Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunch with Old McDonald

Wi & Wa think that the man who owns Old McDonald's farm also owns McDonalds. Granted the Kroc family has tons of moola and might just own a farm, but it's funny when they ask if we can go to Old McDonalds.

Actually it is not funny. My Mom made a comment a few weeks ago that my boys had been to more fast food places in their short three years than we (her own children) did during our whole time at her house. She did not mean it as an attack, nor does she think of it as a negative. They had less money and less access than we do now.

Still, I never wanted to be one of those parents. And yet lack of planning on my part means that I am swinging through a drive-thru grabbing grub.

A few months ago E and I made the decision to cut back on our fast food. This isn't the first time we have revamped our eating habits. Partly because eating out wastes money and partly because eating out adds pounds really quickly. This time we added a new reason, and it has me viewing eating in a different light. The reason started when Wa tried to get a drink of my Diet Coke. And I refused, causing him to through a gigantic fit. Then I realized, I was drinking something that I wouldn't let my kid drink. Why? Shouldn't I feel comfy that the things I am giving myself are things I can give my kids?

So the other day when the boys asked if we could go to Old McDonalds I immediately said no. Here's the thing, they did not want to go there to eat, but rather to play in the playland. I'll refrain from a tangent on the massive marketing ploys that are directed at kids, but since I gave into going this time, I cannot.

I packed PB&Hs, juice boxes, and treats and headed to the golden arches. I went knowing that I was going to buy apples there, since we didn't have any fresh fruit at home. I figured I would still be a 'paying customer' but on my terms but then allowing us to use the playland.

It worked. The staff at McDonalds said nothing to me. The boys at their food and played on the playland. In fact they ate their sandwiches better than they have ever eaten their chicken nuggets.

Then again, it didn't work. The revolt that I was expecting from the staff came from a place I wasn't expecting. The other moms. I say moms not because I am sexist but because on this day at this time, it was only moms. I was absolutely surprised by how many moms, having said nothing to me during our other outings to McDonalds, spoke to me. And there was only one subject 'Are those peanut butter sandwiches?'. To be fair, I'm not sure if the comments stemmed from the moms wondering why they'd never hatched such a plan or if they were judging me. It felt like the latter. Especially when one mom, who was clearly judging me, picked up her food from our table and said that she was moving tables because she 'did not want to make my kids jealous'.

At some point I'll blog on the 'mommy world' which is sometimes worse than high school. But for now I think I'll need to say is:


That's ok. If she doesn't want my kids to be jealous of her kids' death meals that's fine by me. I will say that in my head I wanted to walk up to her and tell her kids that Ronald McDonald killed Old McDonald's chicken and cows in order to make their food.


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Jen said...

My son used to call eating out going to the "Hungry Store."

I've ranted about McDonalds food & Marketing before as well...

DH and I go there when we need to talk about something important. The kids can play on the playland, and we can actually get a word in to each other without interruptions.

Terina said...

you know i've taken them there to play and i've just bought the apple pies. i think they are the cheapest thing on the menu. the last time we went, my kids ate the fruit/yogurt thing better than they did their chicken nuggets. they would hardly touch them. i'd take them to in-n-out over mcdonalds any day.... i prefer to take them to quiznos.