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Parenting is a Full-Contact Sport

Kids, man… They don’t hold back; they don’t bite their tongue. Unless you have thick skin, you may never make it out of parenting alive.

A few weeks I was enduring the grueling task that we call bedtime in our household. It was the end of a long day of summer excitement and Mikey was having troubling settling down, so I was sitting on the edge of the bed rubbing his back. Eventually I laid down next to him.

I was enjoying the moment, thinking how they are fleeting and in just a few weeks my big boy will be in kindergarten and soon he’s not going to want me to lay down and snuggle him, anymore.

I was looking at his cute little face when he turned his head to me and said, “Momma, can you turn your head that way?” He pointed up toward the ceiling.

“You want me to lay on my back, bud?” I asked for confirmation.

“Yeah,” he said, then pointed at the ceiling again. “Face your head that way.”

“Okayyyy,” I said as I shuffled around. “But, why?”

“I don’t like the air.”

My breath. He was talking about my breath.

To be fair, I hadn’t brushed my teeth for the night, yet, and I probably had 47 cups of coffee throughout the day, not to mention whatever we had for dinner. So I took that one in stride.

More recently, we were sitting on the couch watching some toons. I had my arm slung around the back of the couch while Mikey was smooshed right up against me. We had been sitting that way for a while when, without taking his eyes off the television, he said, “Momma, can you put your arm down?”

“Oh, sorry, Mikey. Are you uncomfortable?” I asked as I obliged.

He shook his head. “No,” he said, still not looking at me. “I don’t like your armpit.”

My husband barked out a laugh from his place on the recliner, and quickly tried to comfort me. “For the record he has said the same to me!” he said. “Actually, his exact words to me were, ‘I don’t like your hairy armpit.’”

I gave myself the sniff test and decided not to take too much offense. I mean, who DOES like armpits in August? Whatever… at least the kids is assertive.

The most recent insult was harder to brush off.

The three of us were wrestling in the living room. Mikey had just leveled me with a leg-drop and was now pinning me to the ground. I was on my back and he was laying across me on his stomach as he slapped the carpet three times.

“OK,” I huffed. “You got me.”

He stayed on top of me, our faces inches apart, and stared at my face. And I thought to myself, “Awe, my big guy is such a momma’s boy,” as I smiled goofily up at him.

Then he reached out, touched my upper lip and said, “Momma, you have a moustache.”

No human has ever rolled over, bucked her child off of her and high-tailed it out of there as fast as I did.

Let’s just say I made an emergency appointment at the salon that night.

Kids, man… They are brutal.

Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 5-year-old. She can be reached at


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