Banal Nationalism

OK, folks, I just have to post this because it’s too cute. The title of the post is from a great book by Michael Billig.

The pants are too big but it’s a constant struggle to find pants for tall toddlers. Pant-makers seem to think that tall toddlers have enormous behinds, which is ridiculous because toddlers don’t tend to have much in the tushie area. I have a lot of trouble finding warm pants that are long enough for my kid yet don’t slide down her legs.

13 thoughts on “Banal Nationalism”

    1. I used to knit really well but I never managed to learn to sew. We had sewing classes at school and my sewing was always pathetic. I had to ask my aunt to finish my assignments for me.

      I also stank at cooking classes at school. I lost a potato-peeling competition when I was 7 because it took me 30 minutes to peel one potato.

      The classes I did love were at the tool factory. I can operate machinery and do welding.


      1. Wow! In general I find this particular fluke of the late-soviet education system – making high school students spend one day per week working at some factory – quite ridiculous. But it definitely has some shock value to tell people that I am a certified metalworker… 🙂
        Another funny certificate I used to have states that I am an “uneducated private of the reserve of the Estonian army”, with “uneducated” referring to the lack of military education.


        1. It was funny because it was gender-based but in a strange way. First, all the girls sewed and cooked while boys worked at this metal workshop (I can’t think of the right word in any language right now.) And then we switched. The girls went to the factory and the boys sewed and cooked.

          My husband is either a sergeant or a lieutenant in the reserve, I keep forgetting which. :-))) I wish I could be one. I’m very into military life.


      2. I also stank at cooking classes at school. I lost a potato-peeling competition when I was 7 because it took me 30 minutes to peel one potato.
        They thought your life would involve rate-for-piece for potato peeling?

        Make an “X” with your knife in the potato skin before you boil it. It helps slide the skin off when it’s the right temperature.


        1. That’s great advice. I actually never heard it before.

          The conclusion of the potato-peeling contest was “what kind of wife and mother are you going to be if you can’t even peel a potato!”


      3. “it took me 30 minutes to peel one potato”
        And I bet you didn’t have a potato peeler and had to use a general purpose kitchen knife too (necessary context for NAmerican readers).
        I’m terrible at peeling potatoes with a knife (I peel as little as possible I like the skins) but am much faster with a peeler (I’m still grateful for Ikea which is where I bought my first peeler in Poland….)


  1. ” title of the post is from a great book by Michael Billig”
    Do they have them say the pledge of allegiance yet or is that just when they start grade school? I always thought of it as pretty normal when I was in school and Polish people find it deeply weird when I tell them about it…


    1. I had the exact same issue with my skinny boy and hunted in vain for slim pants for him when he was a toddler. It got a lot easier when he turned 4 because, as well as the non-T sizes (which are difficult to find before age 4), trousers for 4 and up usually come with hidden adjustable elastic on the inside of the waistband. Before then, I used toddler belts like these:
      in conjunction with trousers with belt loops. (I bought the toddler belts online but you could easily make your own.) It always blew my mind that adjustable pants were not available at younger ages – do the manufacturers think all toddlers are the same size and then suddenly diversify when they get to 4?!


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