Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Third Opinion

Happy Birthday to my little boy who is turning the big 2-0. Yes, the teen years are behind us as we enter into the twenties. Will this decade be as 'fascinating' as the wonder years? I wonder....

OK, I will not keep you guessing. We saw the uber-specialist yesterday and life has not been the same. First, his fellow entered the room, asked a few questions, performed a physical and could not get the MRI report to open on the computer. After a few minutes, the big time doc enters the room with his other fellow and he began a series of tests. He could not open the report either, then I pulled out my laptop, which I strangely had with me, and his jaw dropped.

He began with disagreeing with the first report. Ok, we already knew this. I was waiting to be impressed. Suddenly he sees a "tear" on the MRI that no one else saw. Mind you, four other doctors looked at the actual MRI. "OK, here is what I think...." He proceeded to tell him that he had a tear and that his rotator cuff was hanging on by a thread and he was about to tear completely. By the way, you will be out of baseball for at least a year....and will probably never pitch again. As the big kid broke down into tears, my heart broke for him. Then the doctor said to him "You would never have made the majors anyway."

Huh? What? From an x-ray, he can predict the future? He did not even know my son. The news was devastating, but as he told Buddy that he would not make the majors, Buddy did something pretty impressive although I should not smile at this one....he "F'ed" the doc off. That's my boy. tell 'em kiddo....what the %^#** does this guy know? Less than 1% of little leaguers make it to division 1 baseball. Gotcha....less than 1% of d-1 players make it to the big leagues...gotcha. What makes this pompous doo-doo think that my kid is not going to make it? Huh? I don't one knows, but you don't deliver a blow like that to a kid looking for answers.

It was not a pretty sight and I was peeved. The guy's bedside manner was deplorable. He could probably tell a five year old that she has an hour to live without blinking an eye. His reply was that we came to him for the truth and sometimes it hurts. But, if we want another opinion, there is a guy in Florida who is the best in the world. He is also his personal friend and can call him on his cell phone to get Buddy an appointment. Do we want another opinion with this guy?

What do you think? Of course we do. So, once I got home, I looked him up online and discovered that his credentials were pretty $^(@^^ good. Impressive....then I read an article that the Yankees paid him $200 million for ten years NOT to operate on any major league player besides a Yankee. Hmmmm....that's one else but a Yankee.....he's that good. Amazing...

True to his word, uber-doc called this mega-doc who called me from his cell phone and told me to keep his number in case I needed anything. Yep, that's, lil ole BPM has this big time doc's cell phone number. Yep, I kept it and added it to my contacts. Anyone want it? I'll give it away for a price...perhaps one or two million will suffice.

We leave on Sunday for a Monday morning appointment. Then if the mega-doc feels that he needs the surgery, he will have it on Tuesday in Florida. Yep, me and the's crazy. I'm crazy. Buddy's crazy. Dad is crazy. We're all nuts, but what else is a parent supposed to do?

I already made the air plane reservations and looked online at the remaining seats on the aircraft. Postoperatively, Buddy would have to sit in the middle on the way home. This would be way uncomfortable since his arm will be in an immobilizer. So, I asked the ticket agent for a bulkhead seat for him. She replied that they are reserved for people in wheelchairs or who are sick. After arguing a few minutes that he would need the room, she asked if his arm would be 'fused"...The answer is yes and no....technically, it will not be fused but he cannot move it so yes, it is fused. Not good enough, so I was transferred to a manager who gave us both bulkhead seats. She did mention that if anyone in a wheelchair or who had a service dog needed the seat, I would have to move. I agreed to this request and will be looking for anyone with a fierce looking dog who may have a fused limb or two and in dire need of a bulkhead seat.

And so, that is where we stand today. With plane tickets ready to take off for Florida. Buddy has emerged from his room and cracked a few smiles. He wrote a letter to the uber doc that he is not going to send for a few years. In the letter, he writes about what happened today in the office, how he made it to the majors, and his plans to send him a signed jersey to remember the day when he almost crushed a guy's dreams. These are definitely Merlot-moments.

The second opinion

Yes, the bus did have wheels, tires, and seats. Tink and I picked the big leftie up in Philly at 1 am. Was it creepy? Naw, although you would not believe how many people are out or working at that time of the day. It was almost like a party. Almost....not really.

As he jumped into the car, I asked if he got any sleep on the bus. His reply was that he never ever sleeps on a bus because he either does not want to be robbed or have someone draw a mustache on his face with a Sharpie...paranoid perhaps...or just a good solid philosophy?

Today marks two big events. Event one is the second opinion. I have the opportunity to meet the doberman administrative assistant who would not let us through the door without the magic pixie dust. I finally found the right words to garner the appointment by saying to her: "Just forget it." Immediately the doors swung open and we were given access to the great and powerful uber-surgeon. After this appointment, we will know which direction that we are going to take with the surgery or rehab. Strap on your seat belt, we are about to hit 90 miles an hour.

The second event happened twenty years ago, when after eating at a Mexican restaurant in Newark Delaware, I went into labor. Was it the big dinner or the big kid? It took 24 hours before we actually knew. He came close to celebrating his birthday on February 29th, but decided he would start the life long torture of his mother at that point and entered the world the next day. Did I say that he was a big kid? The doctor stated that his feet were the biggest that he had seen in years. And so it goes...nothing changes. The feet are still big and he finds new ways to torture me on a daily basis.

Actually, I am kidding. He is the greatest guy and I am blessed to call him my son. He and his sister have made my life into an event. I never know what is going to happen and therefore rarely go to the movies since real-life does not compare to fiction.

We have been blessed with a very interesting life and I am grateful. Sure there are days when I sit on floor and aimlessly stare into space. Then there are other days when I can see the reasons for the turmoil and am grateful that we currently have the tools to fix them. For example, dad heard that Buddy would need to sleep in a lounge chair for the first few weeks since he will not be able to lie down. Guess what? We have an old lounge chair in the basement that would match the decor in their college apartment. You know the look...a ripped plaid chair that is semi broken would seamlessly look wonderful in the corner of the apartment next to Irene, the plastic blow up doll that has a hole in it. She is currently awaiting reconstructive surgery so that she can be inflated again. Sadly, she does not have insurance and therefore has to wait until the surgical resident can see her.

Back to Buddy...after the appointment, we are going to celebrate his birthday in style with chicken Parmesan and chocolate cake from Sparky's friend's bakery. Then he goes back to college to take a test and will returns home on Friday night for spring break. In the meantime, I am going to check out the basement chair to make sure that it can be moved to his apartment, perhaps clean it with something (not sure what...), and consider what I should get for him for his birthday....a new shoulder perhaps?

Have a great day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The five dollar bus: Does it have wheels?

Another beautiful February day! I want to send two shout to brother "C" who celebrated his birthday in style on Friday night with pizza, Merlot, and chocolate cake....what a great night...

The second shout out is to my brother in law, Big M who was awarded the alumni "Spirit Award" yesterday at the Communion Breakfast. Here is a guy who has continued to support his alma mater when the rest of us graduated and considered high school just a memory. He kept it a reality. He is on the Board of Directors and can be seen working at the high school at all hours of the day and night. He and big sis met there and have been together since those days (a long time). Even while battling cancer, he could be found at meetings, fund raisers, and games. he never forgot where he came from...truly remarkable and very worthy of the "Spirit"award.

And so, Tink and I had the privilege of celebrating with both of these wonderful guys which is why I have not been blogging. Too much to do and it has kept my mind off the ongoing saga of needing a second opinion.

Not much going on from a medical perspective. I am looking at the bus schedule and trying to hook him up with a bus trip rather than driving 6 hours to provide him with door to door service. With gas prices, those days are ending....and I do mean ending. One car ride round trip to and from campus costs me $80.00 in premium gas. A bus ticket to Philly costs $5.00. Yes, you saw it correctly....$5.00. I don't have to be Donald Trump or Warren Buffet to know which route to choose. Let's consider this....a 5.00 bus is this possible? Does he sit on the roof? In the trunk? On the floor? Does he stand the entire way down the mountain and turnpike? Does he have to drive it? Wash it? Fill it with gas? Why is this ticket only $5.00?

Who knows why, but the kid is taking the bus...oh shades of high school and elementary school when he took the bus to and from school. Once he earned his driver's license, he felt that it was his right as an American citizen and duty as a student attending a private school to drive like the rest of the rich kids. Guess what? We aren't rich and he was not given a cute little Mercedes or BMW for his he continued on the bus until I finally caved in and bought myself a new car. His temperament immediately changed from salty to sweet as can be...Imagine....

Sadly, the team is not doing well without him. They lost all three games in NC this weekend, and definitely could have used his special talents. He is frustrated...the team is frustrated...and the coaches are peeved. Interestingly, he is not the only pitcher who is re-habbing...there are three others....hmmmm...why are these kids going down and overusing their arms to the point where they all needed some form of surgery? I ask you...what could it be? Should their training be scrutinized for appropriateness? Are they training too much or too little? Are the exercises and weight training tailored for pitchers? I don't know, but these questions should be asked as he continues his rehabilitation.

Time for me to go to work. First, I have to meet Scooby and Sparky for lunch....Sparkly has a "friend" that she wants us to meet...nice! Gotta run....Have a good day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Indifference can make a difference

Good morning! A blustery day in the northeast and I cannot shake the notion that it will eventually snow in May. The bulbs are peeking through the soft ground and are preparing to bloom. I love spring and do not want to lose it for a mild winter.

I would like to thank dad (not!) for purchasing a case of Girl Scout thin mint cookies. Since I was a kid, the mints were my crack. I could eat an entire box in minutes and regret it for the next several weeks as I try to fight off the calories. It's nice that he supports the troops, but please, oh NOT bring them home.

Where are we on the surgical consult? Oh yeah....waiting to hear from the doberman....well, she called and tried to schedule the kid for April. Nice time of the year, flowers, trees, and hay problem....his surgery is currently scheduled for March 19. So, abruptly, I said 'thanks, but no thanks' and started to thank her for her time, when she asked me to wait for a few more minutes. As she took me off hold, she asked if Buddy could come to the office on Wednesday at noon. "Sure! See you then...." And so, it seems that my indifference was the difference between a February or April appointment. Aye carumba.....

That's where we stand. We have the second opinion this week and will make the final decision on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the team is currently 1-4 and off to a very bad start. Could it be that they miss my boy? Perhaps....then again, may be not. He had great statistics in his freshman year and was a bit of a spark plug with his plucky personality. So maybe they just miss his presence on the field pushing himself and the other guys to work as hard as they can.

It's all so crazy. What do the people do who just trust the first opinion? If this was the case, we would still be using ice and Motrin. But it is not the case, and the kid will undergo the knife for the first time ever in s few weeks. How will he react to anesthesia and pain? It's going to be very interesting....

Got to go! have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alone again on prom night

Another beautiful day in February. The tulips and daffodils are beginning to emerge from the soil and I am worried. I have seen robins in the backyard and am waiting for the big storm to hit. I just don't trust the weather and cannot enjoy it.

So, BPM, what's new? Actually, nothing is new. I did not hear from the big kid yesterday nor the doberman administrative assistant who received my fax. The report reads "tendonitis". Which busy uber-surgeon is going to want to squeeze a 19 year old college kid into his schedule for tendonitis? No one with half a brain will do it. And so, I go back to my original argument with my girl friend on the telephone....the report is wrong. Please just look at the actual MRI. Time is running out and he is scheduled for surgery that we are still not sure that he needs. Come on people! Where is the compassion for the little man....or big man in this case.

I had a weird dream last night that I was in high school and went to the prom in a nice white dress in a large building. The prom was on one floor and an ICU was on the next floor. So I spent my time taking the elevator and running between the prom (no date, naturally) and the ICU. Hmmmm...not that I think that dreams really mean much but this could have some significance as I battle health care professionals on a daily basis. I can't enjoy the prom or "my life" until everyone returns to their usual healthy status. Or, it can mean nothing.....although....why oh why do I never have a prom date? I guess because I take these battles on by myself since I have no fear about it.

And so, I ponder my next step. Should I try to contact Blue Devil's specialist and take the kid to NC next week during spring break? It would be quite a road trip as we pack up the car and once again head south. Perhaps we can see a few baseball games along the way, or not...I am sure that Buddy will be in no mood to see other guys using their arms fully.

We have already angered the team doctors. And I am angry with the surgical consult, so a trip to the south may be what the doctor orders. Let the uber-surgeon with the pit bull assistant barricade the office from seeing the little man...You know these fancy guys, they have Town and Country magazine rather than People or US. Yeah, I am going south...warmer weather, pecan pie, and a road trip with my kid. Perhaps once all is settled and we have a definitive answer, I can call the girls, put on a fancy white dress, and head to the clubs and dance ....naw, I'll just be myself, put on my sweat pants and socks with no holes in them, turn the music on in the house, and dance around the kitchen with Diva dog.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Honey and vinegar

"And the beat goes on" Sonny and Cher would sing....Yesterday was filled with interesting meetings and phone calls. First the call to another doctor for a second opinion. It went something like this:
"I need the MRI report before the almighty considers seeing him before April."

"OK, there's a problem with the report because the radiologist read it wrong, so he will receive information that is false. How can he make a decision on something that is inaccurate?"

"M'am, the policy is that the doctor only reads the reports and makes the decision to see him or not."

"OK, let's try it again, the report, the piece of paper that will help him to make the decision is wrong, inaccurate, bogus, faulty, filled with errors, amiss, askew, astray, at fault, awry, bad, counterfactual, defective, erratic, erring, erroneous, fallacious, false, fluffed, goofed, in error, inexact, miscalculated, misconstrued, misfigured, misguided, mishandled, mistaken, not precise, not right, not working, off-target, on the wrong track, out, out of commission, out of line, out of order, perverse, rotten, sophistical, specious, spurious, ungrounded, unsatisfactory, unsound, unsubstantial, and untrue....capish? or as they say in Italy....tu capisci?"

"M'am, just send the report by fax to my attention and have a good day..."

Oy! Bullpen mom's magic is beginning to wane. Now what? I'll send her the fax, wait for a reply and look for another opinion. This one has a vicious doberman at the door with her teeth bared ready to pounce on any mother trying to have her child evaluated.

Actually, that's what I need...a guard administrative assistant to keep the needy and helpless from receiving my assistance. I will have this person refuse to let anyone see me or get to me because I have a strict, unavailable, and inflexible policy. That's right....who's that man behind the curtain? The great and powerful Wizard of Oz or a surgeon who is unreachable and inaccessible? Here is another thought...what if we do get in to see the powerful Oz and we let him perform the surgery? It seems to me that I will not be able to ask questions and can only speak when he moves his little pinky finger. That is code for "OK, ask me a question that I will probably not answer and not make eye contact with you. And by the way, your kid is just a number to me, an extremity, a shoulder, so don't think that I will even know his name when we finish. An arm is an arm is an arm...they are all the fax the report and maybe, just maybe, I will open the door....By the way, do not forget your co-pay!"

On another note, the big kid called today and had contacted the second surgeon and asked his assistant to try to move his surgery up to be done over spring break. "Mom, you would be proud of me, I was very nice on the telephone to her. This way, if an opening comes up, she will let the nice guy...that's me... have the slot...." Hmmm...things that you learn from your own kids. I guess that I will leave the sarcasm out of my next telephone call to the doberman; after all, as BP Grandmom always says: "You attract more bees with honey than vinegar...."

Monday, February 20, 2012

And the beat goes on

Good morning! The sun is shining and the little children are outside playing in their little motorized cars. No walking or running right now...they have these oh so cool electric cars. They are laughing and smiling...what a great sight....

So, how is my little guy? Hmmm...not really sure. He was quiet yesterday and did not call me. I am not going to push it and will wait to hear from him. The team arrived back at the apartment at 1 am, so the magnitude of the shoulder injury is hitting home as I type.

How will he handle it? With grace? class? Naw...probably not. he's still a kid who has suffered a big personal loss. However, it is not the end of the world. This injury can be fixed and he will be better than ever. Sadly, there are external pressures on him to take a cortisone shot and pain killers. That's right....pain killers and cortisone shots and play thorough the injury. Is this what Marcus Welby would say to his patients? What about Dr McDreamy...shoot 'em up and throw him into the big game? Perhaps, they would like him to bite on a bullet as he cocks his arm back to throw the curve ball. Don't they think that it is killing him to be out of the line up?

In my book, this is not the answer to the issue and can only magnify the problem. And so, BP dad is headed to college tomorrow to discuss options with the coaches. The options that are not on the table include steroid anti inflammatory medication and some type of strong pain killer. Nope, my kid wants to be in the sport for a long time, not until the end of May.

Crazy! It's all pretty crazy....second and third opinions, surgery, therapy, physical therapy, rest, ice, elevation, acupuncture, hypnosis, reflexology, message, acupressure, and energy healing. The kid has a sore arm that has to be treated with a number of modern modalities which may begin with surgery. Let's keep in mind that he is still 19 and can heal a lot quicker than I can at the tender age of #@$$$^^.

And so, I will let you know what happens as news unfolds. Right now, we know that he is sorely missed in the bullpen and the coaches and players want to expedite his return. Unfortunately, this injury will take time and the patience of Job.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thirty year old rookie's a new day, new week and another chapter in the life of the BP family. I have decided that the entries lately have been negative and a bit depressing, so it is time to raise it up a little bit. Yes, it is true, life is not fair...but we are not battling the big "C", schizophrenia, or bankruptcy. No, we have a boo boo on the shoulder....big deal!

Today begins a week in which we organize and get things together for the future. For example, we are seeking a second opinion since we go from rest, ice and Motrin from one doctor to "Cut me, Mick!" Is there an in-between opinion before surgery? So, I left a voice mail on Friday with another leading shoulder specialist for a third opinion. Dr G says "Do not tell him that this is a second opinion....surgeons do not like it." OK, I will never mention that he will be the third doctor in this process. Blue Devil sent a link to a renown specialist at Duke, which I will hold onto for a fourth opinion.

Dad is more skeptical than I am. I am confident that MD number 2 knows what he is doing, but who knows? Who ever knows? How is that for positive thoughts?

And so, nothing can be done until I hear from number 3's office. Somehow, I have to get in to see this guy, Dr. W and no one else. It may be tough to break through the 70 or so doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, receptionists, transcriptionists, and billing specialists in front of him, but I believe that I am ready for the job. I can be persuasive when I put my mind to it. I'll do my deep breathing exercises, squats, crack the knuckles, and run in place before the phone call is made. Perhaps I will have a venti bold Starbucks coffee before the conversation. They will never know what hit them. By the way, I stopped in Starbucks today for my Sunday coffee and the barrista never asked me if I wanted "room for cream" in my cup. Sheeesh...and I could not even garner an interview.

Now, it is time for good news...not good news...great news....Ok, not great news but amazing and awesome, stupendous and fantastic news....ready? Sit down....OK, stand we go....

Buddy's mentor, Coach T was signed by the Phillies yesterday! Did I say "signed"? Yes, I did!!!! Coach T, a guy who has been a mentor and big brother to my son has signed with the local big time major league team and we are thrilled! not just thrilled....elated...more than elated....ecstatic....jubilant....filled with joy and thanksgiving!

What does this prove? Yes, the guy can pitch, 'cause the Phils are the number one team....but, we learn that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard and make sacrifices, you can achieve that goal. The guy has made it...been rejected, cut, sent to the minors, sent to the Caribbean league, ate hot dogs for months, does not have a college degree since he has been pursuing this dream and finally...yes, finally, a thirty year old rookie!

We have learned that there is nothing beyond the reach of determination. A little cliche, perhaps, but relevant. If you feel in your heart that you are destined for something, then go for it. Do not give up until there is no longer a pulse...keep going, don't stop, 'cause whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger (another cliche, sorry). Way to go, Coach T...Buddy will be watching while his arm is in a sling and he one is more proud of you then your home town fans....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reality hits hard and it hurts

Ahhh, life is so interesting. One minute a person can be at the top of the world and the next minute articulate "what's the point?" Yeah...that's us...But one thing that I learned in the BP grandparent household is that the measure of a person is not what one does when they win, but what they do when they lose. As someone who has lost metaphorically in a number of ways, I'll explain.

The big leftie had 'the worst week in my life' as he battled strept throat, the loss of his beloved laptop, missed the plane and games in Florida, needs surgery, and will not pitch again officially until September. When baseball is one's identity and it has been taken away, there is a period of mourning which began yesterday morning at 9 am. With labile emotions, he went through the natural ups and downs of this diagnosis.

The ups are the surgery is 99.99999999% effective. The surgeon is quite capable if not arrogant (which I like; I don't want to be friends with my surgeon...just do the work...then go and hit the golf course :-)....OK...the golf course crack was unnecessary).

The downs are that he has to live the next 8 months without the part of his personality that has defined him. He no longer can walk to the mound with his walk-out song, do his usual routine, take a deep breath and throw the ball as hard as he can...strike a few guys out, spit, and run to the dug out and high-5 the guys. Instead, he will have his arm in a sling for 4 weeks as he watches LW take his place...oh, the pain of it.

Let's go to last night's opening game in Florida...generally, we can watch the game on the computer with Game Tracker until the season officially begins, then we use the Internet and CBS Sports. However, Game Tracker was down last night which put the kid into a frenzy. He had it planned. He was going to lock himself in dad's office and watch the game since he was in his game mode. Unfortunately, game Tracker did not work and he had to resort to Twitter, which is unreliable at best. As he read the Twitter feeds, I could hear him screaming about the team losing to a second rate university. Then it "really hit the fan"....LW was sent into the game. This is the point where Buddy would have gone in to save it...instead LW was there in his place....oh boy...if there was a way that I could have quietly left the house for an errand or two, I would have done it, but the kid needed to vent and we were there for him. And so, rather than leave, I watched a weird program on television that I could not turn off (sadly) about an infestation of garter snakes on a property and the family had to declare bankruptcy and abandon the house because the only way to get rid of the snakes was to lift the house off its foundation to clear out the huge den of snakes. I am not sure why I just shared this with you, and really don't understand why I watched it, but Friday night television is pretty boring....

Back to the game....forget about the snakes...Actually, LW did quite well and only gave up one run. But the damage was done to the big kid's psyche....someone else had taken his place. And so the reality of the diagnosis finally hit. I sat with him for a moment and asked if he was 'Okay'...The response was typical...absolutely, I am going to be better than ever and beat it.

That's my boy. He's down, but not out. He sees the issue as something to be overcome and will do so, with grace and style (OK....maybe not style....perhaps not grace either). I'll be there to battle with him as he goes for a second opinion, wears the red shirt, and patiently (not a trait that he has) works through the rehabilitation.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Road to Rehabilitation

Good's been an interesting 24 hours. I picked the big kid up at the stadium after the three hour ride, ran a few errands and headed home in an ice storm. An hour into the trip as we drove down the mountain, we realized that we forgot his MRI disk and had to turn around. BP Mama was not happy with her BP son, but she did not remember no blame here. During the drive home, he went through the Kubler Ross's stages of death and dying....denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. He actually hit on the anger phase more than was a tense ride, so to speak.

Once home, his desktop computer was not working and his laptop hard drive blew. Needless to say, we all ran for cover, including Diva dog. Let's just say, "I get it..." His team left for Florida without him, one of their top relievers, a kid who breathes and lives for baseball, someone who wants to play in the pros...He's angry and I get it and got it....

And so, after dinner, we quickly scattered and I left him to his thoughts and a Joe Namath special on HBO. Our 8 am appointment with the specialist could not come fast enough and when it did...oh boy....

Here are the facts...the MRI was read by the specialist. he performed a physical assessment, looked at his frame, asked several questions...and showed us a physical model of what is wrong. His diagnosis is NOT tendonitis, but a worn tendon from poor mechanics. Apparently, he throws across his chest and that had pulled the tendon. Treatment? If you chose surgery, you win a trip for four to Tampa!

Yes, laproscopic surgery will be performed over spring break when he should be in Alabama. Further, he will be in a sling for 4 weeks with physical therapy for four months and back throwing in August. Stunned would be an understatement. Disappointed would be an overstatement. here is BP mom's perspective:

The kid has grown exponentially but his fast ball has been losing velocity. The pain comes with throwing if he does not warm up. He cannot long toss and this has been going on since his senior year in high school. With a bad shoulder, he was still throwing well during winter ball. At this point in his career, he would be hitting 90 mph without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, the team physician and the hospital radiologist misread the MRI and have been treating him for something that he does not have-tendonitis since October.

And now, I feel that all of this is a blessing. The kid has been working hard without seeing results. He has been in pain for quite some time and the surgical procedure according to the doctor is 100% effective. Once he recovers from surgery, he will be working with the top physical therapist in the country who only works with major league pitchers. Ironically, his office in our backyard at the local hospital. I cannot help but feel that this is the plan for him and he will be better than ever. Our next hurdle, however, is to officially red-shirt him.

Red shirt means that he will be on the team and can train and travel with them, not play, retain another year of eligibility, and heal and rehab his shoulder. Now, the plan is to call the coach and meet with him on Monday as a family. Dad insists on one thing...if he stays in college for another year, he is to work on a graduate degree and not just take his time to finish his bachelor's degree.

Now that we have the plan of action, we can implement it. Oy! Who would have thought that it would be so complicated? achieve a lofty goal, a person has to be committed, work hard, and be willing to make great sacrifices. And so we begin the road to rehabilitation.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Major League Problems

Good Morning....this is a quickie as I wait for Tink to get dressed. We are headed to school and NOT Florida....yes, you read this the airport where I would have bought a $5.00 bottle of water as I boarded the overcrowded plane on my way to high 70's and sunny weather....nope, I am going to the mountains to pick up my son...Why, you may is an abridged or cliff notes version of a lengthy story....

As readers know, the big leftie has had tendonitis. The shoulder has been sore for months and we let the team specialists treat him. All is well except, he is not better. yesterday, in his bullpen, he had to stop throwing and was "shut down" by the coach. "Shut down" means he cannot throw any more and is NOT on the plane to Florida. Instead, Dog took his ticket.

I wanted to cry for him and what this means, but I didn't because this is not life or death. This injury can be tended to with the right therapy. I have no doubts that the team doctor absolutely knows what he is doing, but it is time for the second opinion.

The question is now, does he 'red shirt' this season to heal and maintain his eligibility? Or does he rest the shoulder and spin the wheel in the hopes that he heals in a few weeks? By waiting, he might have to forgo eligibility and not have a stellar season but a mediocre one.

We are perplexed and must make a big decision sooner rather than later. once he formally throws a pitch, he loses the opportunity to red shirt. So, what does BP mom do?

I'll tell you...she finds out who the shoulder specialist is for the major league team, the Phillies, and begs him for an appointment...not just begs him, but makes him her world famous chocolate cheesecake and perhaps Paula Deen's Uncle Bob's Apple cake or maybe both.

So, the plan was simple...since he was not going to Florida with the team today, through Dr. G, we found out the name of the doctor. I said a quick prayer and was prepared to literally beg his receptionist for an appointment in the next week. I was going to grovel and send her flowers with a note and perhaps a ten dollar bill. I was going to camp out at the office and offer to wash his car. I had plans...many of them...plan A through F were about to be enacted when I made the phone call to the office.

The receptionist could not be nicer. In fact, she was lovely as she said to about tomorrow morning at 8 am? I was ready to ask her for a closer time than in 2013, when what she had said hit me in the frontal lobe...tomorrow? 8 am? my son? the specialist for the Phillies? Curt Shilling? huh? really? I don't have to make a cheesecake? Heck, I can get the reports from the college doctor. Sure, I can get into the car and pick the kid up and drive for 6 hours. No problem. I was supposed to take a 6 hour flight to Florida. So what if I drive instead? Yeah...OK...time to run...gas up the tank...see you tomorrow...

And so, I am on my way...more tomorrow....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And so it begins....

It's the day before we leave for Florida and once again, we are never in a good position. Last year, we did not know that the big kid was going on the trip until the day before they left. Today, we know that he will be there but his shoulder's health is in question. Last night he called the house after I passed out but dad answered the phone. From my recumbent position, I could hear: "It still hurts? A burning pain? What about the long toss? it hurts too? We need another opinion. Who is not going on the Florida trip? That's nasty!

OK, I was not totally asleep, but I could decode out the following information:
1. someone unexpected has been told to stay home and will not fly to Florida (ouch)
2. the shoulder is still painful
3. he is not throwing accurately or with strength
4. he is nervous about the impending future
5. the college doctors have not created a decent plan for healing the shoulder
6. it's time to head to Fatima or Lourdes and go for a miracle healing.

My impression is as always a bit of home spun remedies as well as state of the art medicine. First, he needs to rest it. He is no longer eligible for a medical red shirt which means that he sits out for the season without losing eligibility. So, we move to plan B, which is to hit the internet and library and check out alternative therapies. I will do some research and check out the balms, tree roots, or flower petals to see if anything combined with conventional therapies would minimize the inflammation and of course is approved by the NCAA. Perhaps we have overlooked something small that would be of great value.

I remember when Chase Utley had tendonitis. It took months of therapy for it to heal. But once it healed, he was 100%. Poor Buddy is not a professional and is always fighting for a spot and chance to prove himself. The ego can be fragile and he needs to pitch to boost it. From what I understand tendonitis can take longer to heal than a broken bone.

And so, we are off to Florida where I will help with therapy...not the physical kind, but work on his head. Last year, we went on the trip and he pitched to one guy. Hopefully he can pitch to two guys this year. Naturally, I will have the camera in my hand and my lucky sneakers on my feet. Let's go team!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Hello! It's Valentine's what? Does anyone really need to spend money on a card or some flowers that are going to die in a few days? And for what? So that your significant other can show the world that he or she loves you? As far as I'm concerned, it's a bogus holiday. Cynical, maybe? Perhaps....

This is the way I look at it....if once a year, my family or friends told me that they loved me, then I would be fairly upset. Valentine's Day is a state of mind....a perspective...a way of life. What? once a year, someone says "I love you?" and that's enough? Nope...not in BP mom's world....tell me now and not every February.

Tell me that you love me in January after I shoveled knee-high snow and am laying on the sofa with an ice pack on my back begging for Motrin, Tylenol or a Merlot. I want to be told that I am loved on Groundhog's Day when Phil the rodent does not see his shadow and the snow is piled high against the house and I am wearing the same sweat pants for three days straight. And in March, when I have the flu and have tissues stuffed up my nostrils, tell me that I have never looked better.

And by the way, in April when I have my Easter dress on that looks like the fabric from my grandmother's sofa, tell me that I am the most lovable person in the brunch line. Yeah...tell me that I am the one that you want to spend your whole life with in May when I put the shorts on for the first time and I cannot pull the zipper up to the top. And in June, when we hit the beach and the bathers are 6 sizes smaller than me, tell me then that I am especially beautiful. When I am perspiring in July and my legs are stuck to the car seat and have to be manually extracted, I really need to be told that your love for me knows no bounds. In August, when I am sobbing when my son returns to college and my eyes are swollen shut, I will not only need a hug but probably a new wardrobe. And in September when I am adjusting to a quieter house, I will need someone to stop, look at me, and whisper: "You're the greatest..."

It's now Halloween and I no longer need a costume or mask to scare the kids, I will be so grateful to hear that I am not so scary. In November, as I plow into the pumpkin pie without a fork and with a big dollop of Cool Whip, I would appreciate the words: "What makes you think that you are fat? You're perfect." Lastly, in December, I don't need a gift (OK, I really do), but what I really want is for family and friends to come together and share good times. Nothing expensive....just togetherness and memories....

And so, if my philosophical musings make me a Valentine's Day Grinch, then so be it. Keep the hearts, expensive cards, and roses for the day...give them to me next week or month or in July when I am not expecting anything.....That's the BP mom way of thinking....'Cause, when you think about it...every day is Valentine's Day....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Punch with the right hand only

Good Morning! Yes, I said my prayers and then a few more for my boy. As I made my sign of the cross and started to talk to God, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. After all, if there is a master plan, would my prayer make a difference? Perhaps my prayer should be that Buddy accepts the consequences of his actions whether they are positive or negative and he can learn from them. Oy! Too much thinking going on in this puny mind of mine. And so, I said my prayer and hoped for the best.

The scrimmage took place yesterday afternoon at 2:30p. I did not hear from the leftie until 6ish. This could be due to a number of reasons, but it left me concerned. If he calls right away after a game, it is a good sign. If he doesn't then.....oops.

And so, I got the call. I could barely hear his voice and did not understand most of what was said. He would not speak any louder, so I strained and heard every other word...."" Piecing the words together, I think that I deciphered the code as "I am not a good player, therefore, I will probably not be on the team plane to Florida...."

Is he catastophizing? yeah....I think so. In all the scrimmages that he has played, he has thrown with a sore shoulder. He has given up three earned runs. Whereas it is true, this is not the kid of last year, he has tendonitis, therefore, relax! He was despondent and angry. it seems that LW was making fun of him as he struggled on the mound and verbalized to the team that Buddy was going to blame his performance on strept throat, which he didn't.

I did hear from the kid over the phone that he was going to punch LW in the face when he saw him. This led to a maternal dilemma. Do I address his pitching or anger toward his team mate? I had to think fast, and chose "B". I felt that I had to save LW's life and Buddy's pitching hand. So the conversation went like this:

"Give it a rest...he's an idiot...what do you care about what he says?'ll break your pitching'll be kicked off the's not worth it...let it gonna have to move home.....lead with your right hand..."

Was I effective? Well, I did not have any midnight calls to bail him out of prison, so he probably let it go, but one of these days, LW will have a bloody nose and I pray that it is not a gift from his room mate.

And so, the saga continues. My son's search for perfection. He cannot tolerate anything less and this is a problem. Somehow, someway, he must develop a philosophy of winning and losing on the mound. He cannot let what happens in a game affect him off the field. Come is too long to let a mis-thrown ball dictate how one feels, although I must say, when I lose a tennis match, I get a bit cranky too.

Back to reality...I have not heard from him today and will wait before any contact. He has his usual Sunday breakfast with the boys at their favorite diner to look forward to...waffles, bacon, syrup, and a sticky of champions.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is God a Giants fan?

Strept throat....yep...whew. I never thought that I would be happy about an infection but I am...he has strept and is feeling better.

What is not feeling better is the shoulder and this is perplexing. Here is a young guy with tendonitis who cannot seem to shake the pain. He can fall into a bit of a hole if it does not heal. However, let's look on the bright side....

He has tendonitis. The doctors and trainers are taking care of him. He is in physical therapy. Through all these efforts, his arm will be stronger than ever. The issue that remains is can he be patient as his body heals and strengthens OR is he going to push it and therefore return to the rotation before he is ready? What do you think?

Yep...that's right. My big leftie has many wonderful attributes, but patience is not one of them. He wants to be 'da man' now....not tomorrow, next week, or next month...Today....or perhaps even waiting in line for this kid. I suppose when God was handing out patience, Buddy did not wait in the long line and skipped it and headed toward another shorter line, like the height or smile line. He got a double dose of those attributes....but patience...oy!

And so, he has a scrimmage today and is going to pitch. The plan is to throw the ball as hard as he can to impress the coaches. Is this a good plan? I don't know, I am not a pitcher. However, as a college tennis player, I had to go all out to move into the starting line up and at times, my best effort was not good enough. This is the reality of life. The difference between the big kid and me is that I had no aspirations nor the talent to make it as a professional tennis player. I was average at best. I think that I was on the team for comic relief as opposed to my amazing serve. Was I this philosophical in college? nope...(I did not do very well in my philosophy courses...I am thinking a "C")....I was pretty peeved that I was not a regular starter and was certain the coach did not know what he was doing. Even today, I scratch my head and wonder....but....everything worked out for BPM. I have a wonderful family and group of friends, super kids....husband who supports my whims and crazy plans...or maybe he is just indifferent....who knows?

Anyway, I plan on sending good thoughts to college today for the big leftie as he attempts to bowl the coaches down with his fast ball and slider. In fact, I am going to take it another step, I am going to say a big prayer (not little....) but big prayer and ask for some assistance for his fast ball location. Is this the right thing to do? As dad says, "God does not care who wins the Super Bowl or a baseball game with all of the starving people in the world." Is that true? God is not a Giants fan? If this is true, then what about Tim Tebow? How does that explain his success? What about the people who point to heaven after they hit a home run or game winning foul shot. Was God watching? According to dad, the answer is "no." However, I am inclined (naturally) to disagree with him. I think that God cares about everyone and everything and there is a Master plan for our existence (is this called Determinism? Not sure). And playing sports has something to do with the plan. Somehow, someway, it is all related....playing sports...being on a team...working hard...being a team of this builds character and the inner person. So, when dad says "God does not care who wins..." I think that he is wrong...God does care...from a different perspective and not our earthly one.

Ooops...I am sorry. I am way too philosophical today for a person who earned a "C" in the course in college. Can you imagine if I really understood the course and earned an "A"? This blog would be sooo different.

Anyway, good thoughts....a prayer or two or three are going to heaven right after I click on 'save'. Have a wonderful's dad's birthday, so I am strapping on my skis and headed to the store to pick up ingredients for a special dinner...but first, a prayer for the big kid.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One sick pitcher

Oy! Double oy! It seems that the kid is sicker than anyone had originally thought. As he made his way slowly to his doctor's appointment, he was so weak that he could not call me and talk while he walked. How is that for sick?

As I started to reflect upon his symptoms, I originally thought that he had strept throat, then it occurred to me, he could have mono! If that is the case, then "NASA, we have a problem!" Mono means a number of things. First, he would be quarantined from his team mates. Second, he can and will lose weight. Third, he will feel like poo for weeks. This is not an ideal scenario as the season begins.

However, rather than looking at the worst case, let's consider the best...the flu! yes, he could have the flu and in that case, the boy will be feeling better in a few days. I never thought that I would be excited about one of my kids having the flu, but if he has to be sick...let it be the flu...Yeah...that's right...nausea...fever...chills...vomiting...headache.

It's an election year, so I am submitting my vote for the flu....As they say in Philly and now and often!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The flu

The mystery of the big kid's anorexia has been solved. He has the flu. This morning he called to report the usual flu-like symptoms which can often mimic pregnancy symptoms....vomiting....feeling like doo-doo...light-headed and so on. When asked whether he had gotten the flu shot like I recommended in September, the answer was (naturally) no. And so, it is February. The kid has been walking around campus in shorts and a tee shirt with the warm-ish weather. He sits in classrooms with over 300 people. His hands are always near his face. He is tired. All of these entities can add up to the flu when a person is exhausted.

Now, here is the bright side. He has the flu ten days before he leaves for Florida. Therefore, he has time to be sick and regain his strength. He has to go to Tampa...after all, we figured out which hotel they were staying in and booked it. We have a rental car. We have plane tickets...we are GOING!

Sorry, kid...I love you BUT I am going to Florida next week and if you are too sick to go, I will really miss you. How is that for BP motherly love? He gets it...he would leave me too if it meant a trip to warm weather during the winter. He would send me a text to share what a great time he was mystery there.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unlocking a mystery

Hello! Not much going on the BP home. Yesterday, there was no practice....just weight training and a circuit. Typical calls came through..."I'm so tired...I am sore...I am not hungry..." Huh? Not hungry? Are you in love? Are you sick? What happened to my son? Did an alien abduct him? Not hungry, he says?

Why does this surprise me? an infant, he would suck a bottle down (a full bottle) in less than a minute. In the hospital nursery, I was called by the nurses, I could hear this high pitched screech in the background..."please, BP mom, can we feed your son?" Sure...go for it...

He would eat the same thing for many years. For example, for nine years from K-8th grade, he ate a fluffernutter each day for lunch unless it was Texas Tommie day at school...then he would have a hot dog. He never ate spaghetti with sauce (only butter) but could down an entire pizza (doesn't that have sauce on it?). The kid can pack it away...over the holidays, I bought 4 packages of cookies from Trader Joes thinking that he would not like them. I was wrong. He ate all of them within 48 hours. It amazes me especially since I grew up with ravenous brothers.

When the kid would have a bad pitching outing, I would try to help him with his despondence by first promising cheap food....want Skittles? a coke? a hot dog? life saver? Gatorade? power bar? Happy meal? When this did not work, I would move into the heavy about a cheeseburger? steak sandwich? chicken parm? OK...let's go and have a lobster dinner! Come happy again! Ahhhhh!

Food has been an important part of our lives. Not only is it needed to sustain us physically, but we sit around the table at dinner and have a four minute conversation to catch up on the day before he runs off to sit by the computer and wait for his friends to 'facebook' him with the latest news or jab.

So, when I hear that he is not hungry, my 'spidey senses' are activated and I begin to worry. Could he be playing me looking for sympathy? sympathy 180 miles away when I cannot make him his favorite cupcakes. What can it be? Sickness? Sadness? Fatigue? Or did he have a great big breakfast?

I may not be Nancy Drew or a Hardy boy, but the clues were quite evident. Therefore, I'm going to choose answer "D", the big breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and a bagel with several Gatorades can be filling and turn off the hunger button in the body. Well, I am glad that I figured out that mystery. On to the next....

Have a great day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

I am going to Disney World!

Good morning! The Super Bowl is over and I actually watched the whole game. Generally if my team is not in it, I could care less. But last night was different and the game was pretty good. OK, not was a great game. What I do not know yet is "who is going to Disney World?" and will I see him next week?

Why, next week? I'll tell you why...because my idiot, but lovable and sweet son, has still not shared with me where the team is staying in Tampa. It could be one of 2000 hotels, so, I am clueless and might just reside at the Polynesian Hotel in Orlando.

And so it goes....the team continues practices and scrimmages as Buddy works out the rust and kinks from his game. Apparently, his first appearances are fraught with nerves, then he settles down and explodes with the fast ball. BUT if I was the coach and my bullpen pitcher took an inning to settle in, I would be a bit about you? As a result, his other BP friends continue to tell him: "stop being nervous...just throw..." Just throw they really mean, just throw-up then it will be over? Or do they mean, try to visualize, deep breathe, close your mind, and just hurl the ball at the catcher, your bestie room mate? Hmmm...good advice...I could not say it better...but then again..I am the mama.

As far as I am concerned, it takes quite a bit of practice to settle nerves. I get nervous all the time and I am quite a few days older than he is. It takes practice and commitment to practice. He has the skills and talent, he now needs to close off his mind and just be da man....yeah...that's right...da man.

And so, I will continue to sit back (my knee hurts, so I won't be standing much) and support him the best way that I can. If that means staying in the Magic Kingdom while he is in Tampa...I'll do it. I will also be there to listen to him as he complains and grumbles about life, baseball errors, bullpen antics, and Eli Manning.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cake, cake and cake

Saturday morning in the northeast and the weather could not be more beautiful. I want to send a shout out to Blue Devil who celebrated her birthday yesterday. BD is an intelligent, witty, successful, professional woman who makes it all look so simple...Does anyone have someone is their life like her? Accomplished, gorgeous, great clothes, nice hair...the whole package? Happy birthday kiddo...and many more!

Speaking of birthdays, BP mom is aging too. Yep, it's birthday time and the friends will not let it go. I am not one to want to celebrate myself in any way, but this girl enjoys a happy hour or two or three. Well, yesterday's happy hour extended until midnight as we celebrated three birthdays. What celebration would not be complete without a huge chocolate cake? Yep...the fixins' for a real good time...cake, cake, cake and some merlot...does life get any better? Nope, not in my book....after being dropped off at home by my designated driver, Tink met me at the door and walked me to bed. Hmmm, I remember the days when I would walk or carry her to bed...role reversal, n'est-ce pas?

Today is yet another inter-squad scrimmage as the boys vie for their seasonal roles on the field. Buddy's goal is to be the first leftie out of the bullpen. He has to beat out LW and a freshman for the role. It seems as if LW is a bit out of shape, so he does not worry about him, but he is pushing to be 'da man'. That's right...the big kid wants to be the big, there will be no stopping him. In fact, he was in bed early last night and had on his pre-game face. No parties or happy hours for this guy. He plans on partying tonight. My prayer is that he does his best and when he goes out to celebrate with the guys, he is responsible and back home at a reasonable time.

By the way, it seems that Angel has a girl friend. Apparently, he is the third baseball player that she has dated in the past year. Do we see a pattern? It also seems that LW was and is in love with her, after all, she has a pulse, but Angel is a very happy man not only with his personal life but with baseball. It seems that his top competitor for right field has blown out his Angel steps in...badda bing...badda boom. Life is good for our Angel.

OK, it is time for me to go to work. I am still not done with the big project and have to work until completion. Today...please...let it be done today....puh-leeze!
So, I am off...thanks for listening!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The next great invention

Some convoluted thoughts are running around the little wheel in my mind this morning....It's Groundhog's Day and I have yet to receive the winter over yet? How does this little scrawny ground hog know about meteorological maps? Did he read the Farmer's Almanac? Does a Midwestern farmer write it? Is the Groundhog a boy or girl? Does it matter? Why do I care? Actually, I don't. Punxatawny Pete is an actual rodent whom you would not like living in your backyard, yet we listen to him as if he is Willard Scott.

In my backyard, I have all kinds of wildlife such as hawks, deer, foxes and once upon a time "wabbit". I believe that the rabbits are gone because of the foxes. Last week, I counted three foxes and they were singing to each other. The sound was high pitched and lengthy. Tink and I looked out to see if an animal was being killed because the sound was piercing and screeching. Once we figured it out that the foxes were communicating with one another, we looked around for the rabbits and did not see any...dinner, anyone?'s like I am the Jane Goodall of suburbia rather than Africa. I sit by my window and observe wildlife in their unnatural habitat. I have not learned much about it through observation, but I am taking mental notes which should be lost in the quagmire of my mind any time now.

On the baseball front, the team has been practicing outside. The weather has been remarkably calm and spring-like, so any time that you can be on an actual field rather than in a man-made bubble, the team is going to jump at it. Remember, these are tough guys who play baseball in the snow and rain. The coldest game that I attended was 24 degrees in April of last year. I could not move with the layers that I was wearing. This year, I am contemplating bringing a space heater and extension cord. Now that would be luxurious! I wonder if anyone at the gates would stop me with my portable space heater? True, they do not allow food or beverages or fire arms to come into the stadium, but there are no space heater policies or signs.

Therefore, since there are no published policies, I can be a rebel like Norma Ray or James Dean or even Paula Deen. No one would stop Paula Deen with a space heater under her coat, would they? Let's take it another step...what if I created a battery powered space heater that could be brought to baseball and football games? Like the Amish and their portable fire places....what would it could be the size of a shoe box, use four "D" batteries, and emit heat for 5 hours. What an idea! Do you think the guys on that Shark Show on ABC would go for it? Am I destined to be the next great inventor? Or is it time for me to go back to my day job...I think so...later!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It's Wednesday...hump day....anybody tired of this week yet? What happened to winter? I am worried that we are going to have an icy spring. My theory is that there are so many snow flakes in the sky and at some point, they have to fall to earth. Please...oh please...oh not snow on the day that I leave for Florida....that would NOT be right. Airplanes do not like to take off during snow storms (nether do passengers). Why am I worried?

Well...I need a break from the routine. My last time away was a Thanksgiving trip to South Carolina, but we spent more time in the car than SC. Ahh...togetherness.....that trip was fun. Chill and Hunter were married in a splendid ceremony in the foyer. The day and bride were gorgeous and we celebrated in the style befitting the happy hour on the dock. Talk about a great wedding!

Anyway, the Florida trip is something that I am looking forward to....BUT...yes, there is a 'but'...the big leftie's shoulder tendonitis is bothering him again. I thought that he was finished with it, but tendonitis is tough to conquer. I am still nagged by the right elbow and have to baby it.

Last night I asked him where the team was staying. His response was "I don't know and I am not going to ask..." Dude, in that case, I might land up in the Wilderness Resort in Walt Disney World. Instead of watching the games, we will be riding Space Mountain or on the Pirates of the Caribbean. Speaking of DW, since the kid is not going to help me with the hotel reservations, I have no problem sharing this story....The first time that we took the kids to D-World, Buddy was 4 years old and Tink was 6. Before we travel any long distance, I would buy the cheapest toy in KayBee I purchased two action figures for $5.00. I figured that it would occupy him for the length of the plane ride. And it did...for the length of the plane ride from the airport to Disney resort...driving to the hotel, we entered the Disney grounds and he looked up from the action figures for 10 seconds..."Aren't you excited?" I response....

We checked in and Tink was doing cart wheels. Buddy had his action figures in his hand and was totally obsessed by them. Entering the room, he sat on a bed and did not move. Finally, it was time to leave for Epcot and he DID NOT want to leave the hotel room. "Not going..." he says..."It's going to rain..."
Is he kidding me? This is Disney World....Mickey Mouse..Chip and Dale...Aladdin...all of his favorite movie stars and he wants to sit on a hotel room bed and play with his action figures...should I be worried?

"Put the toys down and let's go..." Reluctantly, he lovingly placed the cheap plastic toys on the bed and followed me out the door. As we entered the park, it began to pour rain in buckets...he looks up and screams: "I told you it was going to rain!" Lesson learned...when you have kids, don't take them on vacation. Leave them at home with some cheap toys and head out. They will never notice that you are gone. Perhaps you can leave a snack or two and some water...but you don't have to nor need to take them....They are happy and content playing with a box, CD plastic case, or a straw.

Has he grown out of this need to play? Hmmmm, let's think...his purpose in life is to accurately throw a ball as hard as he can 90 feet across a plate....what do you think?