monday night mcdonald’s bloggin

Some ancient history: When Hannah was a baby, I was still a pretty devoted vegetarian and all-around health nazi. I scoffed at my friends who fed their kids McNuggets and fries. Hannah was nearly three before she had soda, fries, and all the other heinous foods that McDonald’s peddles.

As my family has evolved (or devolved, one could argue), my resolved has weakened. I could blame a partner who was literally raised on Big Macs for my ultimate failure to raise a bunch of organic vegetarian anti-consumers, but I’ll take at least half, if not more, of the responsibility. I remember vividly the day my conviction crumbled completely. It involved a nearly-innocent, biennial visit to the golden arches, wherein my toddler discovered the ball pit.

I sat in a booth with food in front of me, was able to EAT said meal with virtually NO interruption, have a quiet discussion with my husband, all-the-while SIMULTANEOUSLY watching my daughter entertain herself for over an hour.

She left us alone. SHE LEFT US ALONE. She was safe. She was happy. She wasn’t throwing a fit because we weren’t paying her attention. It was a heady discovery for me–that I could have a moment or two of near-relaxation.

Since then, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with good old Ronald. I’ve read _Fast Food Nation_, after which I made my entire family boycott all paper-wrapped heart-attacks for about 6 months. Just recently, we checked out _Super Size Me_ from the local library. Spurlock’s rather heavy-handed bias was apparent to me—but I could see through his incendiary rhetoric (and rather unscientific methodology) to understand the finer grain of his argument (probably because I’d read _FFN_ and had also seen _The Corporation_), and for the most part I agreed that Ronald wasn’t too good for us.

But here I am, sitting in the playplace, as I will every Monday night for this entire school year. H has two dance classes this evening, and it just seems like there is NO other place for the boys and me to go. We could go to the library, but I would have to be chasing the boys around, shushing them and keeping J-baby from emptying all the shelves. To go home while she dances is out of the question; we live 15 miles out of the city. Here we get some food, I sit and read, grade, write, whatever, and the boys can be rowdy.

Of course, since that fateful day they’ve removed all the ball pits from playplaces. The gross stories about people finding hypodermic needles and dirty diapers and all manner of disgusting items in the ball pits probably precipitated their removal. They’ve been replaced by video games and air hockey tables. The boys mostly run the hamster tubes, though, and they leave sweaty and tired.

So the monday night mcdonald’s bloggin (mnmb) begins.


2 thoughts on “monday night mcdonald’s bloggin

  1. I’m with ya. Completely understand and agree. 🙂
    Once we gave in to the play place, we were still the nervous parents while other kids were running about…’oh, my, that child still has his shoes on, and the rules clearly state NO SHOES,’ anal stuff like that. There were the other seasoned parents (who, at the time seemed very neglectful) who would hear a cry and scream, “Anybody bleeding?” If no reply, then back to their books. Pickles needs another couple of months, and then that’ll be me.

    I chuckle at my progression whenever I see playplace newbies walk in with their sweet little first child–eyes eager to jump in with the other hooligans. Hey, they sell fruit cups now, right? Or is that Burger King?

    *More McD devilry…Pickles is nuts about the new dolls…which brings up issues of gender roles and such, but as much as I won’t force her to play with them, I also won’t take them away.

  2. omg, I have been there too. First children are like no other. 🙂 Not only did the shoe issue get to us (because daddy is manic about not getting socks filthy and then putting them back into “clean shoes”) but also the GERM issue was a playplace stopper.

    And I feel guilty almost every time we eat out, because kids menus always feature HOT DOGS (can anyone say ‘mad cow disease’?) and when we first allowed our first child to eat one, we didn’t realize that she would insist on eating a hot dog every single time we returned to the restaurant, or that her younger sister would follow suit. At home I cook vegetarian meals, but when we eat out–I just wallow in guilt.

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