Not as young as I used to be

I am vertically challenged, standing a hulking 4 foot nine inches to be exact.   I never really had any hope of being tall, my genes and the IP saw to that.

When I had my shunt inserted at six months old the surgeons inserted tubing so long that it would have served me well if I had grown to be a giant, so not everyone thought all hope was lost. Obviously, I am not a giant though, (in fact, I am technically a dwarf. I was reminded recently (by people not expecting to see it in a CT scan) that said tubing still floats in my abdomen in a big coil. Just in case my growth spirt ever comes.

My small frame has often caused others to warn me to “always carry ID Nina; No one is ever going to believe you are over 18.”

I took this on-board. To this day, I still carry my 18 plus card (I am 34) just in case. To my dismay, it has been a very, very long time since I have been “carded”. Despite drinking cocktails in various pubs and clubs while speaking very loudly about my upcoming year twelve exams. Damn it!

Until recently, this fact has perplexed me; such was my belief of my youthful visage.

I was hanging out with Miss 6 who asked me how old I am. I stupidly invited her to guess and to my horror, she guessed forty. I managed to convince myself that this is the only number she knew (it is not) and posed the question to her twin brother. He guessed that I was eight, because I am only slightly taller than he is. I can live with that, although if true it could raise a few questions for Damion.

Feeling full of youthful exuberance, I found myself seated next to a little boy I did not know at a lunch. We got to chatting and I asked him how old he is. He is five. He then asked me how old I am and I invited him to guess.

He gave me an appraisal and after asking, “are you younger than Grandpa?” pronounced that I am forty-five. Convinced that he had misunderstood the purpose of the game, I asked him again. This time he said fifty. I stopped playing.

Often, a kid will age you based on your height in comparison to others. For instance, pre-primary kids are usually the littlest at school.

I have often assumed that the reason I get on so well with kids, is that as a short arse they think I am one of them and can relate. Apparently not.

So funny how oftentimes only the kids recognise that I am a grown up.


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