucked-in clean bottom bed sheet, right? Have fun finding that one! (Mom 0... Sock 1.)

5. Finally and most likely, that darn baby sock is in the car. You know it is. Because we all know that tots just looooove to take off their socks and shoes, right? All hail the hippy baby! They JUST WANT. THOSE. CONSTRICTING. SOCKS. AND. SHOES. OFF!


So yes, it's very likely that the missing sock was released from its entrapment, skydiving to freedom... landing safely on the cheerio-infested floorboard -- never to be heard from or seen again.

Frustrating? Yes. The end of the world? No.

It's just socks, after all. :)

Jennie Sutherland lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and their two daughters. She routinely dresses her kids in mismatched socks. For more satire follow her on twitter @jenniesuth.

Photo: walking my daughter in the stroller. Looked down to find that she had taken off her socks and shoes ... again...