Today I had the care of our almost 2 year old while my wife did a co-garage sale with some friends from church as part of Bolivar's annual city-wide garage sale celebration.
For lunch, I decided we'd do a father-son outing to McDonald's. It's a weird idea because Elias has probably never eaten at McDonald's and we almost never eat fast food as a family. But I know McDonald's has a power similar to Elmo's-- I knew a 2 year old in a third world country whose first words were practically from the McDonald's menu, something she saw maybe once a month. I sort of wanted to test this power. The main appeal of our McD's is that it has 45 cent ice cream cones and I thought it'd be fun to share that treat.
I got Elias a Happy Meal and myself a grilled chicken club, and 2 small cones. Elias is always a huge lunch eater, so I expected him to do well with the chopped up burger, bun, and fries.
He literally turned his nose up at the burger, bun, and fries. He ate most of the cheese off the burger, and a few bites of the bun. He wouldn't believe me that it was bread. He spit out the french fries, he clearly didn't like them. And the only thing he would eat off of my sandwich was the tomato, he ate most of it.
He ate most of his ice cream, although he didn't seem to like it as much as the sugar-free stuff I give him at home. He didn't know it was ice cream until I told him.
So, feeling guilty about this idea, we went home. The fact that he likes his Happy Meal toy is little consolation-- we could have bought plenty of similar toys today at garage sales for a much lower price. At home, I heated up his leftover green beans, ham, and rice from last night along with some sliced strawberries. "Mmmmm!" he exclaimed as he began chowing down.
Elias is right, of course, McDonald's food is fake processed crud and no one should eat it. So, I feel guilty about taking him to McDonald's. It might be the last time.