On Wednesday morning I stuck Leta in the Baby Björn, put the dog on a leash and took a walk with my friend Beth to the local Starbucks. Leta was dressed entirely in clothes that have been given to her from other people: a shirt from the neighbor, a pair of cut-off denim pants from my mother, and girly socks from Jon’s sister. The dog was nude, but he’s always nude, so no one really noticed.
I usually try to take a walk everyday with the wee one and Chuck because Leta loves the outdoors and Chuck loves to sniff vertical objects. On our walks I usually play with Leta’s dangling feet because, well, her feet are dangling, and I’m nervous by nature and I’m always looking to fidget with something. Baby feet are perfect for wandering, fidgety hands. And for eating. With ketchup.
On this particular walk, however, I was pretty focused on my conversation with Beth, and I was probably talking back to her with my hands, because that’s how I talk. With my hands and my eyebrows. So Leta’s feet dangled untouched for pretty much the whole walk while my eyebrows shouted sentences into the air. When we arrived at Starbucks I stood outside the door with Chuck on the leash waiting for Beth to get her coffee. I would have bought a coffee as well, but I’ve recently figured out that caffeine has no effect on me whatsoever given the WHOPPING amount of a drug that I am on. This drug makes me tired, and nothing will deter it. Not even a Venti Mocha Valencia with extra whipping cream, OH HOW I LOVE THEE.
While I was standing there patiently with the dog on the leash, who by the way was going nuts because there was another dog there sitting reverently next to its owner and Chuck had not yet been given the opportunity to sniff its ass, a woman sitting at one of the outdoor tables turned to the man sitting next to her and whispered, “That baby has only one sock on.” I was the only one standing there with a baby attached to my body, and in slow motion I reached down to check Leta’s feet and here’s where the music from Psycho kicks in, when the woman is in the shower and the guy with the knife comes at her to kill her:
OH. MY. GOD. LETA HAS ONLY ONE SOCK ON. WE HAVE LOST A SOCK. MY BABY IS HALF-SOCKLESS.
There is only one thing in this world that is worse than a sockless baby, and that is a half-sockless baby. When a baby is sockless both of her feet match, so the hobo factor is only moderately high. A half-sockless baby DOES NOT HAVE MATCHING FEET, so the hobo factor is pegged in the red zone, the danger zone, the zone at which the hobo engine is going to overheat and explode.
My first thought was, My husband is going to kill me. My second thought was, For fuck’s sake, dog, go sniff that other dog’s ass and calm down so that I can freak out. When Beth came out of the Starbucks she saw the look of horror on my face, and I explained, “WE’VE LOST A SOCK! And Leta is wearing CUT-OFF DENIM PANTS, THAT ARE FRAYED AT THE END! MY MARRIAGE IS IN DANGER!”
Quickly we set out a plan of action: We would retrace our steps and look for the lost girly sock. Our chances of finding it were pretty good since the walk wasn’t longer than a half-mile. Chuck finally engaged in butt-sniffing and calmed down so that we could begin our walk home, and I kept shaking my head thinking, “Half-sockless, half-sockless, HALF-SOCKLESS!”
Not 30 seconds into our walk back home we spotted the missing girly sock lying helpless in the middle of the sidewalk. Beth snatched it up from the ground and handed it to me, and I immediately put it in my back pocket and took off Leta’s other sock. I wasn’t going to risk losing a sock again, and so I continued the walk home with a sockless baby. Who was wearing frayed pants. We must have looked homeless and world-weary, me the crack-whore mother, Leta the crack baby.
My marriage was saved.
A block before we got back to the house I got stung by a bee on my left hand. I was a little stunned, having just been through a half-sockless episode, and I swatted the bee away and pulled the stinger out of my thumb. THANK GOD I was the one who got stung because Beth is so allergic to bees that if she had been stung her lungs would have closed up and she might have died. If Leta had been stung, well, does Leta need another reason to scream?
I’m not normally allergic to bees, but my left hand is really swollen. So swollen that I can’t even wear my wedding ring. So swollen that I look like a crack-whore mother who got beat up real good in an alley behind the tattoo shop because I stole someone’s needle. See: