I’m only about 5’9″ tall, which makes me one of the shorter dads among my kids’ friends. Heck, I’m even shorter than some of the moms. This has led my seven year old to start more than one “he could beat you up, because he’s bigger” conversation. I’ve tried all the “politically correct” arguments like “we’ll never know because we’ll never fight,” “we’re both good guys, good guys don’t fight each other,” and the ever popular “talking’s more important than fighting, and I’m killer at that.” After none of those worked, I went back to my roots: “nah, I could take him.”
Since then, we’ve had several discussions on the difference between toughness and size, and the big guy has settled on the idea that his dad might not be the biggest, but he at least he’s one of the toughest.
The other day, I introduced him to a new concept. “Hey big guy,” I said. “You know, you’re probably going to be taller than I am. I mean, you’re only seven and look at how tall you are already.”
He nodded. “Yeah,” he agreed. Cause I’m already up to mom’s… um…”
“Waist?” I asked.
His mom looked at him suspiciously.
“No, um…” He gestured nebulously with his hands.
“Belly?” I asked.
“No!” he said. “Her, um… her chest.” He laughed nervously. “She has a really long chest.” More nervous laughter. “The tips of her chest.”
His mom burst out laughing. So did I.
Encouraged, he held his hands out in that universal gesture all guys know how to make. “Yeah,” he said. “A really big – ”
“That’s enough,” I interrupted.
“But,” he said.
“Funny once,” his mom said. “Never again.”
He looked to me, confused and clearly wanting me to continue the joke. “But she -”
“No,” I said. “You don’t say it again.Trust me on this one.”
I mean, I may be tough. But I’m not that tough.