The Bright Side: Ice Skates Would Be Worse

Tonight David and Cameron both had baseball games at 5:30. David’s was local, Cameron’s was 15 minutes away. At 7:00 Justin and Alex had a practice for their team, coached by Barry also local, but not at the same park as David. I’ve learned to start the dressing out process no later than 4:15 for this to go remotely well.

Justin is always gung-ho to get started, sometimes he even gets himself ready as early as 3:00. Today he wanted my help. Jersey, supporter, and pants are never an issue, but when it comes to his socks and shoes, it’s never easy. He must have heightened nerve sensitivity in his feet because I’ve never seen anyone so picky about the seemingly simple task of putting on a pair of socks. I managed to get the first baseball sock on with no complaints. The second one. Not so much.

Justin: “What’s that RED THING on my sock?”
Me: “It’s just a little string stuck to it, I’ll get it off.”
Alex: “Can I take a bath?”
Me: “No. You can after baseball. We need to get dressed now.”
Justin: “It feels WEIRD! You’re supposed to put this part on the TOP!”
Me: “Fine, let me see it.” (I adjusted the bottom of the sock to make sure the seam was on top, and not bothering the bottom of his foot.) “There, is that better?”
Justin: “Yeah.”
Me: “You put your shoes on while I help Alex.”
Justin: “But YOU have to tie them!!!”
Me: “I know, you just put them on, and then I’ll tie them.”
Alex: “Mom, can you put ponytails in my doll’s hair like Dorothy?”
Me: “Sure, just let me get you dressed first.”
Alex: “Ok.”
Justin: “TIE MY SHOE!!!”
Me: “Hang on just a minute, I’m putting on Alex’s stuff.”
Alex: “I don’t know if I really wanna do baseball tonight.”
Me: “Sure you do. You said it was fun.”
Alex: “No. It’s not fun. You just have to stand there.”
Me: “Well, we still need to put on your uniform. Where are your socks?”
Alex: “I don’t know.”
Justin: “TIE MY SHOE!!!”
Me: “Ok!” (I tied his shoe into a neat double bow.)
Justin: “NOT LIKE THAT!!!”
Me: “What’s wrong with it?”
Justin: “It’s sticking out!”
Me: “What is?”
Justin: “I don’t like that sticking out like that. Do it again!”
Me: “Fine.” (We repeated this four more times before I’d had enough.) “It’s fine now. I need to go downstairs and see if Alex’s socks are in the dryer. You put on your other shoe.”
Justin: “NOOOO!!! HELP ME!!!!” (I heard echoes of his shouting and pleading for help as I went downstairs to find socks. Cameron was on the computer.)
Me: “Cameron, aren’t you getting dressed?”
Cameron: “What time’s my game?”
Me: “5:30 and it’s in Victoria. Start getting ready.”
Cameron: “In a minute.”
Me: “Have you seen Alex’s socks?” (I rummaged through laundry baskets, the dryer, and Cameron’s drawers, but found nothing. I did see remnants of black baseball socks that had been cut into two pieces because Cameron has been using the tops of socks as sweatbands because I haven’t taken him to Sports Authority to buy real wristbands.)
Cameron: “Mom, his socks aren’t in my room.”
Me: “How many baseball socks did you cut up?”
Cameron: “I didn’t cut any up. Alex’s socks aren’t in there.”
Me: “I know that. Just answer my question. How many socks did you cut up?”
Cameron: “None!”
Me: “Cameron, you’re lying. There are at least two sock halves sitting here on your dresser? How many did you cut up? Did you cut up Alex’s?”
Cameron: “No!”
Alex: “Mom, can you fix my doll’s hair now?”
Me: “As soon as I help Justin.” (I tied his shoe again. This time he was fine with it.) “Put on your other shoe now.”
Alex: “Now can you do her hair? And fix her leg too.”
Me: (Dealing with Barbie’s hair and leg needs and calling Barry.) “Do you have any more baseball socks in your team stuff?”
Barry: “Why? I put all their socks in their drawer.”
Me: “Cameron cut up a bunch of socks and I think he might have used Alex’s, I can’t find any.”
Barry: “They’re folded in a ball in the drawer.”
Me: “Cameron’s drawer or Alex and Justin’s?”
Barry: “In Justin’s drawer.”
Me: “No, there was only one pair in there.”
Barry: “Can’t I just look for them when I get home?”
Justin: “MOM!!!! I can’t get this SHOE ON RIGHT!!!”
Me: “Fine, Justin’s losing it anyway.”
Justin: “What’s WRONG with this stupid thing???”
Me: “Just settle down, I’ll get it. (I adjusted his shoe one more time.)
Alex: “Can you fix this ponytail? It came out.”
Me: “In just a second, let me tie Justin’s shoe.” (Again I tied a nice double bow.)
Justin: “IT’S NOT TIGHT!”
Me: “Yes it is.”
Justin: “NO!!! I can still wiggle it.”
Me: “I’ll tighten it, just relax.” (I tied a tighter double bow.)
Justin: “That part isn’t straight!”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Justin: “I don’t know, that’s not the way it goes.”
Me: “Justin, this is how I’ve tied your shoes for four weeks now, what is the problem?”
Justin: “I don’t know, it’s just not supposed to be like that.”

Seriously, what is wrong with this knot?

We literally had a variation of this exact conversation after I retied his shoe at least ten times.

Me: “Justin, this is the last time I’m doing this. Like it or not, I’m done.”
Me: “Then you’ll have to wait for your dad to get home and he can tie it.”
Justin: “HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!!! I want YOU to do it!!”
Me: “No. I’m done.” (I went into the bathroom to put my hair up into a hat. Justin started beating on the door.)
Me: “Then take it off and put it back on again. There must be some sand in it.”
Me: “That’s what you need to do to fix it.”
Justin: “I NEED YOU TO HELP ME!!!”
Me: “No, you don’t. Just take off your shoe.”
Justin: (Banging on the door.) “NOOOOOO!!!”

With that I stormed out of the bathroom, forcefully sat him down for a time out, and told him not to move until his dad got home. Meanwhile I had to fix Alex’s doll’s hair again, pack a bag with water, food and bags for Penny, and make sure David and Cameron were ready. As I was doing this somehow Justin was miraculously able to resolve the shoe conundrum on his own. Barry got home, found socks for Alex, and order was restored. Until I told David that since his game would likely finish around the same time as Cameron’s, he’d have to stay at the field for 15 minutes or so until I could pick him up. This was apparently tragedy of epic proportions because even though he could sit and watch part of the next game, or hang out with one of the multitudes of kids he knows who would likely be there in between games, an extra 15 minutes at the ballpark was too difficult for him to fathom. Before he had much of a chance to protest, I dropped him off (But only after turning off the radio at his insistence because Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson was playing.), and was on my way.

This should not be that complicated, people.


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