Making peace with Ronald McDonald

Ok, I'll admit to being a bit of a junk food snob. Since Bug was big enough to eat real people food, we've been picky about our fast-food stops. For a long time it was pretty much only Wendy's because they were the only ones to offer fruit, and Hubs and I could tolerate their other menu items--baked potatoes, assorted salads (and a Frosty here and there didn't hurt either).

Except for one occasion on a road trip and in need of a rest room, Bug hadn't ever played at a McDonald's playland. We figured he wouldn't miss what he'd never experienced, and just weren't ready to begin the endless cycle of "There's a McDonald's, can we go?" While I am a closet chicken-nugget fan, we've always been kind of anti-Happy Meal for my kids.

When we first moved here, a lovely lady from the church offered to take the boys for the evening so Hubs and I could go to Home Depot to begin to make some decisions so we'd have a kitchen we could actually use. She took them to the local McDonald's playland.

And so it began. It took a while, but little by little I'd find myself dropping by Ronald's joint for various reasons:
  • We got stood up for a babysitting/playdate and I had to do something to appease Boo.

  • Rainy days and Mondays often find me needing to let them burn off energy without jumping off the furniture.

  • I need some time to get some business correspondance done.

Now, instead of seeing it as a corporate evil, intended to fill my children's bellies with questionable nutrition and my mini-van with toys promoting movies my kids will never see, I look at it as a tool. I'm now in danger of going often enough to bore my kids because I'll go when:

  • I need a mommy play-date; we'll invite another family and the kids can play while the grown-ups chat.

  • I have work to get done; writing, bill-paying, catching up on magazines, etc.

  • Bible study is tomorrow and I haven't finished my lesson yet.

Unexpectedly, I've met other moms who work at home and take advantage of the typically clean, indoor play area for the same reasons I do. I think it's just a matter of time until there's an organized "Bring your work to Mickey D's" day!

BTW--there are some yummy healthier choices on their menu too. We especially like the fruit and yogurt parfait (although I miss the bigger size they used to have), apple dippers or the Apple/Walnut/Grape salad.

So Ronald and me, we're on pretty good terms now. If you're looking for some adult contact and a way to let your little ones burn off some energy, stop by your local "Golden Arches."

What are some things you thought you'd never do, but have compromised on in favor of saving your sanity entertaining your kids?


Anonymous said...

Our local McD's took down their playland because it was TOO Successful! The land of SAHMs heaved a heavy sigh that day.

RefreshMom said...

That's crazy Leigh! I wonder if their sales took a hit when they closed it? I can't imagine going there just to eat!

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