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!”