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)
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