Embarrassing His Mother. With Flair.

"Did you know the twins get their food from Mommy's bumps?" James asks our dinner guest.

"JAMES!" I gasp.

"What? It's true!" he says. Proud that he possesses such fabulous insider knowledge, he points at my chest. "They're right there!"


"Well, Jude made it up!" he says, as if it's all Jude's fault.


He's on a roll now, and there's no stopping this train.

"We call her the---"


The deadly laser beams shooting out of my eyes finally stop him. He slinks down in his chair, chewing his cornbread.

And then I can't help it. I burst into laughter. What else can you do when your nickname is The Dairy Queen?

You just have to laugh.

But after dinner? Oh, we're having one very serious conversation, little boy.

My mother is laughing right now. Payback, she's saying, is such sweet, sweet satisfaction.