Picture of a giraffe from the Bun Karyudo Humor Blog.

The Height of Folly

My elder son is at home at the moment preparing for an important test. His arduous study schedule involves a rigorous program of lying in bed with his eyes shut, which he then has to meticulously coordinate with his periodic visits to the bathroom.


He did seem to come to briefly during breakfast time this morning. I base this on the fact that when my wife shouted through to ask whether he wanted one slice of toast or two, he grunted twice.


However, when I then popped my head into his bedroom to say good morning to him—or rather, to his feet, which were the only part of him I could actually see, my words were welcomed with nothing but silence. Perhaps he had merely fallen asleep again. Or perhaps since my greeting did not hold out the promise of additional food, his feet simply did not deem my utterance worthy of a reply.


Although I felt rather annoyed by the lack of any kind of acknowledgement at the time, looking back on it now, perhaps it was for the best. When my son does respond to anything I say these days, it is generally to either a) tell me why I’m entirely wrong about everything or b) ask me if I’ve got shorter.


This last is an annoying habit he has picked up in recent years. Now I admit, I have never been called a man mountain or been mistaken by astronauts for a continental landmass. On the other hand, I am of completely average height and average build. I’m not tall, but I’m not short either.


And yet, my son will regularly tell me how very teeny I look in comparison to virtually every being on the planet capable of standing upright—be it another parent, a penguin or a prairie dog. Well, it’s not funny and it’s not true. I am not, repeat not, short.


And the next time he uses my head as an armrest, I’m going to kick him in the shins.



© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)

174 replies
  1. mistybooks
    mistybooks says:

    I was going to say that I’m glad I never had kids, but since remarrying I do seem to have inherited an inordinate amount of step-children and step-grandchildren. I am now completely jealous of your years of training for this momentous event and rue the fact that I never served my apprenticeship.

  2. tric
    tric says:

    You have my sympathies. I’m a very average height mother who gave birth to children who were obviously affected by whatever extras have been added to our food chain ensuring they grow at least one foot taller than myself.
    Hope the exams go well. Our tall children never seem quite so grown up when heading out the door about to sit an important exam or when life doesn’t go their way.

  3. James
    James says:

    It’s a tried and tested study technique – worked well for me for many an exam. I was of course, always pitching to land exactly on the pass mark. I always considered any marks above that to be wasted effort.

  4. elfidd / The Rooster
    elfidd / The Rooster says:

    In my late teens prior to my first educational experience in Parris Island, SC, I was awoken by my mother throwing a wet washrag onto my face. In her growling voice I would be told to get up for I had work to do. Not much different than Parris Island I must say. Think BIG! Semper Fi

  5. Lloyd Marken
    Lloyd Marken says:

    Common problem, there’s a photo of my father at his university graduation with his grandfather and father’s foreheads looming over his shoulders but beneath his sideburns. In my graduation photo my father’s hair runs aside my ear lobes. Working in university administration I noticed a mere couple of years after I graduated strapping monstrosities bumping their heads against the ceiling. I have a lot to look forward to. 🙂 Nice post Bun, hope you’re enjoying the new job.

  6. sportsattitudes
    sportsattitudes says:

    Another example of why not having children of my own has worked out OK. No talking down to me. Then again I’m 6:2. If I had a son talking down to me I’d be steering him straight into an NBA career so I could cash in accordingly off his height.

  7. Robert Parker Teel
    Robert Parker Teel says:

    Obi Wan B.K. – You absolutely project a tremendous sense of tallness. Kind of an…abridged…giant among lesser mortals. I generally visualize you with a perpetually damp paper bag, from walking with your head in the clouds. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I mean, very grounded, but not in a rut. Or giving the appearance of standing in a rut, either. Pithy, but not…abbreviated. OK this isn’t going well. How’s the weather up there, anyway?

  8. TanGental
    TanGental says:

    Oh goodness you too Bun? I’m not sure if you’ve gone through the Extraordinary Language Experience yet. My son was adequately articulate in English until he reached about 14. Then, and I’m sure this was overnight and must have resulted from him falling out of bed onto his head, he’d lost all ability with English yet was fully conversant with every simian dialect then known: chimp, gorilla and, esp orangutan. I thought up to then he was borderline moron but he was clearly much better than that. And then at 19, after he started dating seriously he much have fallen on the same spot because he could talk English again.

  9. Kristine @ MumRevised
    Kristine @ MumRevised says:

    I told my children right from toddlerhood that as soon as they were taller than me they had to make all the dinners. So far my daughter is hanging in at exactly the same height as me while me son has surpassed me in the smell department, but has not yet started to sprout. Just grow dammit!
    BTW: Plenty of my studying was done silently with my eyes closed in the dark. It stays in your brain until the test that way, or so my little stink bomb tells me.

  10. anotherday2paradise
    anotherday2paradise says:

    Hahaha… Thanks for the smiles, Bun. My daughter sent me thing on Whatsapp today “Raising kids is a walk in the park. Jurassic Park!” This was inspired by the problems she’s having with her 17-year-old son. 🙁

  11. yvettecarol
    yvettecarol says:

    That’s right, Bun, kick him good (for all us parents who don’t have the nerve). Question though: how does your son play his digital games and stay glued to the net with his eyes closed? 😉

  12. Carrie Rubin
    Carrie Rubin says:

    This sounds all too familiar. I have 16- and 19-year-old sons, and they like to tell me all the time that I’m short. I’m almost 5’8″! But I guess to their 6″ and 6’2″, that’s short.

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I guess it’s all relative. Speaking of which, I vaguely remember from science class that according to relativity, mass increases with speed. I guess more mass might mean a little more height too. Perhaps if I just run around my son very quickly…

  13. dave ply
    dave ply says:

    For some reason I was reminded of a comic strip called Zits, oriented around a teen aged boy and his parents: zitscomics.com. I don’t know if they’d have it in your neck of the woods, but I suspect you could relate.

  14. Mary Smith
    Mary Smith says:

    My son used to spend an inordinate amount of study time working out a timetable for his studying. It was very beautiful with different colours for the amount time to be spent on each subject. He could have written two essays in the time it took him. And he adopted the annoying habit for a time of calling me ‘my wee mum’.

  15. Ann Coleman
    Ann Coleman says:

    I didn’t think my son was living with you, but darn, you just described him perfectly! Right down to the elbow resting on his father’s head! (And my husband wants everyone to know that he’s not short either!) Great post, Bun!

  16. Gabe Burkhardt
    Gabe Burkhardt says:

    I can imagine how difficult it would be to have conversations with a pair of feet. I mean first off, you’re already outnumbered, and this is even AFTER all the little piggies went to market. The silence was probably the result of some silent toe-conference, which was undoubtedly heated, and didn’t lead to any meaningful resolutions. If parts of MY body were causing this much chaos, I’d be cranky and confused too 😉

  17. Sharon Bonin-Pratt
    Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    In about 10 or 20 years, your sons will realize you’ve been a genius all along and they’ll be pleased to attain half your mental prowess. Right now they’re too taken with their own reflections to see that the mirror needs polishing.

  18. Steph McCoy
    Steph McCoy says:

    As I may have mentioned previously my sons are grown (youngest is 27). I wish I could say it gets easier but I’d be lying Bun. So sorry to be the bearer of bad newsbut hey, you aren’t alone.

  19. scifihammy
    scifihammy says:

    It is a sad fact of life, that as your children grow up, suddenly you become stupid (as well as small). It’s amazing you have managed to provide for their every whim all these “tender” years!
    I only have daughters, and they worked very hard. I believe it is mandatory for most boys to study as little as possible, while still expecting good grades!

  20. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    The first few lines about your son, they are so similar to the habit of my son, that I thought, for a split second, I’m reading about him 😀
    It also proves some children with impeccably good qualities (which, however, their parents fail to spot) behave in the same way irrespective of race, religion, region!!

  21. acflory
    acflory says:

    Kids. What would we do without them deflating our egos and generally keeping us conscious of our many failings? I suggest wearing steel-capped boots when you attempt that shin-kicking. To protect your toes, of course. 😉

  22. Binky
    Binky says:

    I suppose those are the advantages of parenthood.

    I am not short either. It’s all you humans that are like crazy wheat stalks reaching for the sky. I think it’s much better down here closer to gravity.

  23. Annika Perry
    Annika Perry says:

    Good luck to your son on his test! My son is supposed to be revising for his GCSEs this spring – the studies so far seems to consist of seeing friends, playing Xbox and placing his books on the bed then off the bed!! I’m trying NOT to stress. As for height challenged issue (my lad is 6’2” at least and towers of me) I use it to my advantage – amazing how many items are in cupboards far too high for me to reach! Good luck with the shin kicking…just be be prepared to run fast afterwards!

  24. roughwighting
    roughwighting says:

    Why am I laughing? I remember when my son (who usually adores me, but sometimes, not so much) was angry with me, stood tall and stared me down. We had a staring contest, and I had to hold my head wayyyy up to stare him down. I won. But my neck hurt for days…

  25. Sue Slaght
    Sue Slaght says:

    I have long been an armpit rest, over a decade or more I think. Likely this is why I am getting ever shorter because I am being compressed! Likely best not to kick him in the shins. He is going to be picking your nursing home one day. 🙂

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      That’s a great idea, Hariod! The ones you linked to are such a beautiful pair too. If I do decide to go down that route, I think I’ll go the full 1970s Elton John. My son won’t even be able to reach my shins let alone kick them. 🙂

  26. Eliza Waters
    Eliza Waters says:

    Gratitude comes hard to children, as much as we try to instill that in them. They know our soft spots and tend to press them regularly, much to our chagrin. Our only hope is that when (if) they have teenagers, karma will catch up with them and then they will have gratitude for us and all we did for them, and maybe just a tad of regret for their lack of appreciation at the time. 🙂

  27. SD Gates
    SD Gates says:

    Perhaps he should watch TV while studying. I got through Grad school doing that. It will keep him awake, I like to refer to it as electronic Ritalin.

    My sons say I am little – which is something I have never been called. I quite like being called little, beats the heck out of being referred to as a big-boned. My youngest is about 6’6″ presently, and my oldest is about 6’4″. I guess my 5’9″ seems quite petite.

    Tell your son good luck with his exams, and to study hard, because when he is sitting in that exam, trying to come up with answers, he will regret not having looked at the study material with a little more interest (I speak from experience).

  28. mydangblog
    mydangblog says:

    When my son finally got tall enough to kiss me on the top of the head, he started calling me “Little Mum”. It makes me smile, but at the same time I’m sad that I can’t pick him up anymore–it would snap my spine in two!

  29. felicityglogan
    felicityglogan says:

    Yeah, attack the bits you CAN reach. Glad I never got serious stuff from my kids about my being vertically challenged/perpendicularly disabled. Plus, for a mother it makes a son more likely to become protective. Regarding the lack of study propensity: it reminds me of a teen boy who complained to me that when he got on the school bus reading a book, others asked him “Why read BOOKS?”. I told him that next time he should answer “So that one day you will work for me and I’ll be your BOSS.” He was very satisfied.

  30. Peter Klopp
    Peter Klopp says:

    Look at the bright side, Bun. You are lucky that your son is still approachable and has not locked you out of his bedroom and that he is still close enough to be kicked in the shins. Permit me also to note, my dear friend Bun, that you have broken the promise you made on your previous post. I was looking forward to the reading of just three paragraphs. Instead you wrote seven and totally ignored the old rule we learned in high school that stipulates that a good story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Haha!

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Dang! You’re right, Peter! I didn’t even notice that I’d smashed right through my own self-imposed paragraph limit. To keep things in balance, I should really post minus one paragraph next week. Sadly, I’m not technical enough to know how to do that. Looks like I’ll just have to hope nobody else notices this time. 🙂

  31. Kim Gorman
    Kim Gorman says:

    Is he usually off at university? It sounds like he needs a good rest from the stress of all that. I’ve always said I’d rather they were surly at home than at school or work, etc.. Everyone needs a place they can be their laziest, most sarcastic and annoying selves and still know people will love them. Though a good kick in the ass now and then is sometimes in order 🙂

  32. maryannniemczura
    maryannniemczura says:

    I’ve been there and done that. Teenage hormones are raging in your house, right? My high school teaching years had many days filled with mood swings and raging hormones – those of my students and sometimes my own as I dealt with everything. Our children’s schedules turned upside down: they slept while we were awake and then they remained up all night as we slept. Out of pure survival, I slept so I could deal with 2,400 teens in grades 10-12. I also prayed a lot during those years when they finally had a driver’s license. I used to drive to school one hour early to avoid the teen drivers in the parking lot. They seemed to love to tempt fate. So good luck as you deal with your own life’s issues. Time for prayers as well.

  33. patriciaruthsusan
    patriciaruthsusan says:

    My son had genes working against him. His father was only about 5’1″. I’m only about 5’3″ so he was thrilled when he became taller than me. He now tells me he’s 5’5″ and seems happy about that. It sounds as though you have a possible basketball player in your family. Funny stuff, Bun. 😀 — Suzanne


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] My elder son is at home at the moment preparing for an important test. His arduous study schedule involves a rigorous program of lying in bed with his eyes shut, which he then has to… (Continued) […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Go on, write a few words. You know you want to.