The other weekend I made the mistake of writing something incendiary on our chalkboard, having one idea but getting different results. (I love the dicitionary meaning of incenidary: tending to arouse strife, sedition, etc.; inflammatory. yup, that’s what I mean!!) It wasn’t incendiary at first…just way more exciting than I meant it to be….
The real story is this: I had just set up a chalkboard in the living room and wanted to practice some cool-and-so-in-style-right-now chalk lettering. And it was a weekend. And I really really wanted everyone to pitch in and get some chores done. So I wrote this:That’s all I did. Then I left it. Well, it was surprising how much excitement and speculation stirred up suddenly! And then I realized….they actually were expecting something exciting and amazing. Oh no! I had just been hoping to get some socks folded and put away….now what was I going to do?
What with one thing and a lot of others….there was no time for the Sock Carnival. At all. For a whole week. I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty about not coming through with it. And there were still enquiries about when were we going to do the carnival….”sometime” was my only answer.
Exhausted after all the events of the week, I wasn’t even thinking about Socks. Until Saturday morning rolled around, and I was up way earlier than I ever want to be on a Saturday…and I felt that obsessive urge: I should do the Sock Carnival (whatever it will look like). And so, to give myself some motivation, I dressed in the most brightly colored clothing I could find (it happened to be a mou-mou that my Grandmother made for herself out of woven Guatemalan fabric!) and started to decorate. That took all of 10 minutes (I happen to have a stash of clowns, ready to appear at any moment. Don’t ask why). As I was throwing things together, I realized that my husband was face-timing his family in Guatemala on the iphone, and telling them about the Amazing Sock Carnival that we were going to have!! Oh! Now I really had to come up with something resembling fun…but I’m afraid that at that point, all I felt like doing was yelling at people (kids) to just help out without complaining and get their laundry put away!! (My efforts to whip up something fun weren’t going over too well with the kids when they saw the giant bins of socks that really did need sorting, and when certain people realized that it wasn’t a real carnival) (couldn’t resist adding that photo, though I know she’ll not be happy with me! heh heh, sweet revenge! There were moments when I thought that this just might turn into an Amazing Carnival of Complaining like we watched years ago.)
And so I got busy and another sign went up to add to the “carnival decor” this time in Spanish….Send in the Clowns!! Add some mate-less socks to my hanging display…My little friend joined the decorating…
I happily modeled my mou-mou for my mother-in-law (even though I knew I that looked terribly exhausted and just, well..terrible)And blew up a few more balloons while I tried to get myself into the party-type mood to happily persuade the kids that this was really going to be fun and not just plain work. I must say that it helped to have an audience!! (I had to get my impatience under control!) 3-2-1 and the Amazing Sock Carnival had begun!!
Festivities began with all the socks being dumped in the middle of the living room. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but I’ll just say that there are 6 people in our household and no one likes washing or matching and putting away socks (that’s normal enough) and so bins of washed socks have been accumulating for awhile….
The first carnival activity: the timer was set for 5 minutes and a prize would go to the person who made the most matches of socks right off the bat. I shouted gleefully “this is not nicey-nice school where everyone gets a prize!!” when there were comments like “where’s my prize?” The winner received a yummy Ikea chocolate. This prize-giving gave the whole proceeding a bit more of an edge! The next round was a quick one, and involved pulling out all the clean underwear that had been mixed up with the socks. The least said about this round, the better!
By this time, we were all having fun! (I’m not quite sure what our family who were watching by face-time thought about our antics….I’ll have to ask!!) Another “sock round” involved everyone pulling out any socks that were theirs. There were “breaks” when everyone rushed up to put away their armloads of socks. Oh and of course, each person had a tally sheet to keep track of the pairs they were making. I was really really curious to know how many socks we have. It just made it that more exciting (for me anyways. I don’t get out much).
Snacktime at the Carnival! The smell of buttered popcorn kept everyone going.
And so it did turn out to be a fun carnival after all! I’m afraid that not every sock was matched up, since some of them are still hiding in strange places around the house and haven’t come to light yet. So there is still a small bin of matchless socks sitting around, but I did come up with a final tally……drum roll please……180 pairs of socks! That’s 360 socks, not counting the rest that were in hiding. It seems like a lot, doesn’t it? It’ s not that we have a sock fetish or anything like that….I guess it’s just that I don’t throw out socks until they are really full of holes, and some of these socks have literally been around for years and years–they must have been well made!! Anyway, yes it still is a lot of socks, and just imagine having to wash them, dry them and match them up and then put them away in everyone’s drawers…it’s enough to drive anyone crazy!!!
After the sock carnival (and after we had watched the previously mentioned Amazing Carnival of Complaining by the 3-2-1 penguins) I wrote up these verses from Philippians 2:14, 15 which are mentioned in the cartoon. A good time was had by all, and maybe a lesson was even learned. Maybe. 🙂