Thursday, May 17, 2007

All the world is a Happy Meal

The other day Matt took Aaron to Chicago Dog and Deli for lunch. A very quaint place that obviously serves hot dogs and deli items. When I came home from work and Aaron told me about it he said, “it’s just like Donald’s” (which is how he says McDonald's). What attributes it shared with McDonald’s he couldn’t quite explain.

They say that when you have kids all dining experiences revolve around McDonald’s. I didn’t believe it before I had kids but I’m afraid to say it’s true. It appears that to a child every restaurant is a McDonald’s or at least comparable to a Mickey D’s. Maybe it’s our own fault for taking him too often, but let’s face it, it’s cheap, it’s fast and when I need a moment to think about something other than runny noses, dirty diapers, the best way to remove dried play-doh from carpet, I can take the kid to the playplace and he’s content for at least an hour. Plus the fountain CocaCola is so good I’m tempted to shoot it directly into my veins. It's not like we take him daily. In a really stressful month he'll maybe go 5 times and yet the kid can zero in on the golden arches from a mile away. “Look Momma a Donald’s” he’ll say as we pass one and it’s always quickly followed with an “I’m hungry” even if his mouth is so full of goldfish crackers that little flakes of them shoot out his mouth as he talks.

When Aaron was younger we’d just alternate between a cheeseburger and nugget Happy Meal. Now that he’s old enough to decide – he doesn’t. He just complains about our choice.

“Aaron do you want a cheeseburger or nuggets?”
“I want french fries and cheeseburger and nuggets”
“You can’t have a cheeseburger and nuggets, pick one or the other, what do you want?” “french fries”
“Yes dear it always comes with fries, what do you want with it?”

By this time the vacant teenager who hates the world and all who live in it for absolutely no reason, is begging for my order with her impatient sighs and I just pick. Inevitably if I pick a cheeseburger he wants nuggets and vice versa.

But it’s all worth it when I can grab that bag and say “Dinner’s served!”

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