Last weekend I was doing the dreaded closet switch over. I unpacked all of the winter hats, gloves, mittens, neck gaiters, snow pants, ski gloves, ski boots, snow boots, snow pants, vests, and winter coats -- times nine.
In order to make room for all this in the closet, I had to pack up the summer and fall items like jackets, sandals, sunhats, sunscreen, beach chairs, beach towels, baseball gloves, jock straps (why do my sons think these sort of things belong with their cleats? why?) -- times nine, except for the jock straps.
I had a huge pile of the children's shoes in the mudroom at one point, while I was trying to decide which shoes were going into the trash and which still fit their owner. My husband picked up two sneakers. "Who do these belong to? And where are their mates?"
I looked at the sneakers and said, "Those belong to the 5-year-old and they are a pair."
"No, they are not."
"Yes they are. I just bought them in September. No one else has sneakers like those."
"But they aren't the same sneaker. And more importantly they aren't even the same size," he said.
I took the sneakers away from Rob to examine them myself. And he was right. The sneakers are not exactly the same. And one of them is at least a size and a half smaller than the other. I was incredulous.
"You really should return them," Rob said.
"Oh and what will I say?," I asked. " 'I bought these sneakers two months ago and have been putting them on my child every single day, yet somehow I have failed to notice they are different until now. And here let me write down my address so you can be sure to get it right when you call child protective services.' "
Clearly I should not have been allowed to reproduce. It is bad enough that I didn't notice, but my obviously inferior genes have produced the sort offspring who apparently cannot tell when he is wearing one shoe which is a size and a half too small. However, this same child will writhe on the floor like he is covered with stinging nettles should the tag on back of his shirt touch his neck.
Come to think of it, maybe he inherited those qualities from his father. Yes, that's it.
Chris is a writer, artist, wife to one, and mother to seven children. In her spare time she works on restoring her 100-year-old home and torturing her children with ill-fitting clothing.