Turn Around and Swim

Life | Lessons | Laughter | Love


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Cloudy with a Chance of Meeting at 3:00am

Lately it’s been hectic and heavy on the schedule. Basketball games and tournaments and recreating George Washington. 100 days of school and turning 7 year olds into 100 years old by the break of dawn. Valentine’s Day crafts and treats and cards and boxes and bags and did I mention basketball?

So when you are the third ranking child, that little thing called a bedtime routine gets a little out of whack. If even existsent at all.  So my little Peeno has had a hard time winding down post basketball. While big brother struts his stuff on the court, Peeno goes from building a Lego masterpiece under the bleachers, to riding on a team mascot’s back during halftime to talking smack in an unofficial basketball match with high schoolers on the adjacent practice court.  See, where most siblings of the players range from 13 and up, I still have one of the younger ones. 

And he goes and goes and goes like it’s nobody’s business. And everyone sits atop their cushy pillow in the bleacher stands reminding me how “he is gonna pass right out!”  Uh, they have no idea. It’s like a sick, twisted game of reverse psychology. The little $h*t doesn’t wind down. He winds up. And up and up. 

You know that runner’s high or release of serotonin after a really, really good work out?  Well this kid mass produces that sh*t. 

So, bedtime has become again, a challenge. I’m sort of embracing it though because it will be short lived. In a year or so, it won’t be this way. And I know my heart will cry out for these moments. Moments of having to use the bathroom again, maybe. Needing just one more little, itty bitty sip of water. The radio song is “creeping me out”. Needing one more good, teeny little story. And “just one more song you sing but not that doe a dear one again and can you find out the real words mommy to hush little baby….”

Because he apparently knows that if that diamond ring won’t shine, mommy is gonna crack open a bottle of wine is just me hitting survival mode and not the way the lullayabe really goes. 

And then the Three Little Bears fairytale steals the scene with somebody’s been sleeping again in my bed BS. And this bed just feels too icky. And can I have 18 more pillows and Jingle and Fury are all f’ed up. Oh and snakey. Gosh forbid we don’t have the $38.00 hook a fish carnival gem we scored. Let’s find snakey! You plush, stinky little neon thing you. 

And then when it’s almost all over and almost all said and done and I snuggled just 5 more minutes, he leans into me and says, “mommy there is a 100% chance I will see you in your bed tonight at about 3:00 am. I love you more than anything mommy, but I love God, Jesus and Mary just a crumb more than you. You can go now mommy, I’m sleepy!”

And the Energizer Bunny powers down leaving me with a forecast outlook to 3:00am. Goodnight sweetheart

These days aren’t forever. I know that. And someday I will want them back tenfold. And even when his little a$$ comes crawling into my bed at 3:00am giving me liver kicks until 5:00am, I will love him more than anything…like he makes me promise him every night! 100 times over. I hope he always knows, I will be his mommy forever! All the days of our lives! He can always fall asleep counting on that because sheep don’t work folks! 

What’s your little babes bedtime ritual? Can  you appreciate my new twist on hush little baby? I think it’s a solid tune! Ba. Ba. Ba. 100 Sheep to go……………….

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Samurai Slap Away 

Appearing in the winter dreariness at the top of our upstairs landing was a young boy who appeared to be part samurai warrior and part Aunt Jemima It was utterly confusing and I blinked a few times before wrapping my eyes around the sight of this boy. 


We had just returned from Sunday Mass when my overtired and wildly irritable 9-year old son stepped a boundary and got mouthy with me. It was as if some unholy spirit suddenly invaded his body. He spent the weekend “elsewhere” and spent a good part of it playing video games in “raids” with “grown men”. Something of which I do not allow or condone in our home. 

He was cranky and teetering back and forth from launching a granade at me and being my sweet son I carried in my womb for 9 months and one week. Then it happened, almost in A Christmas Story fashion, he said the unthinkable. Yet, the unthinkable was accompanied by a few more unthinkable(s) and then the unthinkable(s) just wouldn’t stop. 

So, as I was caught between seeing my beautiful, blue-eyed boy and a horned demon, I did the unthinkable. I slapped his sweet little cheek rosy red. We both immediately froze. And then my gentle child reappeared and the tears welled up in his eyes. 

He was instantly slapped back to reality as if an exorcism of sorts had occurred. We had a long talk about video games and saying no to things that seem fun but hurt us in the end. That sometimes making the decision to go to bed early even when no one else is holding you accountable is wisest of choices. We both apologized and I thought we went on our merry ways with a new sense of appreciation for the moment that overcame us both. 

A half hour past, I motioned for him to freshen his face, tidy his clothes and restyle his hair. Big brother’s basketball game was coming up and trek number 11 from home to court was soon to be underway. 

That’s when the samurai warrior appeared. Head and face fully wrapped in a black, dry wick long sleeve Under Armour compression shirt. All I could see were his enormous blue eyes. Just as I was about to lose my cool because we needed to leave, he spoke. 

Under the wick his muffled voice told of the day he spoke harsh words to his mother and she cracked him on his cheek. The shame he said was too much to bear and the redness on one cheek that didn’t match the other was to awkward to explain. The puffiness under his eyes that showed of a child distraught was too obvious to give way that tears had been shed. Such a heart felt muffled theatrical lead, I couldn’t resist. In his quest for sympathy of sorts, I did the unthinkable again. 

I laughed. Hysterically. I had nothing else to offer. Just pure, unfiltered belly laughter. What in the world are you doing my dear son? Like the adorning of the Scarlet Letter, he made his way one foot after another down the staircase, passed me, out the door and into his booster seat with his head and face fully cloaked in black Under Armour dry wick compression shirt.


That episode was a week ago. And although we have both moved on and have forgotten all about the unthinkable(s), I still can’t help from cracking up at the sight of him and his dramatics. You never will know what will come of a good old fashioned slap across the old cheek and usage of Under Armour dry wick long sleeve compression shirts. May the warrior in us all, fight the good fight!