The parents are back, earlier than expected. The daughter is still downstairs, typing up a short story. Great. My babysitting charge is a more prolific writer than I am.
The father goes through to chivvy her whilst the mother roots around in her bag, looking for her purse. She turns to me.
‘How tall are you?’
She looks pained. It occurs to me that her daughter is taller.
‘Err well, not too tall… How tall is Jess?’
‘Taller than you. Five foot eleven.’
‘That’s fine! It can be a good thing…’
Holes and digging spring to mind.
We talk clothes (a pain) and shoes (also a pain, sometimes literally) for tall girls.
‘So how tall are you?’ she asks.
‘I think that’s a perfect height.’
That crucial half inch.
The conversation turns to comparative heights of peers, friends…
‘Yes, I remember when I met my husband,’ she says, ‘and having to reach up to kiss him.’
Do not mention the blog.
‘Ha funny you say that. I write a dating blog…’
What?! She works in publishing… and I look after her children.
‘I bet it made a nice change for him!’
‘I don’t know….’
She hands me the cash. Best end on a cheerful note.
‘My mother once told me I should marry someone shorter than me, or shoe-shopping for the children would be a bitch!’
She looks surprised. I’d better be going.