Sock it to me

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What is with old ladies’ obsession about babies’ feet, specifically whether or not said feet are encased in socks?
I was approached in the grocery yesterday by a nice older lady. The first words out of her mouth were, “Her feet look cold!”, a comment which left me looking perplexedly at Eliza’s feet, trying to figure out how the devil she could tell. Eliza’s toes were not blue; nor were they the telltale black of dead, frostbitten flesh. They were normal, pink, chubby baby feet (that I want to butter, salt and eat for lunch because they are so cute, but that’s another entry).
I could understand if the temperature outside was in the forties or fifties or, heck, even the sixties. But time of year matters not to little old ladies. In a perfect world there would be nary a naked baby toe in all the land, on any day of the year. “It’s 97 degrees outside!” I protest. Yes, they acknowledge, then wag their fingers at me: but the air conditioning is on in here. “I know, and it probably feels good — because it’s 97 degrees outside!!!” Alas, my argument falls on deaf ears — mainly because their hearing aid batteries have died, which is why they are at the store in the first place.
I suppose this is an issue on which we must agree to disagree. Perhaps at some future date the little old ladies will realize we are not raising a generation of consumptives, despite modern mothers’ foolhardy refusal to mummify our baby’s feet. Or perhaps a study may be published that shows a strong correlation between increased juvenile delinquency and a failure to sport appropriate footwear in infancy. Then the little old ladies can nod knowingly and mutter, “We told you so!” at us in the shops and, before you know it, I and my generation will be those little old ladies, patrolling retail establishments everywhere to admonish young mothers of sockless babes.
Note to future self: remember to also ask why baby isn’t wearing a hat.

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

3 responses »

  1. Your entry made me laugh…my mother always told me that no matter what time of year, no matter what the circumstance, I would go to great lengths to remove anything she had covering my feet. I’m over 50 and I STILL can’t stand to have anything on my feet. I wear shoes when necessary (flip-flops from as early as possible to as late as possible) and socks only when medically necessary. I don’t care how ugly Uggs are, they are my preferred footwear for the winter when I have to go outside. So, to me, socks are VASTLY overrated!

  2. Yes, yes, yes! I well remember when Erika was an infant — it was late August, 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity in Delaware, and some old lady wagged her finger at me and said “Someone’s feet are uncovered!” At the time, I didn’t have enough confidence as a mother to give her a smartass response. Too bad.

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