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I am thrilled to share Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom with you. Enjoy!

Mommy Mediator by Paula Schmitt

I am a brave woman. Let’s not forget strong, too. Not only have I carried and delivered four boys, but over the years, I have lived in the same house with these four boys. Yes, I am their mother and most days I am proud to announce this to the world. Then there are the days I would like to get into my car (ALONE), wave bye-bye and not look back.

What kind of a mother am I?

One would think that after living together under the same roof, sleeping together, eating together, watching videos together, together, together, together, that these guys would realize that they are stuck with one another and there’s no way out. Could it be that simple? Not in my house.

It’s 7 a.m. and I am awakened by an alarming sound. No, it is not the pounding of a jackhammer and not even the sound of a 747 jet flying overhead. It is two of my darling boys having a yelling match in their room across the hall. Such a pleasant way to start the day.

I enter the boxing ring.

“Ahem. Good morning boys. How is everything going in here?” I ask sweetly, with an all teeth showing smile on my face.

My nine year old, Joseph, quickly drops the towel he is about to whip at his brother and says, “Oh, hi Mom. I’m about to get in the shower.”

His 12 year old brother, Phillip, strongly disagrees.

“Yeah, right you moron! I was going to get in the shower and you tried to stop me so you could get in first. Tell Mom the truth!”

The truth would be nice. My eyes turn to Joseph.

“Moooooooom, I’m supposed to shower first today! He showered first yesterday!” Joseph wails.

“Who cares? I was up first and ready to get in the shower before you, then you come in, swinging your towel at me like a mad man saying you’re getting in the shower first.” Phillip says, pointing his finger in his brother’s face.

This is not going well. I believe it is time for some motherly mediation to get the day rolling.

15 minutes later...

“What? No way! I’m having the rest of the Captain Crunch cereal this morning, not you.” Tony, my oldest, yells at his brother, Nick. 

Here we go again. I exit the laundry room and enter the boxing ring for the second time this morning. 

“Ahem. Is there a problem here in the kitchen guys?” I ask once again, putting on my big cheese smile.

“Yes, there is a big problem. Tony thinks this box of Captain Crunch cereal has his name written on it and it only belongs to him. There’s only enough for one more bowl and I’m having it!” Nick yells as he grabs the box out of Tony’s hand. 

Then to make matters worse, Tony goes into the drawer, gets out a pen, takes the box from Nick and starts to write his name on the box. This is getting ugly.

Mommy Mediator to the rescue.

Seven hours later...

Ah, peace and quiet, the boys have been at school all day. I notice it is time for them to return. I hear their bus and see them walking up the drive. I have missed them. 

Like always, I go outside to the end of the driveway, happy to greet my boys. Then I hear a terrible sound. A heated conversation between not two, but all four of them as they are approaching me.

I should go back in the house, lock the door and throw away the key right now.

“Hi guys! How was your day?” I ask as perky as possible. 

They don’t even notice me but instead pick up the basketball and start shooting hoops.

“What are you talking about, jerk? I can slam dunk better than you and jump higher!”

I truly dislike the name calling. Let’s try this again.

“AHEM! Hi guys, how was your day?” I say, this time a bit louder and not so perky.

They all chime in, “OK.”

End of conversation with mom and back to the arguing about who is better at basketball.

I think I will leave them to battle this one out alone. Mommy Mediator is taking a break. 

Before I go back into the house I turn to the boys and call out, “Hey guys, any of you want to challenge your mom to a free throw contest?”

Silence. That shut them all up in a hurry as they know their good old mom could win that contest hands down.

Paula Schmitt is a writer and mother of five children living in Vermont. Her columns and essays have appeared in several publications. Paula's non-fiction book, Living In A Locker Room: A Mom's Tale Of Survival In A Houseful Of Boys will be available May of 2005. Email her at  or visit her at

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