When Henry told me about Chooch’s accident, the last thing that crossed my mind was, “Shit, people are going to think we did this to him.” Until I walked into the emergency room with him, anyway.
It’s amazing how quickly Chooch has bounced back from his accident, but his face sure looks painful. The swelling has gone down some, bringing out a bright purple bruise across the bridge of his nose, and pink rings under his eyes.
Yesterday, he kind of looked like a baby Quasimoto. Or that kid Rocky from “Mask.” (Really, his profile makes him look like a completely different child. It’s depressing.) Even though it was all Henry’s fault, I still felt so overwhelmed by guilt that the only solution, other than a nice cup of Vodka, was a trip to Toys R Us.
People did double takes as we trucked on by, with little Sloth in the cart. I kept thinking I heard judgemental whispers between the ears of tongue-clucking moms. “Look, they beat their child into oblivion and then buy him presents. That’s just sick.”
Tonight, we went to Eat n Park, but I decided to be slick and mold his hair into a mohawk, in an effort to detract from his shiners. It didn’t work, as evidenced by the manager’s very forward outburst as soon as we walked through the doors.
“Wow, you had your first brawl already?!” and then proceeded to tell us about the accident his young son had recently, involving tiled floor and a split chin.
The hostess also commented on it as she seated us and regaled us with various injuries her own daughter has lived through.
I preferred this, though. Being confronted by it outright, rather than have people quietly speculate behind our backs. I made sure to speak loudly though, so that everyone around us knew I didn’t hit my child with a frying pan for talking during “Days of Our Lives.” Who needs a white elephant?
Of course, we were seated right by the door so Chooch deemed himself the honorary greeter, further drawing attention to his marred appearance.
Two of the waitresses teased Chooch about his nose, too, which he seemed to get pleasure from. None of the Steelers-clothed diners seemed ready to run us out of the restaurant with anti-child abuse picket signs.
Thank you, Eat n Park employees. And thank you to your balls, too.
Toward the end of the meal, I realized that I should have written BROWNS on a piece of paper and pinned it to my shirt. You know, to divert eyes from Chooch’s nose.
Ok, also because I’m an asshole.