Shool starts tomorrow, though, and I'll have a 7th grader and a freshman. (How can that be, when I'm only 30?! I have NO idea.) We had lots of one on one time this summer, and even tons of interesting, dare I say, revealing conversations (You have to get boys in the car to talk to you. As long as they aren't looking at you, they'll totally spill their guts). One such chat happened when both boys were in the car. We were discussing what personality traits our family members have that get on our nerves; the boys agreed that Nolan was loud and yells a lot, but when it came time to list my faults, Ethan frowned and said, "You don't really do anything that bothers us. Except when you go all Psycho Mama Bear."
I'm sorry. Excuse me?
He went on to explain what that meant. Evidently when I have asked seventeen billion times for something to occur, for instance - like someone's wadded up, dirty, sweaty, disgusting socks that are shoved in the corner of the sofa to be relocated to the laundry room, and I repeatedly get ignored, then sometimes, mayhaps, after the seventeen billionth and first time, I might raise my voice to a sonic boom and let some small flames escape my eyes.
You know, Psycho Mama Bear. Or in Ethan's shorthand, "P.M.B."
It's become his pet name for me. He likes to rest his chin on my head and pat me, too, saying "Hey, there, P.M.B." His being taller than me chafes, a little, I won't lie.
But my shortness has nothing to do with the horrific part of today's story. So yesterday, when I felt a little tickle in the sleeve of my shirt, I thought a fly had made its way in my top. I fluffed my button-up a few times, thinking surely it would fly on out (this seems odd, but in August in the Texas panhandle, flies are EVERYWHERE), but nothing happened. Frowning, I looked down my shirt, and caught a glimpse of light green, and felt actual, discernable movement near my armpit.
Then I promptly FREAKED OUT. There was flailing and screaming, I demanded that Nolan STOP THE CAR, and even though my husband, boys and my Daddy were all in the vehicle, I stripped off that button-up shirt, turned the arm inside out, and in nothing but my bra and a pair of capri pants, shoved the shirt to Nolan screaming, "OH, MY GAH! GET IT, GET IT, GET IT!"
Nolan took what turned out to be and absolutely GIGANTIC Praying Mantis, who was cooly looking around like he hung out near women's boobs all the time. The Mantis rested compfortably on Nolan's hand as my husband drove ALL THE WAY BACK TO OUR HOUSE, so he let the little pervert live in our yard.
After I shook out my shirt (you can't be too careful), I put it back on and we went on to breakfast. After we got out of the car, Ethan smiled at me, slung his arm around my shoulders and said, "It's okay, P.M.B."
I shuddered (a gesture I would repeat several times that day), and said, "It isn't funny."
He shook his head and replied, "No, it's just that 'P.M.B.' now also stands for 'Praying Mantis Bait.'"
And then he and his little brother died laughing.
You know, come to think of it, maybe I won't be sad that the twerps are going to school. Provided I stay out of the backyard, I may just have a little peace and quiet in the morning.