Stumped: How to Parent When Your Kids are Taller Than You

My height has always been a bit of a vanity with me. I'm not spectacularly tall, mid-sized really, but ever since I was ten years old, I've been taller than my sister, my mother, my grandmother, several of my uncles, all of my aunts and most of my girlfriends.

I took great glee in rubbing my superior height in most people's faces and I have even discriminated against short men. (As in, I flatly refused to date them.) There is nothing I love more than to strap on a pair of tall heels and know that at one point or another I'm bound to be taller than someone I cross paths with.

I like being tall. It was my biggest heart break as a teen that I didn't grow taller. I envy tall women and wish for their size. I like being able to reach the top shelves at the supermarket.

I always knew, thanks to my horny desire to procreate with one very over sized man, my children would in turn, be tall. They wouldn't stay small forever. They would grow into over-sized Scandanavian giants just like every member of my spouse's family.

They would outgrow me.

They would look down on me.

They would not fear me as they knew I could no longer reach them with my pathetically short monkey arms.

But like the delusional mother I am, I always thought I'd have more time to lord my size over my children, tower before them with my height and generally use my stature to my advantage in my parenting quest. I knew there would be a day when I would wake up and realize my children outsize me but it was always abstract, like knowing one day I'll have more facial hair than my husband. It's something I know will happen but not something immediate to worry about.

Except, that morning finally arrived and it's now my reality. (Not the facial hair part. That I'm still working on.)

My son is now as tall as me with no signs of slowing down in the growth department. My daughter is nose to nose with me and threatening to outgrow me.

I've officially lost the most effective parenting tool in my arsenal. My size.

No longer can I glower down on them and wither them into submission with one of my scary mommy looks.

No longer can I threaten to sit on them when they become unruly.

(Nor can I keep my daughter out of my darn shoes, which is a total side note, but shoe lovers everywhere will be sympathetic.)

My children have eclipsed me size wise and it's screwing with my mommy mojo.

I don't know how to parent being the short one in the family. (Jumby doesn't count because he's supposed to be short. He's six. I'll worry about him in ten years.)

Suddenly, at 5'8" I'm the short one in my family.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to effectively lecture a teen boy when you have to look up?

I'm shaking my fist to the ceiling, hopping around like a mad wet hen, just trying to catch his attention while his head is obliviously stuck in the clouds. My daughter, the cheeky monkey she is, just marvels how she can now see into my eyes and when I'm trying to discipline educate her as to why it's inappropriate to whip Frac with a wet towel for no apparent reason, she's too distracted by my eye makeup to pay attention to my parental threats advice.

"Are you wearing eyeliner? Your makeup looks a little bland today Mom."

My head keeps popping off but they are no longer phased with fear by it. What am I going to do? Grab a stepping stool so I can reach them to shake the sense into them?

I knew, when they were wee babies, my time would come. My mother outgrew her mom, I outgrew mine, and it only made sense that one day my children would sprout beyond my height. But it happened so suddenly. I'm unprepared for this.

How does one maintain parental control when suddenly she's responsible for people who are bigger than her? Worse yet, how does one maintain her maternal authority when her children now routinely refer to her as 'Shorty?'

And how did I manage to create such brazenly cheeky children who would dare taunt me? I mean, for the last 14 years I have worked hard at instilling a healthy sense of fear respect in them just so that when the day finally came and I had to look up to see them, they would still be under my dominion.

All of a sudden I'm negotiating and discussing instead of threatening and disciplining. It's the type of parenting I've avoided for years, mostly because I'm lazy. I freely admit I thoroughly enjoyed my time as their iron fisted dictator.

I'm not enjoying this new parenting stage. My children are emboldened with their lofty heights and now they laugh. at. me. They want to sit in the front seat of the vehicle with me and no longer can I use the excuse that they aren't tall enough when they are as big as me. Suddenly I'm forced to play the mean mom card and tell them they can't sit in the front seat because they'll want to touch my stereo.

Their height is making me look bad and I'm not appreciating it.

This is entirely unacceptable. My height was one of the few advantages I had in this parenting gig and now it's gone. All I have left to rely on is my wit and intellect and to be honest, that's not much. I'm pretty sure my children have me beat in that department too.

Which leaves me stumped. (Pun intended.)

I don't know how to parent as a short person.

Puberty is hell.

And I need a step stool.