I tried and tried to talk her out of it, tried to convince her to wear my running shoes, but she was adamant. I loathe shopping with unlimited passion, but I caved -only because this is the first she's ever shown interest in a sport- and made the 45 minute drive into Big City to go shopping.
As we walked into the store, I glanced down at Eldest's feet.
"Are you not wearing socks?!" I asked incredulously. Considering we were only shopping for shoes, I was irked.
"Sorry , Mum, I was rushing to get in the car!" she replied, with that annoying teenager half-shrug of indifference that I swear the French adopted from teenagers.
Swearing under my breath, I looked to Youngest. "Baby, take off your sock and give it to your sister." He looked back at me in disbelief. Eldest is a known germaphobe, and refuses to use a utensil unless she herself has washed it first.
He looked down at his socks, and he looked back at me. "Do it," I said, leaving no room for argument. Eldest started to pitch a fit, refusing to touch the proffered sock, but after I threatened her with things that I'm sure will end up on a therapist's couch, she finally took it.
She sat down, still complaining loudly to no one in particular -as teens are wont to do- and put the dirty sock on. Refusing then to try on the clearance athletic shoes I was willing to buy, and demanding hot pink $100 ones instead, she took off the sock and started to storm out.
No way in hell was that going to happen! I was sick, had made the drive into Big City, had kept the little ones up past bedtime, and was not going to tolerate any more snotty teenage attitude.
I grabbed her arm and dragged her back to the bench she had been sitting on in the shoe area. The dirty sock was still lying on the floor. "Pick up that *#€%£$& sock, put it on, and try on these #%€&@ shoes. Now!"
Something in my face, or perhaps my tone of voice, encouraged her to comply.
The shoes fit, she pulled the sock off her foot, and stormed out to the car, having a tantrum the whole store could hear. I called the littler ones over and gathered up the damn shoes that had caused all this headache.
"Thanks, baby," I said to Littlest, nodding my head towards the grimy, dirty sock Eldest had left on the bench.
"Um, mama?" he said, lifting his pant legs up. There, below the cuff of his jeans, his two ankles were clad in socks.
He looked at me, I looked at him. We looked at the dirty sock still lying on the floor...
And burst out laughing.
Sometimes karma is a bitch. Sometimes it's a dirty sock left by a stranger.