May 052014



It all started out innocently enough. Henry, Chooch and I walked to the Boulevard on Sunday afternoon for some ice cream. Typical.



I got birthday cake and red velvet. I spent the morning barfing (not pregnant, don’t even!) so I earned two scoops.


Usually, there are Young People scooping out ice cream with a moderate dose of disdain, but on this day, it was an old lady who used to make occasional appearances back when Scoops was known as (the beloved) Boulevard Ice Cream. She asked me if I wanted the kids size or regular, and I was like, “REGULAR. I’M A GROWING GIRL, DUH” but my regular scoops looked suspiciously on par with Chooch’s kids sized scoops so I don’t know if I should feel offended, ripped off, or both.


And then Henry ordered the octogenarian delight of Spumoni.

“We’re out of spumoni,” Elder Scooper spat with not even a fleck of remorse.

“OK, um…” Henry stalled, squinting at the chalkboard list of flavors behind her.

“Don’t look at that list!” she scolded. “Look at the cases.”


Chooch and I lost our fucking minds over this. It was the funniest thing ever, Henry being deprived of the one flavor he really wanted.

I don’t even know what he ended up getting. Chocolate almond or something, who even cares.

We sat on a bench outside, enjoying our ice cream, while Chooch openly criticized a man for delivering ice cream cones to his caravan (I’m not joking, he rolled up in minivan that was stuffed to the gills with children) as each cone was made, instead of bringing them out all at once.

“Do you even know how hard that would be to carry them all at once?” Henry yelled, probably thanking his stars that he only has two needy children to serve and not a whole van like Mr. Avuncular Abductor over here at Scoops. “Not to mention, all the ones that were first made would start melting!” But Chooch didn’t want to hear it and continued to run his mouth every time the man walked RIGHT PAST US. Not awkward at all. Finally, we had the bright idea to get up and start walking before a scene was caused.

We crossed the street and Chooch said, “Hey Mommy, I’ll race you to that ATM sign.”

I looked up ahead at the sign and considered it. “No, I don’t want to race. I don’t feel well today.” Then I waited until Chooch wasn’t paying attention and took off. That’s my M.O. and it’s not cheating! It’s being a smart competitor.

So Chooch is all, “Hey wait up!” and I can hear his dumb feet slapping the pavement behind me and then all of a sudden: extreme pain in the back of my right arm and stars in my eyes.

I’VE BEEN SHOT! I heard myself say in that slow-motion, underwater voice I’ve been hoarding explicitly for when I get shot. I knew it was just a matter of time. A list of suspects blew before my eyes: Purple Pants. Cheerleader Girl. Tourette’s. Happy Post Office Worker. Any number of Catholic School parents. And in that same instance, a bottle of Gatorade ricocheted off my arm, coating the sidewalk with a small blue tidal wave as it exploded against the pavement.

I stopped. I assessed the scene. I hadn’t been shot after all. Someone’s asshole son had hurled a bottle of blue drank at me in a vicious attempt to slow my pace. Oh wait—-MY ASSHOLE SON.

“Why would you do that!?” I cried in that scary high-pitched almost-dog-whistle tone that mom’s get when they’re torn between red levels of hostility and wanting to cry fat tears of self-pity. I hesitantly touched my searing, throbbing wound to check for blood or a protruding bone.

“Because he’s crazy,” mumbled an old man who had just happened to be walking over the scene of the crime to get to his apartment. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

Chooch shrugged. “I just wanted you to slow down.” He had that nervous trill to his voice, like he wasn’t sure if I was going to extract my witch’s broom from my asshole and start beating him with it in public.

Oh, speaking of “in public”: We were in public. There were enough people milling about that I was trying to keep it classy, but I couldn’t help it. I am sensitive! Physically and mentally! He hurt the tender part of my arm right above my elbow and more importantly: he hurt my feelings and my ego, you guys!

With the tender moment we shared when Henry was denied spumoni fading away faster by the second, I hissed, “I hate you! How could you do that to me!?” to him like he had literally stabbed me in the back. I started to storm off before he could answer, while Henry was all, “You shouldn’t say that to him” in a bored “I’m reading this from the book I wrote about all the things you do wrong as a parent” cadence.

I spun around on my heels and glared at him. “HE HURT ME ON PURPOSE!”

“No he didn’t,” Henry sighed in tandem with Chooch’s maniacally defensive squeal, “NO I DIDN’T!”


I started to storm off again. We walked past all of the happy people happily eating their happy tacos on the sidewalk at Las Palmas and I hated them and all of their stupid un-Gatorade-injured happy bodies. Then we approached Pitaland and Henry hesitated at the entrance.

“I thought we were going in to get dates?” he asked.

“GO FUCK YOURSELF,” I cried as more people leisurely strolled by. If I could have climbed out of my body at that moment, I think the sight of my deranged woman-on-edge self would have made me die of embarrassment. But basically, it was a good day for fitting in in Brookline!

“What did I do?” Henry asked.


I mean, what if that big, dangerous bottle had hit my head and I got a concussion, or worse: KNOCKED OUT A TOOTH? I couldn’t believe how lightly Henry was taking this terrible situation. Who knows who will be next on Chooch’s list! Hide yo kids, hide yo Gatorade, guys.

“I told him to apologize. He didn’t mean to do it. What else do you want me to do in the middle of Brookline Boulevard!?” So then Henry did that thing that he does where he gets mad at me for being mad at him, and then I get more mad because I was mad first and now he’s trying to encroach on my bubble of madness, so then we were all mad and Chooch was like, “This is stupid, guys; let’s move on” but I hadn’t been able to fully perform my tantrum yet, so I sped up real fast and walked home a full block ahead of those motherfuckers, with my arms crossed and lips in full-fledged pout-position. I might have been crying too, but you’ll never know.

(Unless you were driving on Pioneer Avenue around 3:00 on Sunday.)

I eventually calmed down, maybe it was the sweet Mormon missionaries and their impeccable timing at handing me a prayer card on my walk home. I kept trying to keep up my mean-muggin’, but then I would start to laugh because I can’t stay made at those assholes for long, even after one of them assaults me with sports beverage. But I wouldn’t let those two forget about what they did to me.

“Oh excuse me, but why was it OK for you and Chooch to fall to the ground in laughter after he kicked me in the crotch last week?” Henry cried after my 87th reminder that he failed me as a fake-spouse/parental-partner today.

“Well, that’s different,” I shrugged. “That’s basically part of your life now and it’s not my fault you haven’t accepted it.”

And then he looked at my arm and sighed, “Oh my god, there is nothing even THERE.”


I mean, aside from that and the aforementioned puking session, it was a great fucking day. And most importantly: I won the race. Cheaters always win, y’all.


“And somewhere, on someone else’s blog…” was Barb’s response when I was recounting the whole gritty story to her today.

(My arm is BRUISED and it HURTS today, in case anyone not named Henry cares.)


[ed.note: before anyone criticizes my mothering, let me just say that having objects chucked at my person by my child is not standard practice in our house. This was just one of those things, you guys, and he sincerely apologized to me numerous times before I finally accepted, ha ha. OMG bad days happen! Parenting isn’t perfect! Who knew?!]

  13 Responses to “Erin vs. The Gatorade: A Sunday Showdown”

  1. Oh, Mama, I feel you! (I mean, I’m laughing at you, also!) When my daughter was younger, she would occasionaly get herself really excited when we would be doing any sort of competition. One time we were at a birthday party and she tackled another kid during a race. She was giggling when it happened, because to her, she was just playing around, getting into the competitive spirit. The other kid, however, was not feeling it.

    I am happy to tell you that she is now 18 and not displaying any signs of violence nor did she ever turn into a bully like all of the other parents swore she would. I think it’s just part of being a kid. They are not perfect and sometimes even the really good ones do really idiotic things without thinking. I’m certain your boy wasn’t trying to amputate you! =)

    • Thanks for the reassurance! Chooch went through a nasty hitting phase when he was 2 but we worked through that and it didn’t last very long. I think it was such a one-off, reactionary thing that he did on Sunday—I mean, he doesn’t typically walk around assaulting me or anyone else, AND he was giggling when he did it, so it wasn’t meant to be some menacing action….but it just took me half a day to realize that!

  2. I would have PAID to see that!

  3. I know the point of your post is the pain and your assault – I don’t want to fuzzy up the facts. They’re critical. But thanks to your post(s) we’ve tried Pitaland, Scoops and Cannon Coffee so thanks for keeping our hearts happy and belly’s full. My note on Scoops (and part of your post here) – why use the chalkboard if all they’re going to do is refer someone to the cooler anyway? Use the chalkboard for something more fun than confusion right? I tried to order Birthday Cake (because you made it sound wonderful and glorious) – they were out. Insert groan and Price-is-Right losing noises here.

    • I’m so glad, Amy! Brookline has really been working hard to gussy itself up lately so it makes me happy when people are coming here to try out the shops. ;)

      Ugh that stupid chalkboard. I mean, at least they could erase the flavors as they run out!

  4. I think you handled it fairly well actually. I am so thankful I am not a parent because I do not how people do it (I am not patient and I am a moody bitch)-I probably would be whooping some butt if a kid did that to me.

  5. Yup. I can picture this. New favorite post lol!

  6. I have a question. When did Chooch get old? That picture… he’s practically a teenager.

    Sorry about the assault. I probably would have acted the same. I’m pretty mean but then am a big bitch if I actually get hurt.

    Also, I love spumoni. Does that make me old? But I also love birthday cake and red velvet ice cream.

    • I know it’s terrible!! I blame the hair cut (which Henry took him to get WITHOUT ME). It’s too buzz-cutty and makes him look older. :(

      I like spumoni too but for some reason it’s not something I would ever order at an ice cream shop, but whenever Italian restaurants have it, I get all excited! ;)


    I think that is the point in reading that I started laughing so hard I almost peed on myself lol

  8. “I’VE BEEN SHOT! I heard myself say in that slow-motion, underwater voice I’ve been hoarding explicitly for when I get shot. I knew it was just a matter of time. A list of suspects blew before my eyes: Purple Pants. Cheerleader Girl. Tourette’s. Happy Post Office Worker. Any number of Catholic School parents.”

    Only you could make me laugh this hard when you honestly got hurt. That and the happy tacos. TOLHURST!

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