Mom's creative reaction to her daughter's dirty sock on the floor hilariously escalates

Every parent knows the woe of kids leaving their dirty clothes lying around. When I was a kid, my dad would see my pile of clothes on the bathroom after I took a shower and cry, "Oh no! Annie melted!" I thought that was a clever alternative to yelling at me to pick up my stuff, but it doesn't hold a candle to the way a Washington state mom handled a dirty sock left behind by her daughter.

Xep Campbell shared how her and her 10-year-old daughter Kestrel's creative one-upsmanship escalated on Facebook, and people are loving it.

"On the evening of Thanksgiving when I went to bed I noticed one of Kestrel's socks on the bathroom floor," Campbell wrote. "I decided not to toss it in the hamper but instead see how long it would stay there, sort of a sociological experiment. Today, a week later, it remained, so I decided it must be intentional and deserved recognition as such. I made this little label hoping it would motivate her to pick it up. Oh no."


Xep Campbell/Facebook

The label reads like a sign at an art installation—"The Forgotten Sock, Mixed Media, Nov 25, 2020. On loan from the collection of the artist."

Xep Campbell/Facebook

"She sent me a text message asking if I had done it.," Campbell wrote.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

"When I got home she said 'I made a pedestal for it!' She gamed my shame."

Xep Campbell/Facebook

Game on.

"I figured as long as it was on display, it deserved an audience so the barnyard animals arrived," wrote Campbell. "They find it very fascinating."

Xep Campbell/Facebook


Xep Campbell/Facebook

That alone would have been enough to draw a chuckle from anyone. But it didn't end there.

You know those "mysterious" metal monoliths that have been making the news?

Xep Campbell/Facebook

Oh yes, she did.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

And it just kept going. "I came back from walking the dog and this had appeared," Campbell wrote. More art for the animals to enjoy.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

And then? This happened. "It's a miracle!!!" Likely the only nativity scene of its kind, ever.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

And it kept growing. "They heard about the party." Oh. My. Goodness.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

"I should point out this is a *very small* bathroom," Campbell added. "I asked when the sock might go away. She said 'how long do art exhibits usually last?'

Xep Campbell/Facebook

The creative escalation of the abandoned sock story has delighted tens of thousands as the post has gone viral.

Campbell tells Upworthy that she tries to live life in a way that results in a net positive gain for herself and anyone she comes in contact with—a philosophy that clearly extends to her relationship with her daughter.

"I always try to take the creative route whenever possible," she says. "There is a lot of beige in the world that needs to be countered. There are also endless possibilities to be creative with even the most mundane aspects of life. I tend to go for the weird option when it's there."

As one example, when Campbell had to have brain surgery, she invited her friends to a zombie-themed roller skating party where they ate giant, brain-shaped jello. She says that Kestrel isn't fazed by any of her mother's antics because she's grown up with it. "She definitely appreciates the absurd, though." Campbell adds.

Not only is this story wildly entertaining, but seeing a unique approach to an extremely common parenting situation can help all parents expand their toolbox. Not only is this sock-turned-art-turned-manger-scene a fun way to make a memory with a child, it's also likely to be far more effective at helping her remember to pick up her clothes off the floor than simply reminding her for the dozenth (or hundredth) time to use the hamper. Normally a kid might overlook something they left behind, now any time her eyes hit a piece of clothing on the floor, her brain will remember this goofy scene and at least notice that it's there.

Well done, mama. Thanks for the entertainment and the positive parenting example.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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