Image credit: Angelica Alzona/GMG

I thought I was done. My kids were no longer babies, which meant no more formula, which meant no more time laboring at the sink, hand-washing 90 separate Dr. Brown’s bottle parts and leaving them soaking on a dishtowel to dry. That part of my life, as far as I was concerned, was over.

But no. No, it turns out that my time in Bottle Hell was only beginning, because now my family is firmly within the clutches of Big Sports Bottle, and I cannot escape.

Despite the fact that you and I live in a miraculous age of clean, running water—with abundant water fountains in nearly every public building!—every child in America must now have a sports bottle on their person at all times. Every member of my family has a sports bottle. Even the fucking dog has a little water bottle with a flip-out cup. I hate these bottles and would like to throw them onto a bonfire, sending sweet sweet CBC fumes into the stratosphere. Why do we need to bring water bottles with us everywhere we go? We’re not driving to the fucking Gobi. We’re doing a Target run.

Do these kids EVER remember to bring their water bottles with them? No. Of course not. No, they run to the car and then I go to close the door and what about the water bottles? Well, what about them? Who gives a shit? But no, I gotta open the door again and grab them out of the fridge and play waterboy to these people. You may as well give me one of those slotted Gatorade bottle holders they keep on an NFL sideline for me, because I am the water bitch. I gotta monitor the bottles. I gotta wash them. I gotta root past them in the fridge to reach the ham. I gotta fill them up or yell at the kids to do it. I gotta lug them everywhere. Ever lift water? Water is heavy. This is horseshit.

Do these kids ever remember to close their water bottles so they don’t leak inside their backpacks? They do not. They unzip the bag and PRESTO! There’s a fucking lake. Do these kids ever remember to bring their water bottles home? They do not. I have driven back to retrieve them from schools, soccer fields, retail stores, and funeral services. Every lost and found in America now has two metric tons of sport bottles in its possession. These bottles aren’t even cheap. S’well is the hot sports bottle among the preteens, because I don’t know why. Some of these bottles retail for more than $40, which is absurd. I bought a Chinese knockoff for $10. It weighs roughly 9,000 pounds. I want to throw it at God’s head.

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I am well aware that bottled water is a scourge upon the environment. It’s good that we have gravitated away from buying bottled water to refilling a single sports bottle. Many water fountains now include a bottle dispenser where your local cyclist will spend 18 agonizing minutes filling a bottle the size of an industrial fermenting vat, which I suppose is good. But they have now manufactured nearly as many sports bottles as Dasani bottles to pollute this poor Earth. One day, by God, I will manage to leave this house without having to carry a goddamn thing. No more bottles. No more bags. No more anything. It will happen. If I have to burn down the sports bottle plant to make it happen, I will. I’ve had it. Fuck these things.