Two-year-old Geo Mounsef proudly got his pick from a Potty Prize Pail at home on Sunday afternoon, then went with his parents and baby brother to eat on an outside patio at Ric's Grill restaurant on the southwest side of the city.
"We didn't realize that decision would be the beginning of the end," his mother, Sage Morin, wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to the child.
She described how little Geo had impressed a waitress with his perfect manners just before a blue SUV plowed onto the patio, pinning the boy against a concrete wall. Patrons and paramedics tried to help the child, but he later died in hospital.
His father and one-year-old brother were injured in the crash.
Morin, wearing slippers with a foot wrapped in bandages, attended court Tuesday with her husband and other relatives to see the driver charged in the case.
Local news media reported that the mother mistakenly screamed at a different man standing outside the courtroom, accusing him of killing her son. Later, she lashed out an assistant of the accused's defence lawyer in a hallway.
"Do you make a lot of money defending baby killers?" she screamed, before a police officer intervened.
Richard Suter, 62, later appeared for only a minute on a video screen as his lawyer put the case over to Thursday so he can apply for bail.
Sporting a grey beard and moustache, Suter was dressed in an orange prisoner jumpsuit and appeared to have a gash above his left eye. He faces charges of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusing to give a breath sample. The allegations have not been proven in court
Police allege Suter had an argument with his spouse before he got into his vehicle parked outside the steak house, then shifted into drive instead of reverse.
Morin, wearing a shirt with Geo's name, wept and trembled as she clutched a framed photo of him. Her husband wrapped his arm around her, then had to help her walk out of the courtroom as she broke down and wailed.
On the Facebook page, called Justice for Geo, Morin detailed the day the boy died and ranted against the man arrested. She alleged he stumbled from the vehicle and offered no apology.
"My beautiful, intelligent, funny and charming son, who was at the very beginning of what was supposed to be a great life," she wrote. "The possibilities of what he could have been were literally endless and sky-high."
She said she is planning to organize rallies against drunk driving.
"Please help me in my demand for justice," she wrote. "We must unite and let our voices be heard. We will not let drunk drivers murder our children and receive a slap on the wrist."