Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shorty Pants Esplin

Last Friday was field day at the kids' school, and parents were invited to come picnic with their ragamuffins.

Here are my boys with their cousins, Maddie and Frances, who all go to the same school.

What struck me about the above picture was everyone's height. Cord, who will be starting middle school next fall (don't ask me how I could possibly have a child old enough to start middle school. don't ask. it's personal. teen prego.), is roughly the same height as my niece, Frances Beck, who is in first grade. And see Maddie Beck standing two feet taller on his other side? She and Cord are both starting middle school together, same grade.

Is this normal boy/girl development stuff, or is my child freakishly small?

Cord has always been small, that's no shocker, but I think the gap has been widened more recently, due to the fact that his peers are starting to go through puberty.

On Thursday, we attended orientation at his future middle school, and it was clear that a good 90% of his peers were deep in the throes of puberty. Cord looked like a new born babe, compared to the rest, and factor in his extraordinarily young mother (ahem)... and it looked as if he should have been registering for second grade instead of sixth.

But don't count this kid out yet...

I don't think there was a more confident middle schooler at that orientation. It was chalk full of pre-pubescent awkwardness, and Cord walked in like the owned the place. I'm not saying he was cool--he was far from cool--but he didn't seem to notice or care. First, they announced that the principle was going to stand up and speak to the new sixth graders, and Cord jumped up and started cheering and clapping ("wooohooo! go principle whatsherface! sixth graders rule! woohoo!) and MY face went beet red because Cord was the ONLY one cheering and clapping. The auditorium was dead silent, except for his cheering and clapping, echoing off the walls. Awk. Ward. Then, when the principle was done speaking, he asked if anyone had any questions, and I saw Cord's hand shoot up from the corner of my eye. I tried to swat it down, telling him, "no, no, just parents ask the questions, not kids," but he scooted out of my reach, refusing to put his hand down. He asked his irrelevant question with complete confidence. When it was over, Cord leaped down the bleachers to personally introduce himself to the principle, while I waited by the exit with Gus and Homer.

This scenario repeated in every meeting room, with every faculty member that got up to speak. Cord would cheer and whoop and holler when the speaker was announced, and then his hand would shoot up to ask an irrelevant question ("So, if I sign up for guitar class, will you be my teacher?"), and then he would leap up to meet the speaker when it was over.

So I decided I'm not worried about Shorty Pants Esplin starting middle school. Through all of that, he seemed to have the respect of his peers--maybe because they were so painfully awkward, while he displayed absolutely no fear.

Yesterday, Cord and Gus brought home their class pictures, and I saw to my relief that there is a boy in Cord's class who is smaller than him. Phew.

"Nice smile, Cord," I told him. And he said, "They told us to say 'Pepsi!'." And I imagine that he said "Pepsi!" with all the enthusiasm that he could muster. Which is quite a bit.

This is Gus's class picture below, and after seeing it, I realized for the first time that he too is a shorty pants. For some reason, I thought he was more average height. But he's the shortest in his class.

"I didn't know you were the shortest in your class, Gus," I told him. And he said, "Yeah, but I have the most friends." (<--said like Patrick Starr) Our only hope for a little height around here may be in the hands of our padawan, Homer.

PS. I did another one of those brilliant podcasts with iLandee the other day. We discussed such interesting topics as freak show magic tricks, fake legs, what would happen to Big Ben if there was no one alive to wind the clock, etc. Click here if you wanna hear.


Memzy said...

You should never underestimate the confidence factor. One of my own sons is quite taller than the rest but the self confidence can be a little lacking. Middle school? Eeeeeek! ::covering ears and humming loudly::

ManicMandee said...

My kids, with the exception of Jonah have usually been the shortest in their classes too.
With a personality like Cords, I am sure you have no need to worry as well. That is super cool. You should be so proud of his strange- fearless behavior.

Markie23 said...

Such cute little Hobbits. Good think Cord has Maddie to protect him from bullies.

ShelBailey said...

OK, I knew this guy in HS, he was in my sophomore Biology class. He was short. He had a "thing" for my friend Cheryl, but he was even shorter than her 5'4". He'd try and walk her home and she'd call me and say "That little guy followed me home from school again".

Fast forward to the start of my junior year. I go to my Amer History class and the only kid that I know is the shorty. So, I decide to sit by him...he's nice enough. After class is over, we stand up to leave and he's TALLER than me. That kid grew like a foot in about six months.

So don't count Cord out, yet!

Katie said...

That podcast was your best so far. I don't know how you topped your last one, but you have got it, Mrs. Esplin. What it takes to be a star.

I am really surprised at Gus's height. He started out as a giant baby. That being said, I don't think your young padawan has it in him. Prove me wrong Arch Homer, I dare you.

Yeah, and my dad started high school at a towering 4'11", but after a summer break and lots of veggies, her came back to school his sophomore year at 6'1" It happens sista.

Landee said...

I forsee, in the not so distant future, those class pics on Facebook with everyone labeled.

I know a guy who left on his mish at 5'4" and came back 6'3".

My other prediction is JBird will grow to 5'9" and that will be the end. TBone, I'm not sure about.

Warriorcats said...

i kinda know how ya feel. i have a friend named Mikey (well his real name is Michal or something but we call him Mikey) and he is short even though he is THIRTEEN. he said that his OLD school, (not his current school OLD school) he was picked on. my brother jackson is also his friend and they both hate Michal Jackson (me too) and they used to call him "Michal jackson". since his name is Michal and he hangs with my brother as well as me. (i think michal jackson is creepy, if u dont agree, go on youtube and lookup "Michal jackson in Mario land" or something.

Mary said...

I love Cord's laid back attitude...just like his dad. They sure are handsome offspring and that is a totally unbiased opinion.

Flem said...

Don't ever stop him from making a comment like that again. Confidence is aws.

Jana said...

Short or not, they are so adorable in those class pictures.
Sorry about your teen prego. I know something was up, I just didn't wanna ask.

Jana said...