By Megan Hanlon of Sugar Pig
For the last four years, my son’s favorite foot huggers were Fruit of the Loom ankle socks for toddlers, white on top of the foot and a color on the sole — either red, navy, blue, or gray. He likes to mix and match pairs, but generally those four colors go with everything in his dresser drawers. They also have a tight band of elastic so even when he was tiny, the socks stayed on. All in all a wardrobe win.
These socks are logical. Toddler S, M, L — he’s worn them all. For convenience, the size is even printed on the inside of the elastic part so I don’t mix them up. He’s in the toddler large size now, and they’re getting too small, or he’s getting too big. Like the attentive and caring mother I am, I go out and try to find new ones in WHAT I ASSUME would be little boys’ size small. Because that makes sense, right? The next size up from toddler large socks is little boys’ small socks.
WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Target stopped carrying these socks maybe two years ago, so for several years I’ve been dragging myself into Wal-Mart for these socks. That’s all I ever buy there. Now Wal-Mart stopped carrying them, too. In desperation, I’m trying to find something comparable online. And I’m in kids’ sock/shoe size purgatory, where everything’s an illusion and numbers mean nothing.
For nearly 60 minutes I’ve been trying to figure out toddler shoe sizes so I can figure out toddler sock sizes. These aren’t simply the SAME NUMBERS because somewhere, some man who suffered debilitating blisters from his rubbing shoes wanted credit for inventing socks and thus inventing sock sizes (or so I assume). Since shoes were already a thing, this man — perhaps nearing insanity from blister sepsis — decided that sock and shoe sizes should be different, and never the twain shall meet.
Nearly an hour had passed. That’s when I came across a kid sock sizing chart on Amazon. It said the small size generally corresponds to shoe sizes 3-8.5, the medium is shoe sizes 9-2.5, and the large is for shoe size 3-9.
HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE.
Small is smaller than large. Large is larger than small. And nine is bigger than two and a half. Cardinal numbers, people. I shouldn’t have to get all mathematicky to understand this.
I spent so much of this evening staring at my phone screen, trying to figure this out. Forget classes on breastfeeding and pamphlets on vaccines, why did no one ever take the time to teach me about children’s shoe sizes? This is information I NEED TO HAVE. I can’t send my child off to preschool without socks. It literally drove a man crazy once.
Near as I can figure, the small fits toddler shoe sizes 3-8.5. The medium fits toddler shoes 9-12, after which the shoe sizes START OVER in youth or children’s sizes. So the medium fits toddler sizes 9-12 *and* youth sizes 1-2. Then the large fits youth shoe sizes 3-9.
(I don’t know what happens when you get past size 9. Maybe your feet spontaneously combust.)
THERE’S ALWAYS A BUT
The toddler large socks size overlaps the little boys’ small sock size. So my kid will go from a toddler large to a little boys’ medium, which makes sense to no one anywhere.
To make matters worse, Fruit of the Loom calls toddlers “little boys” and anything bigger than toddler shoe size 8.5 “big boys” even though my child is 3-foot-8 and weighs 37 pounds and is still in toddler size clothes. He is not a “big boy.” Furthermore, he will always be my “little boy” even if he is 6’2″ and 230 pounds. BACK OFF, FRUIT OF THE LOOM.
Speaking of clothes, some time next year my son will graduate from a 5T (the T stands for toddler) to a little boys 4 or 5, or XS. That makes sense. But sock sizes, which are already independent from shoe sizes because they WANT US TO SUFFER, well, those are illogical and unintuitive.
Parenting is hard enough as it is. Sock makers can burn in the fiery depths of hell.
Epilogue: I gave up on Fruit of the Loom after they accused my sweet preschooler of being a big boy, and bought some Cat & Jack socks at Target. They were, in fact, a little boys’ medium.
This post was originally published on Sugar Pig.
About the Author
Megan Hanlon is a work-at-home-mom and recovering journalist who grew up in Texas but accidentally moved to Ohio. She shares her life with a husband, two children, and a disobedient Boston terrier. Read more at http://sugar-pig.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @sugarpigblog.