"No, Daddy! Bad socks!" Judith was adamant. Rick was confused, and a little disappointed. He had been so proud of himself when he found these socks. Generally, people were so happy to just have socks that they didn't much care anymore whether or not they matched. And here he had found a pair – an actual matching pair – of socks! He had gone on a run with Carl and they were both so certain that Judith would love them. But here she was, in all her 4-year-old stubbornness, refusing to even consider putting them on her feet.

The socks were just her size. They were pink with both dark pink and light pink ruffles just above the ankles. They were adorable, and Judith liked pink! So Rick did what any good father would do when he didn't understand his little daughter.


Carl, who understood women as well as his father did, joined in the call.


Judith, thinking that maybe this was indeed a job for the more understanding of the species, decided to join in the caterwauling.


Now, Michonne had been "Mama" for a long time and she knew the difference between an emergency and an "emergency." Bracing herself for the unknown, she appeared around the corner. "You DO know that your lunch won't pack itself, right?" she asked.

She was met with a hail of words … "socks" "bad" "cute" "on a run" "long stick" "almost got me" "no" and "why" all hit her at once.

A command of "Enough!" brought the room to silence. By this time, Judith had a tears running down her cheeks. Michonne knelt in front of her daughter, gently thumbed a tear off her face and asked, "what's wrong, Baby?"

Judith replied, "I not a baby." She sniffled but didn't wait for Michonne to respond. "Daddy want me to wear bad socks. Mama, I can't go to school in bad socks!"

Carl piped in, "Michonne, we got them on our last run. A pair of socks, 'Chonne. A real pair of socks! That walker was gettin' awful close by the time we dug these out."

Now it was Rick's turn. "They're pink! Judy, you like pink."

Michonne turned back to Judith. "Judy, don't you like pink anymore?" she asked. She knew that Judith could change her mind in the blink of any eye.

"Yes, Mama. Pink is pretty. But they're both pink." She waited for understanding to dawn on her Mama. When Michonne still looked confused, Judy said it again. "Mama, they're both pink."

Finally, Michonne understood. "Judy, do you want to wear one of your new socks today?"

"Yes, Mama!"

"And which other sock do you want to wear?" Michonne asked.

"The yellow one!" A happy Judith jumped off the bed and ran to grab the one yellow sock in her drawer. She donned her new pink sock and her old yellow sock, then her mismatched shoes. Ready now to show off her one new sock, Judy grabbed Michonne's hand, tugging her towards the kitchen and the day that awaited her.

Rick was stunned. Judith wanted to wear different socks? And then it hit him. No one wore matching anything anymore. Judy was a child of the "After" when pairs of this and matching thats were no longer an expected part of life. Rick wondered if he'd ever understand women. He glanced at Carl who lightly shook his head. Nope, there were still somethings that would never change. And men understanding women was one of them.