My soon to be 9-month-old daughter has been ripping off her socks pretty much since we started putting them on her. We strap them on and she goes right to work on her various sock removal strategies.
Maddie is most adept at teaching those socks who the boss in their relationship. If she were an NFL player, she would be flagged every single day for excessive celebration. Every time she tears or peels off one of her socks, she goes wild with delight.
It’s even worse when she is in a bad mood because she would be penalized for “taunting.” She gets a smug look of satisfaction on her grill and holds the sock out at you so that you may gape in awe at her handiwork.
There have documented instances where a sock actually flew out of the stroller and over the driver’s head. I have a long sordid history of snatching her sock off the ground and stuffing it into my pocket.
When we walk into the house, my wife often says it looks like Maddie lost a sock. I always dig into my pocket and pull out the offending item that made its unsuccessful bid for freedom.
Now Maddie has taken her sock abuse to the next level. No matter how many toys she decides to surround herself with, she can’t stop thinking about the socks that must be suffocating her poor innocent feet.
Maddie grabs the villainous foot and starts tugging on the sock – stretching it to the very limits of its construction. Once the sock pops off, she has two plans to choose from. One trick is to wrap it around her forehead like Mr. Miyagi did for Ralph Macchio. The other trick is to pull it taut and stuff it into her mouth.
Either demonstration is really quite the spectacle to behold. But there are few things more satisfying than watching your adorable baby daughter teach a combative sock a thing or two.
I never thought of feet as very expressive, but Maddie has been instrumental in showing me the error of my ways. Her feet do an amazing job of conveying every emotion whether it’s absolute outrage, complete satisfaction or pending trepidation.
Every toe seemingly has a mind of its own – attached to legs that only stop churning when it’s time to eat. When mealtime arrives – the feet freeze into an intense rigor along with her legs. All the toes curl up and lock down until her hunger has been abated.
The big toes often take off on their own missions leaving the rest of the toes to fend for themselves.
Big toes curl up – curl in – and can pivot off in any direction without warning. They are not webbed feet, like Michael Phelps – but they strong and full of purpose.
You would think that sleep might put those feet to rest – but it barely slows them down at all. No matter how tight the swaddle or deep the blanket – those feet and toes always find a way to punch through and gain access to the outside world.
But the greatest threat posed by these thundering hooves is during the diaper change. Failing to secure them properly can have unfortunate consequences including a foot into the magic diaper or a forced fumble of changing materials.
I can only assume that if Maddie chooses to become an athlete – her footwork will be nothing short of impeccable. She might even be tempted to try a sport like tennis – Wouldn’t that be something?