It was still somewhat early in the morning when I snuck out Coyote Ugly-esque from the grip of my three-month-old to hunt down some coffee. Still blurry-eyed and slow to move, I stumbled into the half-pantry half-laundry room, while the coffee brewed, to place my first load of laundry into the machine when I felt a sting at my foot. And another. And another.
I looked down and I was startled to see I was being swarmed by ants over a crust of bread inadvertently left on the floor from dinner last night. They were simply everywhere. SMACK! STOMP! I kept swatting at my feet and legs, immediately disrobing my pants, shaking them out.
I jumped back, grabbed my vinegar-filled spray bottle and started spraying everywhere, mimicking Rambo with a machine gun. “DIE!!!” I kept squeezing the spray bottle’s trigger.
My eyes were open, no longer blurry. The huge jump and smacks I gave myself proved I was awake now, and unfortunately had woken my eight-year-old. He began stumbling into the kitchen quite robotic looking for his organic pop tarts. “STOP!” I called out to him. “ANTS!”
He froze immediately in place, eyes suddenly wide, seeing the puddles of vinegar on the floor with ant carcasses everywhere. Meanwhile, his mother was up on her tippy toes, spray bottle in hand, pantsless. “Why are you half-naked? And why are there ants everywhere?”
I pointed to a laundry basket with a couple crumbs in it. “Apparently, we dropped a small piece of bread last night. They came in from somewhere in here and found it. I only noticed when I got bit…”
“YOU GOT BIT, MOM?!”
“Yes, baby.” I pointed to my toes and feet.
He bent down to inspect my reddened toe, and saw a couple other red marks where they had swarmed me, but he didn’t touch. He sniffed the air instead. “What IS that smell?!”
“It’s vinegar, baby. It’s in my spray bottle. It kills the ants.”
He bent down further, leaning in to see a few wiggling and writhing in the puddles I’ve made. He stomped on one, seemingly escaping his watery death. “Can… I do it?”
I handed him the spray, and his tactical response was immediate. He was the soldier eliminating the threat and I was the wounded warrior he was protecting, it was hilarious and incredibly sweet. “YOU BIT MY MOM, TAKE THAT!” He’d yell as he’d spray, stomping and smacking with the hand broom.
“YOU THINK YOU’RE GETTING AWAY? THINK AGAIN!” Splat!
I giggled silently, watching him ambush these tiny crawling biting nuisances while he wailed with all of his eight-year-old might.
“You’re doing a great job, dude!”
“Thanks. It’s my duty.” He proudly declared.
God, I love having such protective little men.