This is a guest post from my parents’ website about what it’s like raising 8 giant children. For those who don’t know me, I am 6′ 2″…. and I am one of the shortest in the family. 😉
RAISING KIDS OF ANY SIZE CAN BE A CHALLENGE.
Having a large family is uncommon these days.
But, when all the kids are over 6 feet tall, it’s an adventure! I am 6’6″ tall and am used to comments like, “How’s the view up there?” or “How tall are you?”… now, I am the shortest male in the family.
With our kids grown up and we go out as a family, it looks like a travelling basketball team.
Being tall has many advantages. We truly do love being “vertically enhanced”, but it does have some interesting challenges. Here are a few…
Finding clothes that fit properly is quite the adventure. Our tallest son is 7 feet tall and our tallest daughter is now 6’3″. When I was younger, shopping was a burden with one or two items to select from, on a good day. However, we now live in an online world for shopping, and “Super Size” clothing is much easier to find… not to mention being able to find enormous shoes.
After many attempts to steal the shoes from Ronald McDonald, we were forced to find alternatives.
It’s getting much easier today to find big shoes thanks to Shaquille O’Neal (size 22), and many other NBA and NFL stars. Almost every department store has a “shoe section”. To save time when we need shoes, we simply find a salesperson and ask “What’s the biggest size shoes that you sell?”. We’ve gotten used to not finding shoes at department stores. Can you say A-M-A-Z-O-N? It’s the easiest and fastest way to buy your new pair of “New Balance Men’s 623v3 Training Shoes” in Size 20.
Furniture is also a challenge for Giants. We naturally gravitate towards large furniture. We didn’t realize this until friends visited and their feet didn’t touch the floor when they sat down. They also got tired of feeling like toddlers at the dining room table.
I don’t want to even think about how many door frames and ceiling fans I have battled with. If you have eight-foot ceilings in your house, fans can be quite threatening… so, no eight-foot ceilings!
TOILETS & SHOWER HEADS
No comment! Why any plumber would mount a shower less than seven feet, or install short toilets with round seats escapes me… we have bought more shower extensions than I can count… I have even considered keeping them in my luggage for those hotels with five-foot shower heads. Here is my favorite solution – Shower S pipe – and it is far cheaper than having a plumber redo the shower.
Buy king size beds, bed lifts, and no foot boards, unless you want to curl up in a ball. Diagonal sleeping is not an option when married… trust me! Like these Beds for Giants, Bed Lifts can help the bed sit a little higher off the ground.
CARS & AIRPLANES
Economy or mid-size = Forget it! When my wife “upgraded” to my full-size car while she was expecting our first son, I won the prize of driving a two-door Pontiac Fiero… I have shoes bigger than a Fiero, and I drove with my head out of the sunroof (not fun in the rain, or when bugs fly by). Car seats NEVER go back far enough or down far enough and we leave back seat passengers with a tight solution.
Having to travel frequently for work, airplanes can be very taxing for someone that’s 6’6″ or taller. There is a complete lack of head room and leg room…. good luck trying to recline when I’m sitting behind you on a plane. I will win that contest every time. Asking for the seats in the bulkhead row or the emergency exit rows give you a few extra inches… for a price. Make sure to “select seats” when you are booking your flight online to ensure the best possible seat.
GROCERIES FOR MASS CONSUMPTION
Buying groceries is like feeding an army. At one point, we were buying as many as 15 gallons of milk a week and I am convinced that Sam’s Club was planning to put a picture of our family in the store.
People frequently ask us to get something off the top shelf for them at the grocery store… so I ask them to get the stuff for me on the bottom shelf. This creates a good shopping partnership with fellow shoppers.
Finding other family members in any store is as easy as looking across the store over the tops of the displays or shelves.
PLAYGROUNDS & CHURCH
Nearly discrimination! I had to carry my birth certificate when I was twelve so that I could get into theaters for the youth rate. Not fun.
Our kids had a blast in those indoor parks… right up until they got too tall for the maximum height (around 10 years old!) and they were not allowed to play. So, just build your own park with no height limits… and charge the neighbors!
While there are challenges, there are a vast number of benefits…
- You always can see the screen at the cinema.
- You always find your family in a crowd or store.
- You always get to put the star on top of the Christmas tree.
- You can always reach anything in the fridge or pantry.
- Airlines will always pick someone smaller to de-board the plan when oversold… I am much too hard to remove once I am wedged into my seat!
Life is good.