I have been up front and honest with you many times about all of the things I forget to do, put off doing, or downright neglect when it comes to my role as a mother.

I’m not the most thorough, organized, on-top-of-it person out there, and my parenting is no exception. It often looks as messy as my office closet, and I hope that one day my children can forgive me for my grievous sins against them. By my practice of exposing of my shortcomings here, I also hope that perhaps I can help one of you remember something you might need to take care of.

Which is what brings us to today’s PSA. Quite accidentally, I discovered a giant, moon-sized hole in my parenting.

One of my children – I won’t say which to protect their identity (let’s pretend I have twelve children for the day) – has had a problem for quite some time. A rather embarrassing problem – one that Chris and I couldn’t seem to get this child to stop doing.

There was an issue of constant fidgeting and picking at a certain item of underclothing.

After weeks of reminding – nay even nagging this child to please refrain from this activity, said child looked me in the eye with a kernel of wisdom beyond their years and said, “I think it’s because they feel so tight all the time. Could they all be too small for me?”

My eyes widened, stunned by the logic and insight pouring from such a tiny mouth.

I had never bought this child any new underwear. Since this child was potty-trained many years ago, they had been slowly growing out of their provided underclothes, just as a tree root slowly grows through a sidewalk.

This. THIS is the kind of sub-par crappy parenting that I bring to the table.

Guilt agitated my soul like a washing machine set on stain-removal. And I immediately set out to Target to correct my grievous sins.

But which underwear should I buy? I hadn’t bought any children’s underwear in this particular gender in many years. Which were most comfortable? Which would provide greatest ease in wear? Which would abolish wedgies?

So I bought them all.

Because a guilty conscience carries a big checkbook.

A guilty conscience also needs a safe place to seek reassurance, so I texted my friend Katherine and confessed my Sins of Motherhood. Her response was triple antibiotic on my wounded soul.

Oh that? Yes. It only cost us four separate co-pays and a visit to Children’s Hospital South for a GI scan to rule out colon cancer. Sorry – I thought ALL families did that before they bought their children new underwear.

Everyone needs a friend like Katherine.

I pursued her on this issue of negligence. Upon which of your four children did you commit this omission?

[Kid X] got the four visits and GI scan, but we also made a doctor’s visit for [Kid Y] as well.

If Katherine can make this mistake twice, then I can make it once. Right?

I came home from Target with a fresh spring in my step and presented my wise, neglected child with an armload of underthings and explained that if said child would track the efficacy of the different types, I would make sure to buy more in the best variation of underthings to properly ensure that comfort could finally be had – something denied to that child for far too long.

I then explained the meaning and importance of the concept of Unbiased Scientific Analysis. Because the thing was, some of the items of clothing in question had favorite cartoon characters on them – but this fact should not afford them a greater review than a pair that was, say, a solid color. Scientists must not be driven by the wind. Or by Elsa, Queen of the Wind.

The child looked at me with those same serious, wide eyes, agreeing to the importance of the task at hand.

“But how will I remember which were best? How will I keep up with such important information?”

“Don’t worry, dear child. I will make you a chart.”

And I did.


Again showing my egregious negligence, I did not take time to find a ruler for a straightline, nor even did I simply draw slowly enough to have consistent lines. But I am what I am. And thankfully, the child was pleased with the chart and excited to get to work on the research project.

(Although the child was a bit critical of the fact that some of my questions were rather redundant.)

The child filled out the chart with the care of a Ph.D. candidate, even caring enough to count the number of wedgies created by each variety in a 24 hour time period.


I wish the first line wasn’t filled out in pencil so that you could see the reasoning behind the sad rating of 1 – “I got up in the middle of the night to change” – yes, they were that bad. But this vital piece of data is why it was worthy of its own chart.

But most importantly, all embarrassing habits ceased immediately upon the reception of these gifts.

Dearest friends, this is your wake-up call. Buy your children new underwear once in a while.

42 thoughts on “A Public Service Announcement, for Parents.

  1. What an awesome idea! I want to do this! (But I never will because I’m too cheap). I WANT to do this same project, except your chart and horrid lines make my eyes bleed so it will have to be a better chart, but same idea! :)

    1. I KNOW. Mine too. I am so beyond ashamed of myself. I have no idea what was so important that day that caused me to hurry those lines in such a heinous fashion. I should have redone it then and there.

  2. I do the same thing but with shoes. It never occurs to me to see if my girls need new shoes until they tell me their feet hurt. I will say that my oldest ( almost 12) was wearing underwear at least 2 sizes too small for her because she wanted to. I only noticed because they started to look like low rise bikinis on her and at the rate they were going would soon be thongs if I let her stay in them. For some reason this child doesn’t like the idea that she needs a bigger size as she grows so this makes clothes shopping fun, not!

    1. Me, too, with the shoes!! I’m all: Get your shoes on! And they’re all: We CAN’T, Mom, they don’t fit. And I’m all: But I JUST bought them! And they’re all: LAST. YEAR. WOMAN. And I’m all: Um… oops? ::facepalm::

  3. I’m glad to see the MLP underwear seems to have the best Ali-rating, since that is the kind AB wears. I made the same mistake with my first-born – with underwear AND shoes! So, you’re one-up on me.

  4. My daughter likes the Hanes comfort band but they tend to run small according to her. My kids potty trained early, 16 months and 17 months. We wear the same undies for awhile. My Mom pointed out when my oldest spent a lot of time adjusting things that perhaps it was time for an upgrade. My daughter was overly appreciative. See you you hold out on those things and that brand new craptastic toy they think they need is not so important when you discover how good new undies make you feel!! Socks, good grief I never remember to check that!

  5. Don’t feel bad. My daughter just begged me for new underwear and pointed out to me that some of it was purchased right after she was potty-trained. (I bought them big at the time.)
    She will be starting eighth grade next week. LMAO

  6. We have been through this so many times! I just had to chime in. My daughter’s badonkadonk is on the larger side and she has picked wedgies for years. I was on a mission a few years ago to find her panties that fit well. After spending a lot of money on brands sold at Target and walmart, I ventured into specialty stores like Children’s Place. No panties were cut big enough. None! Finally I bought some $4 a pair ones at Justice. Boom. Best panties EVER. I wait until I have a 40 off coupon and then stock up. She wears the most expensive panties in the house (I get mine in bulk at Costco – lol!). The stretchy material is awesome and the panties hold up great. We get her the basic ones that aren’t hipster or bikini. I can’t remember the cut name. Anyway, if the target panties end up not working, skip children’s place and head straight to Justice. It’s is literally the only place I can shop for panties for my 10 year old.

    1. Lid you can buy them one at a time so you can try them out without buying a whole package. And if you leave your current panties on they will even let you try on the different fits of panties over your current panties. Kinsey tried on several sizes and cuts before finding THE ONE. They have a lot of colors, prints, and cuts but she really prefers the nude color so she doesn’t have to worry about the panties showing through her pants (she very practical!).

      1. Good to know – thanks! Although I think standard-cut underwear are working in our house for now. But I’ll tuck this piece of information away just in case that ever changes…

  7. I am feeling said child’s pain, as I have only found one style of truly comfortable underpants in my entire adult life. Which Sears immediately stopped making, leaving me constantly in search of a suitable replacement. I also agree that those Hanes comfort blend ones are heinous, to the point that I had to change in the middle of the night once, too.

    Katherine, if you are reading these comments, I am literally BEGGING you to tell that story. I must know how tight underwear can be mistaken for colon cancer.

    1. Stephanie, luckily Rachel keeps a close eye on her comments and let me know of your request. I can’t believe I haven’t told that story on my blog already, but apparently I haven’t. I’ll put that on my to-do list, and Rachel or I will let you know when it goes up. ;-)

  8. Lol, that’s amazing that she hasn’t complained before this! Because of K’s SPD issues we have tried EVERY brand of little girl’s underwear they make. And 95% of them she refuses to wear. Consequently S has about 60 pairs of underwear since they all come in a pack and K will only try it once and refuses to touch the other 7ish underwear in the pack. Hanes comfort band are the only ones we could get her to wear until a few weeks ago when we bought those same Frozen underwear. The size 8 are large enough that she has room to move and doesn’t complain. We shall see how long it lasts.

  9. I am suddenly wondering if my toddler’s common complaint of her tummy hurting is just her needing new undies. Huh. I was actually starting to contemplate a doctor visit. Thanks!

  10. Yeah, I wish new undies would resolve my 10 year old’s “issues”. I was fully prepped by friends with boys to expect it when I was preggo with my Middle Man, but NO ONE warned me First Daughter was gonna pull this crap, too. Now I just tell her to get a room because asking/demanding/begging her to stop has not produced the desired results. ::facepalm::

  11. We’re currently working on preventing self-induced wedgies. Because Quinn’s very much “I do it myself!” after going potty, but then she pulls her undies up too far. Although, it is adorable seeing her running around with her little butt hanging out. Funny, slightly embarrassing, but adorable nonetheless.

  12. I’m clearly not even ready for potty training yet (although the thought to try has crossed my mind on several occasions, with the number of times we empty the Diaper Genie per week, as well as the smell of said diaper pail), but alas, potty training 2 almost 10-month olds? I can’t even….

    I will, however, store away this information for future need.

  13. You are wise to nip this sub-par parenting in the bud. Certainly before you kid your GROWING 15 year old teenage boy about wearing his “uniform” everyday for the entire sunmmer, only to discover his drawer has multiple pairs of size 10-12 basketball shorts, yet he prefers to wear his black pair because they are size 14-16. A contented child and an unobservant mom is a disaster waiting to happen.

  14. I nip this problem in the bud. Every year since my daughter was in pre-school I buy 3 pack of undies and 3 packs of socks at the beginning of the school year. When next year rolls around I buy 3 more pack a piece and THROW AWAY last years set. I know this may be wasteful, But I never have to wonder if her socks or undies are too small. I have been doing this for 6 years and she looks forward to the day (Aug 1) when she gets to wear the new stuff.

  15. First of all, there are entirely too many uses of the word “panties” in the comments. *shiver* Secondly, I’ve had this problem also. I recently went through my kid’s underwear and got rid of size 4t underwear my 7 year old had been shoving his booty into. My 5 year old is a special case because she has a feeding tube for failure to thrive, so in the last 9 months she’s grown 4 inches and 14 pounds. She’s been going through them fast!

  16. First of all, this: “explained that if said child would track the efficacy of the different types”. I want to know if you used those exact words. I few months ago I was told I talk to my kids like a homeschooler and her only explanation for that was that I treat them like they will understand. I asked my MiL (a long time homeschooler) and she said she swore she had “homeschooler” emblazoned on her forehead. Still, she laughed at me when I said “regulate the flow” to my 4yr old.

    As for underwear… My daughter (2) may end up with that issue but my older 2 boys (5 and 7) have plenty of fitting underwear. I take a very strange pleasure in buying guys underwear. I think because it is so easy. It takes me seconds to get them and my husband underwear they love, while it takes me years to find the perfect fit and then when I go back to get more I find out they have stopped making it and my quest begins again. Sniffle.

    1. I don’t think I used that exact wording, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past me.

      And I’ve been pondering your theory on the ease of male underwear all week. And you’re totally right. SO jealous.

  17. A few months ago I realized my 6 year old was still wearing his size 2 undies. They looked a little skimpy. … Also, this last Sunday when I was hounding him to get his church shoes on he said, “Mom, I can’t get them on.” And I realized they were 2 whole sizes too small. So he wore crocs to church. AND when I went through his drawers to determine what he needed for school I realized some of the shorts he was wearing all summer were a size 3 or 4. He is 6. I am a seriously negligent mother…. And I am cheap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *