Mom Creates Hilarious Art Exhibit Out Of Sock Daughter Left On Floor

by Erica Gerald Mason
Xep Campbell/Facebook

Good things happen when Mamas decide to make a point

There are some undeniable truths in the universe: everything tastes better in a cookie, making out isn’t just for teenagers, and when one mom wins, we all win.

Xep Campbell, our new patron saint of mama-dom, has given motherhood another gold star. After her daughter left a dirty sock on the bathroom floor, Campbell paused to see if the 10-year old would pick it up. At first, Xep Campbell thought she would wait out her daughter Kestrel, in what she initially deemed “a sort of sociological experiment.” And there the soiled sock stayed; discarded in their small bathroom.

“‘The Forgotten Sock’ came about when I found a single sock on the floor of the bathroom,” Campbell told TODAY Parents. “That’s not an uncommon occurrence and I would usually just pick it up and toss it in the laundry. For some reason in this case I thought it would be amusing to see how long it would last if I didn’t pick it up.”

Xep Campbell/Facebook

A week went by and her daughter still hadn’t picked up the sock, Campbell had a new idea. Replicating the type of gallery label one might discover in at the National Portrait Gallery, she typed up the details for the card, listing her daughter as the artist of the “mixed media” exhibit, later sharing the image on Facebook.

“I try not to take anything in life too seriously and we often play little jokes on one another so I made the museum label and figured she would roll her eyes, laugh a little, and then pick up the sock,” she said.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

Campbell’s daughter was shocked when she noticed it and sent her mom a text with a pic, asking if she had placed the label there. What happened next was truly hilarious. As opposed to becoming upset or, um, picking up the sock, Kestrel built a base for her masterpiece.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

“Kestrel definitely has my same sense of humor and is very silly,” Campbell tells Scary Mommy. “We play jokes back and forth all the time and very much think in the same way.”

“I did not expect her to get in on the joke and it took me by surprise when she said ‘I made a pedestal for it!’ I realized then the game was on,” said Campbell in her interview with Today Parents. “It sort of took on a life of its own after that.”

Xep Campbell/Facebook

When Campbell uploaded shots of the escalating show on Facebook, suddenly thousands of people were paying attention. In a nod to current events, barnyard toys became art viewers to a monolith.

On Friday, when Campbell returned from walking the dog, a fresh bit of art had emerged. The limited exhibition ended with an over-the-top Christmas scene with festive lights.

Xep Campbell/Facebook

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

While Campbell never predicted her post to go viral she managed to turn the prank into a teachable moment for her fifth grader. “We have had a lot of talks about internet safety and how you should never post anything you wouldn’t want the world to see,” she said. “I asked her if it was okay with her for me to share this publicly and she said ‘yes.’ It was a good lesson to see how things can really take off.”

On Sunday, Campbell noted on Facebook that while she appreciates the attention the posts received, she hopes people will honor the sock by contributing to charity.

“My daughter and I have a wonderful, communicative relationship. We are very silly together and understand the importance of being ridiculous and absurd. I honestly did not expect this post to go viral — it was just another silly thing we did.”