Thursday, February 12, 2009

Maybe It's Like Robin Hood?

This is part of the series in which I make fun of the ways Poles dress. This is only for fun and is totally an American perspective.

At the preschool where I'm teaching, there are 5 Polish children, 2 French children, 3 American children - although one of them thinks she's Mexican, one of them thinks he's Polish, and one of them thinks she's Israeli...only the Israeli one is correct, 1 New Zealander, and 2 Spanish children.

Notice how the nationalities come in pairs or more. Except the New Zealander - that's because there just aren't that many of them in New Zealand, so they don't often export them.

So there are 5 Polish children at the school. 1 of them never comes to school - he's just on the roster, so he could potentially show up at any moment. Of the other 4, 3 of them wear the same clothes This is because they have separate inside and outside clothes.

What does this mean exactly? Well, think about how long it takes to get a 3 year old dressed in the morning. We must put on tights, then an undershirt, then trousers, then an overshirt, then snowpants (no matter what the weather - as long as it still technically winter we must still wear could begin snowing at ANY GIVEN MOMENT!), then scarf, jacket, mittens and hat.

So, because all the other normal children come to school in tights, undershirt, trousers, overshirt, and spend the school day IN THOSE CLOTHES (mostly, there is one boy and one girl who just have to be in their undershirt and tights all day long), it doesn't take 20 minutes to dress each one of them to go outside.

Add to that the boy who is ADHD and can't sit still long enough to be undressed from his trousers and shirt and then redressed in (a totally different set) tights, undershirt, trousers, overshirt, snowpants, scarf, jacket, mittens and hat, and there is no way I will teach preschool for the rest of my life.

The other thing about this whole ordeal is that IT DOESN'T GET THAT COLD HERE! Our average winter temp is -4 C/25 F.

And before you ask, yes, my boys wear tights.

Their teacher asked me if Americans do this and I said, "No." She asked, "Then why do you put them in tights?" I said, "So the old ladies don't yell at me." Because if you've ever lived in Poland, you know that everyone on the street thinks that it is their business to tell you how to raise your children.

The teacher's ass almost literally fell off. She laughed that hard.

But my boys do have some manly looking tights.


  1. Loving the manly looking tights! My friend used to put her son in tights when he was a baby because his socks were always falling off.

    Did you get the interview questions?

  2. I'm trying not to laugh out loud in my cubicle.

  3. So let me get this straight. You have to undress and redress all teh Polish kids to go outside? Forget about teh hastle (which is ridiculous that parents expect you to do this everyday), but jeez, in the US you would be taken away to the little jail cell for molesters so fast you wouldn't know what hit you. Granted the US lawsuit crazy, but I don't know if I want my kid to be that comfortable with 'strangers' changing thier clothes. I kinda want them to not want people other than their parents/grandparents/etc
    (and significant others when they are over 21) taking off thier clothes.

  4. Actually, spidey isn't THAT manly. But go with it anyway.

  5. I like learning about Poland because Vodka Mom keeps asking me if I'm sure I'm not in Poland, so, y'know....

  6. My Fine Gay Son, who is not in Poland at all, also wears tights. With skulls on them.

    The business about crazy-bunding up is a hoot. Keep the stories coming, honey!

  7. Oh those are some manly tights! I laughed aloud when you said you were scared of the old ladies yelling at you. That seems to happen in most European countries. (Not the UK of course)

  8. Wow! What an interesting story! And hey, if you have to wear tights, might as well make 'em Spidey tights! Great post as always!

  9. that was a great post!!!

    love the damn tights

  10. You crack me up! Oh, the things we do to avoid looking out of place. I never put tights or hats on Mikayla here, but in Warsaw, I did it all the time for the same reason you do. I now realize that I never felt more American than when I moved away from the US because the differences were so obvious.

  11. I always thought Spiderman was a bit on the androgynous side, but maybe that's just me.

    That seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to, esepcially sinceit isn't all that cold. I prfer the custom of normal clothes with a heavy coat.


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