Attention all inventors: Please, I beg you, design a sock for my son. I even have some ideas to get you started. And I offer them with no strings attached (heaven forbid there should be stray strings!). I want no royalties, no credit whatsoever. The peace of mind knowing that a morning will pass in my house without sock stress is payment aplenty. Allow me to explain.
My son is not unlike the famous Princess and the Pea, capable of detecting a miniscule lump, bump, or crease in the fabric of his sock. Anything slightly awry can wreak havoc on our already tenuous morning ritual.
Over time we have increased our chances of success by eliminating all offending socks and stocking only one brand. (Thank you Champion.) But brand alone is no where near enough. They must also be the right style and, of course, the correct size. We are allowed a minimal amount of flexibility when it comes to style, but size is set in stone (regardless of foot growth), and any sudden change can be downright disastrous.
Take, for example, our most recent attempt to upgrade. Current shoe size is 3 ½. Current sock size is Medium. Current sock supply was dwindling. The possibility of locating two perfectly matching socks free of holes was decreasing. My husband bravely set out to purchase new socks. Thinking logically—given the discrepancy between shoe and sock size—he decided it was high time to move on up. He took the plunge and returned home with eight pairs of stark white, hole-free, size Large, Champion socks. Having been through this once or two hundred times, I saw the whole series of events play out in my head.
Initially there was excitement that his foot was so gigantic to warrant a larger size. What are a few bumps compared to the thrill of having a bigger foot? The euphoria of this boost to his self image got us through the first few mornings. I should take comfort in this baby step forward. This is progress, I remind myself. But alas, as I knew it would, the honeymoon came abruptly to an end.
Day three and no longer on cloud nine of big-footedness, the reality of lumpy socks came crashing down upon him. Off they came, and there we were, scrambling to track down a matching set of Medium socks. Once again, I remind myself that this is progress. In the recent past, and likely again in the future, this would have erupted into full-blown mayhem. Shoe hurling, door slamming, backpack slinging anarchy. But the planets were only slightly out of alignment on this occasion and after a minor amount of name calling (Dad was of course demonized for purchasing the evil, too-large socks in the first place), we had acceptable replacements and life was good.
Although we have made slight progress towards sock liberation, I have some thoughts to help ease the burden not only on my family but the countless others who suffer from sock stress. I envision a spray-on/peel-off sock. Form fitting and lump free. Disposable, yes. Not so good in these times of reduce, reuse, recycle. I suppose the fact that we would be reducing meltdowns doesn’t satisfy the environmentalists. Why not focus on reuse instead? Surely there’s some underutilized industrial by-product out there that would make the perfect spray-on sock. Something that once it’s peeled off can go straight into the compost bin. There, reuse and recycle all in one. It will be years before anyone discovers the revolutionary material leeches carcinogenic chemicals into our children’s feet and eventually into our vegetables through the compost. But alas, I’m just a Mom desperate for a meltdown free morning. Let the inventors and the scientists figure out the details. Just give me some stress-free socks, and maybe a bulk discount.