A week of double milestones in the Day household ... and one of them is a tall tale to tell
It’s happened – the moment I was dreading but one I knew would inevitably creep up on me some day.
My children have outgrown me.
Or more accurately, my daughter has outgrown her dear mum.
By that, I mean she has outstripped me in the height stakes at the age of just 10.
I never imagined my offspring would start looking down on me so early on in life.
It’s been a momentous week in many ways.
Like a lot of other parents, we faced the nerve-wracking point in time of discovering which high school our children had been allocated.
Choosing a high school is a difficult and significant decision for all families, but with having twins, it made the choices even trickier and having one boy and one girl meant we faced more high school open days than most.
And even after you’ve made your crucial decisions and ranked your children’s favourite schools by
preference, you face months of nail-biting and stewing wondering which schools they’ll get.
Happily, it was celebrations galore in our household as even though we would have been happy with any of the schools we listed, our twosome got their first choice school.
Mingled with the joy was a feeling of bereftness and utter disbelief: “When did our babies get so big?” we asked ourselves and I asked myself: “Am I really going to be the mum of two high school age children?”
That made me feel really old I can tell you.
If being made to feel ancient wasn’t bad enough, now I’m being belittled, too.
When you are 5ft 1 and a half inches small (do not EVER forget that half inch , you know – and hope – your children will grow up to be taller than you.
But I really wasn’t expecting it to happen before they even became teenagers.
Luckily for our kids, I married a tall man and our daughter certainly seems to have inherited her 6ft 1ins Daddy’s tall genes.
Even when she was a baby, she looked deceptively tiny – until she stretched out her legs on the changing mat and you realised how long they were.
She’s grown at an alarming rate ever since – and her twin brother, who’s actually the older one by two minutes, was left behind long ago.
At first their height difference was only a matter of inches, but Yasmin kept on growing and is now head and shoulders – and a bit more – taller than her brother.
When we tell people they’re twins, they look at us incredulously either thinking we’re terrible fibbers or that we don’t feed our poor lad.
Those who do believe us reassuringly tell us: “He’ll catch up soon. Boys always shoot up later.”
He may do.
Or he may have inherited his Mummy’s short genes and be resigned to a lifetime of asking people in supermarkets to reach things
from the higher shelves for him.
Yasmin-Long-Legs has been monitoring her own height with interest using me as her yardstick.
For a while now, she’s been informing me: “I think I’m going to be taller than you soon, Mummy” and her shoe size has already surpassed mine with her size five to my size four.
Then this week, she gleefully exclaimed: “I’m taller than you now! Take your heels off and we’ll see!”
She’s definitely seeing eye-to-eye with me, but I’m still protesting that maybe we’re the same size but I don’t think she’s taller than me just yet.
It’s a parenting milestone when your child is suddenly taller than you and you know things will never be the same again when you’re looking up instead of down.
And from her new vantage point, Yasmin will be able to get a better view to point out my grey hairs.
With height comes power and it’s going to be interesting trying to be in “Serious Mum” mode when you have to arch your neck to look up at your children.
I’m really going to have to step up my parenting.
Research reveals boys and girls are reaching puberty earlier and reaching their full height at younger ages and outgrowing their parents sooner.
There is a formula to predict how tall your child is going to be but I’m a bit dubious as to its accuracy.
Apparently, to predict a boy’s height, you add five inches to the mother’s height, add that number to the father’s height and then divide that by two.
For a girl, you subtract five inches from the dad’s height, add the mother’s height and then divide by two.
Now my maths isn’t great (which is why I do a job working with words rather than numbers), but my
deductions work out that will make Cameron 5ft 9ins and Yasmin 5ft 4-and-a-half inches.
This doesn’t sound quite right to me. If she carries on the way she’s going, she’ll have reached that by the end of the month.
But however tall Yasmin grows – and her brother for that matter – and however much they tower over me, they’ll always be my little girl and little boy.