This morning like so many others was marked by a fight about socks. I’m intelligent enough to know these conflicts go deeper than the stitching, cotton, or length of the material. Yet, I’m forever baffled by how Ry can get so upset if the sock is not right. He will go through long socks, short Adidas ankle socks, Gap up to the knee socks, cotton white socks and none of them will be OK. I foolishly think pointing out that the time he spends looking for the perfect socks is time he could be on the playground at school, eating, or doing something fun. But for some reason, at those moments, he can not see a world that exists beyond one which allows children to suffer from “sock disorder.”
My wife grapple with how to approach this- Do we use “tough sock love” and detach as he suffers through a parade of socks? Do we become the “sock enabler,” and go through each sock with him? Do we live in denial and stop by a store and buy him ” the perfect sock?” Do we put on our therapist hats and delve into the underlying struggles in our relationship to him that are being played out in a “sock war.”
I should qualify that there is a history “sockaholism” in our family. While dating my wife, I was quite aware of her love of soft, comfortable socks. As for myself, I must admit, I too have had bouts of “sockaholism.” It has been my experience that when I buy nylon-cotton socks that cling to your leg from stores like TJ Max or Marshalls, they end up feeling like support hose that some elderly people wear to help them with their blood flow. And I truly can’t stand knock off “gold toes” in cotton because they tend to be too fluffy and the inseam is all over my toes. And I’m done with white cotton socks, they tend to be too thick to fit my shoe. It is hard to admit that I was not exposed to “Gold Toes,” till much later in life, when my wife bought me first pair. Their truly is no more comfortable socks in my opinion.
So my son does come by this condition legitimately. But for some reason, just about the time we are ready to leave, his socks and shoes are on, he’s in the van, and it’s as if the conflict never occured.