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We have entered a new phase of childhood that includes “Duh!,” as well as the eye roll, “Yeah!” with a head bob, and – get this – air quotes.

In other words, my 6-year-old is a smartass.

And it’s really a magical time, let me tell you.

Recently he mouthed off to me in some way or another and I sent him to his room. He huffed and stomped all the way down the hall and then swung the door closed with a loud bang. Apparently the teenage years are on the horizon.

I had to take a deep breath and count to 10. After giving him some time, I went in to talk with him. He was sitting in his overstuffed chair in his room (#spoiled), lounged back, arms crossed over his chest and his face in a full-on pout.

Like a little prince who didn’t get to wear the crown jewels.

Honestly, I can’t even remember what the initial dust-up was about, but I told Mikey he needs to listen to me and his father because we’re his parents, we’re adults, and we know what’s best for him.

Mikey made a sound that was a cross between a “cha” or a “gah” and lolled his head back dramatically.

“So, it’s like your house, your rules?” he asked. Again with the pout.

“Yes, that’s exactly what it is!” I said. “When you are an adult or a parent, you can make your own rules. But right now Dad and I make the rules to keep you safe, and healthy, and to hopefully help you turn into a nice young man.”

Another “cha/gah” sound.

Then he through his hands up, rolled his eyes so far into the back of his head I’m surprised they ever returned to normal, and said, “So, what? I have to follow your rules ‘until I die?!’” And when he said “until I die” he made air quotes.

I couldn’t help it… I laughed.

And it was the way wrong thing to do. Mikey got all exasperated and started raising his voice and otherwise getting moody so I simply left the room again. Later, my husband enjoyed my retelling and re-enactment of our little Oscar-winning tantrum-thrower.

Other words and phrases our little terrorist is bringing home from school include “jeez,” “cringe,” “that’s so sus,” and “dookie.” As in, “I’m going to go do a dookie.” I haven’t heard that word since Green Day released its third studio album in 1994, so I guess it’s true that everything comes back around.

Oh, Mikey also keeps asking me when he’s going to lose some teeth. Can you believe he hasn’t lost a single one? Most of his friends have lost a few by now. I’m surprised because he had a mouthful of teeth by his first birthday. What gives?

And don’t even get me started on what the going rate is for a tooth these days. It seems nothing is immune to inflation.

That’s all I’ve got for an update this week, folks. For those of you trying to juggle a spring schedule with multiple kids enrolled in multiple sports and other programs… Godspeed.

Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 6-year-old. She can be reached at


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