Pondering pockets

Pockets in kids' clothes are the worst.

Why do kids’ clothes have pockets? Seriously. Miss One was wearing the cutest pair of overalls the other day, and they have pockets. What is the point? Her dummy doesn’t even fit into one. And it’s not like she has a credit card or a phone to carry around. Yet.

Master Five has a number of pairs of cargo shorts, which in my opinion are the worst kind of shorts one can dress a mess-making, sandpit-loving five-year-old in. Because whereas his baby sister’s pockets are completely useless, his are just a bit *too* useful. He doesn’t have a credit card or a phone, either, but what he does have are approximately seventeen million bits of Lego, loose sand, bottle caps, interesting stones, seashells, bark from the garden, tiny plastic dinosaurs, miscellaneous toys filched from Miss 11’s bedroom, broken crayons, and one of his baby sister’s dummies. All in his pockets at once, it would seem.

And every time I do the washing, it either takes me 10 minutes to empty his pockets (a bit like a clown car – things just keep on coming out of them), or I completely forget and am faced with a washing machine full of random paraphernalia when the spin cycle finishes.

I blame my children’s father, who comes home from work every evening and empties his own pockets onto the kitchen bench. And then the next morning, he seems to leave most of what he emptied out the night before on said bench while pocketing only his wallet and keys. I’m always coming across keys to God knows what locks, buttons, screws, pen caps, unidentifiable bits of this and that which *may* come in handy someday, broken zipper pulls, rubber bands, bits of Lego (yes, seriously), and loose change, which of course I immediately claim for my chocolate fund.

Every couple of days I sweep the whole lot up into a box and tell one of the kids to go put it on Daddy’s desk. The trouble, however, is that Daddy and I share the home office, and now all of those pocket treasures are starting to migrate to My Side. My Side, as you may imagine, is a paragon of organisation and order. Well, except for the teetering stacks of review books waiting for me to read. But they don’t fit into pockets, and they are for work, so they are allowed.

So what am I to do about these pocket problems? “Stop buying clothing with pockets” seems like the obvious solution. So, too, does “Stitch up the pockets in their clothes so they can’t fill them with stuff.” But in the wise words of a meme that was popular a few years ago, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I think the real problem is that pockets are just too small, and too temporary, to do much good. What my son and husband really need are handbags. They’re like big pockets, and you only need to empty them out a few times a year, not every day. In fact, I just emptied mine the other day, when I was switching from my summer handbag to a winter one.

Now I’ve got to figure out where to put six lip glosses, 15 pens, several empty lolly wrappers, the charger to a phone I haven’t owned in three years, a newborn baby nappy (unused), a plastic baggie of tiny light bulbs from the Christmas tree fairy lights, one sock (clean), a pair of surgical scissors, and about a million pieces of Lego…

Katherine Granich

What I’m reading this week: The Red Hunter, by Lisa Unger (Simon & Schuster $35)

Personal opinion: This book has a terrible title. It’s a thriller and a good one, but the title made me expect there would be actual, well, hunters of the gun-toting, deerstalking variety, and I wasn’t up for that. But “the red hunter” describes the aspect of her personality that Zoey Drake, one of the main characters, tries very hard to keep at bay — but can’t quite escape, as she’s hellbent on revenge, or justice, or both. Her parents were murdered when she was only 14, and now she’s in her 20s and determined to find the killers. Meanwhile, in the house where Zoey’s family was destroyed, Claudia Bishop and her daughter are making a fresh start. But the house holds a secret, and soon everything is going to converge — and the two women will both have to confront demons from their pasts. I couldn’t put this one down, particularly as I had very mixed feelings about one of the characters who started off as a good guy and then, well… You’ll see. It’s a great rainy-weekend read.

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