It was Monday and Sam had the day off. A perfect day to go for a jog, tend the garden, and spend some quality time with Jasmine. He spent most of the morning with Jasmine.

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Counting her fingers and toes and blowing bubbles on her belly so she would laugh. Jasmine was a happy infant. Sam had missed having an infant around after the twins had aged up.

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Speaking of the girls, they were due home any moment. Sam changed his shirt and was outside to meet them as they came home.

“Shall we go to the park?”

“Yes!” They shouted.

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Homework could wait. Just as Evelyn and Elisa were no longer infants, soon they would be no longer children and Sam wanted to remember them this way for as long as he could.

As usual, it didn’t take long for Elisa to make a new friend.

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But the two girls made sure to include Evelyn in their game of Space Rangers. Her name was Cora and she fit right in. At times watching them play, he though he had triplets. Sam had a feeling he’d be seeing a lot more of Cora.

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Eventually, it was time to say goodbye and return home. The girls as well as Sam were starving.

Back home, Karen was just starting dinner so the girls plopped down to do their homework while Sam skipped into the shower after checking on Jasmine.

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Suddenly mid-shower, her heard shouts from the living room and rushed out to see what was wrong.

“What’s going on?” he asked. And then realized he didn’t have to ask what was wrong.

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He grabbed the girls and Jasmine and headed outside while Karen ran for the extinguisher. He gave Karen three minutes, with his finger on the speed dial to the firefighters, waiting for her to rush out after them.

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When she did emerge from the house, it was with a small smile and a smudge of ash on her face.

“It’s out,” she said and took Jasmine who was fussing in Sam’s arms.

Sam had been envisioning the whole house going up in flames and it took a moment for him to realize the danger had passed.

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“We need a new stove,” Karen said as they assessed the damage.

“Probably for the best,” Sam said sadly. He knew it wasn’t the best stove and probably very dangerous around kids. But it had been one of his father’s first purchases after he and Chana had moved in together.

After an unsatisfactory dinner of baked potatoes and after all the homework was done. The girls said their good nights to them and, as he watched, to baby Jasmine.

“Now Jasmine,” Elisa instructed. “Don’t keep mommy and daddy up all night like you did last night.”

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Jasmine blew bubbles at her sister.

Then it was Evelyn’s turn. “Cuz if you do,” she continued her sister’s sentence and reached into the crib. “The tickle monster will get you!”06-27-16_9-39-52 PM

Sam tried and failed to suppress a smile, gave his girls a kiss goodnight, and led them off to bed.

He caught himself yawning as he returned to the living room. It was still early, but with Jasmine asleep, he and Karen had to take advantage of every moment.

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“Daddy, Daddy!” Elisa’s shout woke Sam, it was still dark outside, so he knew it wasn’t morning yet. He looked at the clock. 2:11 am. He groaned.

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“What-?” He asked sitting up.

“A monster, there’s a tickle monster under my bed.”

“A tickle monster?”

Elisa nodded, eyes wide. He sighed and wished he’d never mentioned the tickle monster to them. It had been part of the game he and Izzy had played growing up. Coming up with ridiculous beasts.

He gave her a hug and took her hand. “Let’s go see this monster.”

He snagged a water bottle as they passed through the living room. “Where is it?” he asked as they entered the room.

“Under there,” Evelyn pointed. She was still in bed, but she leaped out as he approached the bed in question.

“What are you going to do?” Evelyn asked.

He brandished the spray bottle like a weapon.

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“It is a well-known fact,” he stated, “that tickle monsters hate water. Especially lavender water.”

He sprayed the water liberally around Elisa’s bed.

“Mine too?”

He sprayed around Evelyn’s before tucking them both back into their beds. The scent of lavender filled the air and he smiled. That should help remind them that the place was now safe.

“You two okay now?”

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They nodded in unison and Sam kissed them on their foreheads.

“Goodnight sweet peas.”

“Goodnight daddy.”

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Author’s Note: I really need to play more! Unless of course, every day is this eventful. Honestly, this all happened on the same day pretty and much exactly as I recorded it. The amusing truth is that both Sam and Karen woke up as the girls rushed in. Karen got dressed and Sam headed back to bed so I thought Karen was going to take care of the girls. Nope, she went out to play with the new horseshoe set. The girls had to wake their dad up a second time before he came to deal with the monster.