One Generation Away From Being the Side Show at the Circus

I am a shorty.  I stand at a meager 5 feet. Notice there is no inches. Just 5 feet. I have dealt with short jokes all of my life…”good things come in small packages…you’re not short, you are height challenged.”


I’ve had numerous nicknames bestowed upon me but the most common was always “Little Melissa” because people needed to differentiate me from all of the tall Melissa’s amongst us. Besides being short, I was always chubby too so I guess being called “Little Melissa” wasn’t too bad compared to the alternative of “Chubby Melissa”.

My whole family is short, going back generations on both sides with my Mom as the mascot at a whopping 4’10’’. What we lack in height we make up with in the forms of spirit and charisma! Well, at least my Mom does, she is a little firecracker.

When I became an adult and started down the path of dating, my Mom once said, “Now Melissa, make sure you find yourself a tall guy. We have to get some height in this family because we are one generation away from being the side show at the circus.”

Nice, huh?! Of course she was joking (I think) and of course I would never gauge a potential suitor based on their height or lack thereof. No, I just wanted a nice guy. So I dated a lot of guys in varying heights and sizes.

And then I met my husband. He is 6’3’’.

On our wedding day my husband said, "I have married into a family of Hobbits."

On our wedding day my husband said, “I have married into a family of Hobbits.”

That is a total of 15 inches taller than me. By far, the tallest guy I ever dated and he is the one I went on to marry and produce 3 children with. Even though his height wasn’t the contributing factor in me picking him to spend my life with, I can’t help but to be curious how this will affect our children. Thus far, my DNA proves to be making a forefront in their height department. They are all extremely short for their age.

That is why I was excited when I found this link the other day:

You type in the mother and father’s heights, the gender of the child and their current height and age and it spews out the estimated height of what they will be when they reach adulthood.

According to these calculations my daughter is going to be 5’2’’, my middle son is going to be 5’9’’ and our youngest is going to be 5’11’’.

I was pretty excited about these results. I realize it could be a bunch of baloney because it comes from WebMD (they have diagnosed me with terminal illnesses for years even though I only had a slight pain in my elbow). However, these little pieces of information give me hope. I am going to quit worrying that my kid’s futures lie in the hands of the side show at the circus.

And well, if it is wrong…so be it. Everyone knows….good things come in small packages!

62 responses

  1. I will have to try the height predictor. I would hate for my daughter to get the height in the family over my son. 😉 I truly love what your husband said about the Hobbits. I imagine being 6’3″ hasn’t been easy for him either?

    • The biggest problem my husband has with his height is clothing. That is mainly because I am constantly forgetting his inseam and buying a size too short. Of course he doesn’t check before he rips off the tags and wears them so he is always showing a little too much sock! Also, thank you so much for sharing this on Twitter! I really appreciate it!

      • I thought it was a great post!

        We forget sometimes that tall people have struggles too. We recently saw a guy who had to be 7 feet in a restaurant. He had to duck to go through the doorway! I had to remind my kids not to stare. Of course my son, who is short for his age, thought that height was great.

  2. Melissa! are you kidding me? We are the same height! YAY! I found a bloggy-friend with the same height! 😉 I get you, I’ve been a victim of all those “short” jokes too! 😉 at my age I care less about them but they still get to me sometimes! 😉 My husband is 6 feet tall, so kind of too tall for me but he was the one for me! I hope my little one won’t be short like everyone in our family, but I stopped thinking about it! Nate, for now is taller than kids his age (+75%percentile) but this could change very quickly! So funny : “generation away of being the side show at the circus” My whole family is short and hubby’s family they are all tall! Ah! 😉

    • I think my husband was always on the average side too until he hit high school and really shot up! Maybe my kids will do the same! Oh well, whatever the outcome I’ll be fine with it!! Thanks for stopping by and reading!!

  3. Great title. I am just three inches taller than you, which is no big deal to me. My guy is more obsessed and likes to make the “vertically challenged” comments. Shut it and get the damned coffee down from the top shelf.

    • That is really the problem with being short…trying to reach stuff on the high cupboards! Gosh darn it, I wrote “height challenged” in my post…you’re right the jokes are always “vertically challenged”…whatever, they are all lame!

    • With 6’3” being unusually tall you would think that the kids would get a good head start and then at least end up average or better! Genes are such tricky fellows and you never know how it’s going to work out!

  4. Well, Melissa, I have the opposite problem. I am 5 ft 10 and had trouble dating trying to find someone, anyone taller than me. For some reason, which you have only confirmed, they always ended up women who were on the shorter end of the spectrum. My husband and I are the same height and it isn’t an issue, although I know some taller women who don’t wear heels to keep their partners happy.
    My husband and I both have tall genes and short genes so it was a real guess about how the kids would turn out. Our son pretty much turned out as expected. He’ll be about 6ft or 6ft 1. We had quite a surprise when our daughter was born and she weighed in at 2.97 kg and went into a 0000 Bonds suit which was specially heated for the more premmie babies in the special care nursery. I had to send Mum out to buy her some clothes. She is 7 now and has always had what you would describe as a ballerina’s physique. She is really petite and when you look at me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I did all those growth calculations when she turned two and it looks like she will be about 10 centimetres shorter than me…around average. That’s probably a good thing as while I am proud of my height, it can be a nuisance. She is quite keen to catch up to my height though and I wonder if she feels like she’ll never grow up.
    In the meantime, she is doing really well at dancing and is very agile and like youor Mom, she is full of personality.
    xx Rowena

    • I never thought about tall girls not being able to find a tall enough partner…I feel bad I took another tall guy off the market when I would have done just fine with someone much less shorter! haha!!! Oh, I bet your daughter with that petite little frame and dancing ability to boot is going to be a little firecracker too!!!

  5. I am five foot no inches too. Are you left handed? I get more grief from the family about that than I do my height. I don’t mind being short because I hate my picture taken and I can always hide in the middle and no one ever sees me. This post made me laugh.

    • Wow Liz! Another 5 footer coming out of the woodwork! I am not left-handed so I am curious why your family gives you grief over that?? Also, the other advantage of being short is weaving your way through large crowds…I have slunk and darted through masses of people before with ease…people don’t even notice I’m down there!

  6. Melissa, you’re Blessed with a Happy Family! I personally don’t think height matters. What matters most is God, and God is Love, Wisdom, Patience, Love, Kindness, Piece, and Life. Be Blessed, Mtetar

  7. You’re in good company, Melissa–I’m a towering 5’3″, but I have to agree with Mtetar above, that your happy, healthy family trumps any height concerns. I did laugh, though, about your husband’s “hobbit” comment. V is 5’9″, so neither of us is particularly tall…I am taken aback every time my nearly 8-year old son stands next to me and comes up to my armpit! He’s catching up way too fast!

    Your wedding picture is beautiful, by the way, and I think God made you just right!


    • Thanks Alison! Oh boy, having an 8 year old that is catching up to you that fast does have to be alarming! It’s funny because my daughter has some kids in her 2nd grade class that are as tall as me and it always takes me by such surprise that such a little kid is almost towering over me!

  8. Your husband’s comment about hobbits cracked me up! 🙂 My hubby is a lot taller than me and so far both our boys are on the short side – I better check out that height calculator.

    • My husband is such a big Lord of the Rings fan so he gets such a kick out of calling us the Hobbits! I have noticed in your pictures that your husband is quite a bit taller than you too! I think we were smart to get a guy who could reach all of the high stuff for us!

      • Indeed – someone needs to be able to put that star on the top of the Christmas tree and reach that dusty can of corn off the top shelf. 🙂

  9. I laughed out loud at your post. I have worried that my girls will be giants and never marry. Guess we always find something to worry about as moms. (Now that my girls are older I have stopped worrying….they are tall but not destined for side shows. 🙂

  10. Haha… You know what, I was thinking “Hobbits” as I read the first part of your posts, laughed out loud when I saw your husband’s remark. I’m of pretty average height, but I think my children inherited the petite genes from my husband’s side of the family. You’re absolutely right about good things in small packages. All the petite people I know have great personalities!

  11. Your mom is hilarious! Also, your husbands quip about hobbits is bloody funny too. That photo is awesome – it has a bit of a Gulliver’s Travels feel to it!

    I have the exact opposite problem as you! I have always been soooo tall. I look like an amazon in photos with Marc’s family, who it would see are basically your long-lost cousins. All under 5’4″ (even his Dad!) except for Marc who is 5’10” (my height). It will be interesting to see what happens when we have a kidlet! x

    • haha!! It does look like Gulliver’s Travels!! Well, if you and Marc both got some height to you I’m sure your kids won’t be resigned to working at the circus regardless of my long-lost cousin’s influence!!

  12. Oh my gosh, this could seriously be my story! I’m 5’4″ – the tallest person in my family is maybe 5’9″. My husband? 6’4″. Of his parents and 4 sisters, they all range from 6’1″ to 6’9″! When I look at our wedding photos I always say it’s like a Hobbit-Wizard wedding.

  13. I am totally going to go to webmd and figure out my kids’ heights now. I am only 5’3 when I stand straight and come from a line of extremely thin people while my husband comes from bigger stock, even though he is only 5’11. So far the first two are like me and then the baby is the beast. I can’t wait to see if these patterns continue as they grow up!

  14. Well Melissa, I had no idea you were so petite! I can’t tell by your pictures, but you are always standing with little children so I guess it’s hard to tell. My dad’s side of the family is that way too – all the ladies are about 5 feet or less. I’m 5’3″ and was telling someone once that I tower over the women on my dad’s side. Of course everyone thought that was hilarious, me towering over anyone!

    • Hey Joyce!! Where in the heck have you been? I’ve been heading over to your sight every now and then to see if I missed a post or something! And yes, it’s always a plus to stand next to my small children so all of our smallness just looks somewhat normal!!!

  15. When people ask how short I am (funny, they never ask how “tall” I am) I say “I’m 5-foot-1. On a good day!”

    Going to have to check out the height predictor for my kids (Although I’m with you on the whole WebMD thing. Apparently I’m dying from several fatal illnesses simultaneously. Don’t know why I even go to that site. It only feeds my hypochondria!)

    • Oh I know! I had to quit going to WebMD because it was making me crazy. I just happened to stumble on this link the other day so I wasn’t actively seeking it out…I kind of shuddered when I saw it was WebMD. I guess it’s okay because it’s just predicting height and not any ailments!!!

  16. Your mom is too cute with her comment about the circus sideshow! And I agree, GREAT things come in small packages! Beautiful wedding pic, but hubby should have been standing just below you on that hill! 🙂

  17. Hey! I’m five foot nothing as well!!! I’d like to hug you. And I wouldn’t have to reach “way up” to do it either! Although my hubby is a mere six footer. Um, six feet tall–not someone with six feet. Just thought I should clarify.

  18. Melissa, it’s funny because I have the opposite problem. I’m five foot eight and a half inches tall and always wanted to be more petite. Just think, at least you could wear heels and you still wouldn’t be taller than your husband. I have to choose my shoes very wisely. By the way, thanks for the link. I’m on my way to see the results!

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