I love WebMD.


I have successfully diagnosed ring worm, strep throat and possibly the bubonic plague by cutting out the Kaiser advice nurse middle-woman and pulling up my web doctor.


Who needs six years of college and two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy? Just call me Doc.


In fact, I’ve been so spot-on with my diagnosis and treatments, I recently strayed into veterinary medicine.


Hammy the hamster seemed a bit off lately. Drinking large amounts of water and tinkling in the corner enough to start her own wading pool. Not eating much, lethargic.


A quick web reference check and all her symptoms fit…diabetes. I’m serious. Diabetic hamster. It’s for real.


So, after gently explaining to my patient’s owner (my son) that Hammy will be okay, but now needs extra special care, we were off to Target for treatment.


Pedialyte and high protein Hammy food, hold the sunflowers seeds.


I do house calls.


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Every summer break since my kids have been in school a favorite morning routine replaces the rush of getting up and out of the house.


It’s called Play With Mommy. But first, they let me sleep in.


However, as soon as I crack an eye or wiggle a toe, I have two munchkins on my bed with the game de jour.


And of course, with kids, repetition is key. I have spent entire months playing Crazy 8’s, Uno, Snakes (with about two dozen rubber snakes), Kitties (I’m the momma kitty, they’re the baby kitties), Sorry!, closet hoops, ping pong tournaments and Hulk vs. Spiderman (I was the Hulk).


This month the favorite is Pet Shop. Each morning we set up a menagerie of stuffed and real animals for the pet shop. Two dozen stuffed kitties on the couch. Stuffed Nemo, Dorie and Squirt in the “tank” chair. Stuffed birds on the table along with Hammy the hamster playing herself. Our dog Kyber is for sale too with a few stuffed puppies in the next room.


Before our store opens we have to feed the animals. Then I tell my kids, “It’s Pancakes with Pets Day again!” – the only way to get them to stop and eat something before we cross the grouchy point of no return.


Next, we set up my laptop as a register on the kitchen counter and open the back screen door for business.


We take turns being browsing customers and shop owners of Pets R Us. We have an old cell phone for phone orders, expired credit cards for purchases and receipts from my purse to give to customers.


We probably play this for a good hour before the chores and commitments of the day need attending to.


But for one magical hour in the morning, I am a kid again with my babies.


I wonder what we’ll be playing the summer of their Junior and Senior years?

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