I apologize to the kid at Chuck E. Cheese’s

Much like the dentist or the DMV, I try to avoid going to Chuck E. Cheese’s as much as possible, but it just so happened I found myself there the other day.  I gave my kids about four hundred dollars worth of tokens and then began to guard our booth and wait for our freshly defrosted pizza to arrive.  I sat there for a few minutes alone slurping my root beer and laughing to myself thinking, WellI guess this is my “me time” for the day, when out of the corner of my eye I saw August come running towards me with another little boy hot on his heels.  August had a look of complete terror on his face and just as he was about to reach our table, the little boy grabbed August by the hair and yanked him backwards off his feet — kind of like an Indian scalping a cowboy in an old Western.  I jumped up from our table, appalled, and the little boy ran away and disappeared into the crowd.

I scooped up August off the ground and while sobbing, he told me that while he was playing skee ball, this little boy came over and hit him in the head with a basketball three times.  When August told him to stop, the little boy gave him the middle finger (August demonstrated this) and then proceeded to punch August in the face.  When August started to run away, the little boy ran after him trying to grab him by the throat.

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I couldn’t believe it.  At a Chuck E.  Cheese’s?  I mean, this kid couldn’t have been more than five or six years old and he’s attacking other children?

I was suddenly filled with rage — mama grizzly bear rage when one of her cubs has been attacked.  Without thinking, I hunted the boy down, then stood over him to scare him with my full height and said the following —

“If you ever touch my child again, I will kick your ass.  Do you hear me?  I WILL KICK YOUR LITTLE ASS!”

Yes, I know.  I threatened to beat up a child.  It’s a new low for me.

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But here’s the thing — the kid didn’t even blink.  He stared right back at me and shrugged, as if to say I’d like to see you try.  

This enraged me even more because the kid called my bluff.  My heart was pounding.  I was so upset, so I blurted out —

“Oh, so you don’t think I’m scary, do you?  Well, I’m really good friends with Chuck E. Cheese and he saw what you did… and he’s going to kick your ass too.”

The little boy’s mouth fell open.  His eyes widened.  I thought, I got him.  Just then, I noticed Chuck E. Cheese walking around the room and I said, “Look, there he is!  He’s coming over!  He’s going to get you!”  The kid took off like a shot.  Satisfied, I marched away and told every single Chuck E. Cheese’s employee about the boy and made them go over and yell at him.  Then I tried to find the boy’s parents, which was completely impossible in the crowd.  As a I walked back to our table to check on August, I spotted the boy — and he was standing at our table talking to August!

The boy saw me and exclaimed, “I was saying I’m sorry!”  I clapped my hands in the air like I was shooing a raccoon away from a campsite.  “Get out of here!  GET!”  I yelled.  As the kid scurried away, I called out, “Chuck E. Cheese is right behind you!!!”

Now, I know this wasn’t the right thing to do.  I’m not writing this story to defend myself in any way.

Once we were driving home and I had regained control of my senses, I talked to my kids about the whole thing.  I told my kids that the little boy was totally wrong in attacking August.  It was completely awful and August didn’t deserve it AT ALL, but the sad part is — someone must have done it to that kid.  He obviously had a bad life — he was five years old and I could see it written all over his face when I was yelling at him — he’d been yelled at a lot — and he was numb to it already.  I could have been the one adult that was ever nice to him in his whole life and I wasn’t.  He even tried to apologize and I wouldn’t accept it!  And instead of hating him, we should feel sorry for him and hope that he finds happiness somehow.

So, to the little boy in Chuck E. Cheese’s — I’m sorry.  I should have gone Gandhi on you and instead I went Goodfellas.

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But seriously, don’t attack any more children.  Because a giant rat is watching you… always…and you just don’t know what he might do…

12 Comments

  • Ginny says:

    Totally get your whole spectrum here. And good for you for talking about it with your kids. But know what you missed? Guess what your kids learned: Their momma’s always got their backs. Always. And no one gets to be mean to you. For any reason. And while sometimes you need to defend yourself against mean people, you should also feel sorry for them because they didn’t start out mean. Overall, I think you hit it out of the park.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Wow thanks so much. That makes me feel better! I definitely have their backs — man, when you see someone hurt your kid you go PRIMAL.

  • M says:

    Holly, I love and read all of your posts. They crack me up – first your adventures in fashion, and now your adventures in life. This one though….actual out-loud snorting with laughter. A giant rat is watching…so funny! And yet at the same time, as a teacher who has spent a lot of time with kids like the little fella you describe, I really appreciate the compassionate way you reflected on his behaviour. Funny and kind. Thanks – you made my day.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Thanks so much for your kind comment. I will probably think about that kid for the rest of my life. I bet as a teacher you see stuff like that all the time and you know exactly where its coming from — kids are going to act out exactly what’s been done to them. Very sad. I do hope he finds happiness though and if I ever encounter him again, I hope I act differently! (no promises, though!)

  • rednalgne says:

    Sounds like a scene from the ’16 presidential campaign season, I wonder if Trump might be cowed by a giant rat and who was it that did, “IT” to him when he was a kid. Great story Holly and I think you handled it just right.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Thanks, Phil. I bet Trump is afraid of a lot of things… I don’t think anybody who acts like that feels very good about themselves.

      • rednalgne says:

        No, he probably doesn’t feel good about himself. Since you are being so understanding maybe you could cut Hillary some slack, she would never dream of scalping August.

        • Holly Hester says:

          Ha! But Hillary has no problem poisoning August with GMOs or voting for ridiculous wars that endanger us all!!!

  • Oh my gosh Holly, I’m totally trying to pretend to work here and you have me silently crying with laughter. And I’m totally on Team KICK YOUR ASS if anyone messes with my kid. Just saying.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Thanks Joules! So glad I could make you laugh — and I’d love to be on team kick your ass with you.

  • LOL!!!!! I probably would have done the same thing.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Thanks… I still feel badly about it though and yet, if it happened again, I would probably get just as mad!

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