I have a nasty suspicion that I may have failed my two sons. Since the elder has now passed his 40th birthday and the younger his 37th, it is probably if not certainly too late to make amends. This fact - my failing my sons, that is - only came home to me this week. For some years now I have ironed all the trousers that are washed in this house. I am a bit pernickitty about the creases in my trousers, hating to see what I call tramlines running down the front. I was doing just that one evening, ironing trousers, including a pair of the Old Bat's. These had baggy knees, a result of her not hitching up her trousers when she sits down.
In the days of my childhood, all boys wore short trousers and it was not until the age of about 13 that long trousers were considered appropriate. I well remember my first pair of long trousers and the strange feeling of them hanging around my legs. Because they were different, I was almost embarrassed to wear them when other people would see. But that's beside the point. The other thing I remember is being told always to hitch up my trousers when sitting down to avoid the knees going baggy. My dear wife was obviously not told this. Actually, I think very few women do hitch up their trousers when they sit down. I watched my fellow jurors the next day and not one woman hitched up her trousers whereas all the men did.
To get back to my failure: I have no recollection of ever telling my sons that they should perform this little action when sitting down. I suppose the fact that they wore long trousers in the shape of jeans or similar pretty well from the day they were born might have something to do with my not saying anything. All the same, their suits don't appear to have baggy knees, so perhaps I did tell them at some point. Or maybe they knew instinctively. But my daughter doesn't hitch up her trousers.