Nerds Do McDonalds

You’ve already heard what happens when high-minded liberal arts nerds try to expose their children to the Super Bowl. But have you ever seen a crunchy mom try to take her kids to McDonalds for the first time?

It goes something like this…

Mom (thinking): Hmmm…there’s a McDonalds and it’s past lunch time…we were reading that Little Critter book last night and the boys didn’t know what a drive thru was…that’s a shame, isn’t it? I have great memories of the McDonald’s drive thru! Like the drive to Plymouth, MA, when my brother and I leaned into the front seat on Christmas Day and hollered into the microphone, “Merry Christmas!!” to the cashier and my Dad bellowed, “SHUT UP!!!” – also into the microphone. Or my grandfather trying to order us some Chicken McNuggets and calling them “Chicken McScroogits”. Really…what’s a childhood without the McDonald’s drive thru? [Sometimes you have to throw your values to the wind for a moment and pretend you didn’t see “SuperSize Me”.]

You should have seen their faces. When I placed the order, Baxter’s eyes were big as saucers and his hands were actually clapped over his mouth.

But I wasn’t very good at it.

Me: “We’d like two Happy Meals…yes…uh, boys’ Happy Meals (at what point did Happy Meals become gender-specific? that is so lame)…one with a plain cheeseburger and the other with McNuggets [I wished I’d had the nerve to say McScroogits, just for old time’s sake]…does that come with fries?…okay, and also some apple dippers…and white milk…okay…”

And I couldn’t quite bring myself to order my own lunch at this place.

As we waited for our turn at the window, Lyle, the last preschooler in America not to have seen Ronald McDonald, asked, “Mommy! Who is that guy waving to me with the big yellow hand?” I figured Baxter would answer that for me.

But he didn’t know, either.

I clearly have a ways to go with their education, don’t I?

I was disappointed to learn that a) when I ordered apples, it replaced the fries I’d made sure were included (damn!) and b) they forgot the caramel dip for the apples (double damn!!). As Matt put it when we got home, “McDonalds? Not always such a sharp crew over there, honey.”

But a highlight for me was when we got home and the boys went running in to tell Daddy that they had brought home lunch from McDonalds – Baxter raced in, shouting, “Daddy! Daddy! We got…” and here he faltered a bit, “…Happy Lunches!”

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6 responses to “Nerds Do McDonalds

  1. Oh my! The loss of the fries would have sent my son into a tailspin. I, too, struggle with the McDonald’s thing. I am so not okay with fast food, but alas, there’s no way around the occasional Happy Meal, er Lunch.

  2. Christopher Tassava

    Even after going to the Holy Land, the boys still haven’t been there. What’re they going to do when they have a Big Mac and fries with a shake and sundae? They’ll be lambs amid the wolves, willing to do anything (even trade their Pokemon cards!) to get another fix. You’d better forestall that by taking them to McD’s tonight for dinner – three #5s, super-sized.

  3. Hmm, Christopher…with Matt out of town again, perhaps I’ll have to try again! I know, I know, it was a failed attempt – luckily, they didn’t know what they were missing with those fries…it’s the best part! They were just excited about the drive-thru and the toys. Next time…fries!

  4. This should make you feel better. Julia (and Genevieve, now) HAS been to McDonald’s, several times, ONLY because on our five-plus hour drive to their grandparents’, there is one at a perfect stopping point, complete with a PlayLand. BUT, Julia has never actually eaten any of the McD’s food (I always pack their lunches), primarily because, as she puts it, “Me and Mama don’t like McDonald’s meat.” And she really doesn’t, either. Happy Meal, what’s that? She’d have no idea whatsoever.

    Oh, and when WE went through a Wendy’s drive-thru a few months ago for a spur-of-the-moment supper after an afternoon out, Julia had NO idea what we were doing and asked questions the whole time Christopher was trying to order. I think she thought it was some sort of magic trick.

  5. Special Needs Mama Prof

    That’s brilliant!!! My daughter’s first linguistic cognitive moment came at age 18 months when she recognized an “m” (alphabet) and said “McDonalds!!!” Eeesh.

  6. “Happy Lunches”? Sooo cute!

    Remember in “Supersize Me,” after days and day of eating nothing but McDonald’s, the Spurlock guy still enjoys it? And gets depressed when he’s hungry for it? I’m convinced they sprinkle some pixie dust in their food along with all the softening and coloring and preserving chemicals. I took the girls there last week out of desperation (the water was turned off at our house, no milk, no peanut butter and the only jelly left was orange peel marmalade that had turned a funny color). After apples and fries (have your boys had the pleasure yet?) and plastic toys and Mia’s bun with “no meat no pickles no nothing” and my coffee with who know what kind of trans fatty “cream” and a game of “Find five things that are the color red,” we were all giggling and flying high. Pixie dust.

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