Thursday, March 8, 2012

McDonald's Ruined My Child

     We're into minute 45 of our terrorist stand off.  Ball is mad and she is not going to take it.  I think I can safely blame McDonald's for this one.  Let me bring you up to speed.

     I am being completely serious when I tell you that my children have gotten less than 10 Happy Meals in their lives.  My kids know what a Happy Meal toy is - it is the Holy Grail.  Today I was helping out a friend and watching her kid.  I realized I was short on time and needed to feed the kids before I drove him home.  I chose to drive through McDonald's; mostly because every child on the planet loves McDonald's, but also because it was on my way.  (Stupid McDonald's are everywhere!)

    When we got home with our Happy Meals we realized they had accidently given Ball a boy toy.  Princess Ball will not accept anything less than her promised girl toy.  I knew the solution was simple.  All we had to do was walk into the store and give them our boy toy in exchange for the girl one.  (I also know this is a pain for a stupid Happy Meal toy, but I was feeling compassionate.) 

     I told Ball the plan.  We had to drive our friend home, go to school, pick my boy and his car pool buddies up, take them all home and then we would be free to get her the coveted girl toy.  Ball was cool.  She did the ride alongs and when we pulled into the garage she ran inside to get the boy toy so we could take care of business.  I followed her inside.

Me: "Okay, let's go!"

Ball: "I want to give this to Dude."

Me: "No, Ball.  We need that to trade at McDonald's."

Ball: "Here you go Dude!" (hands the package to her brother)

Me:  "Ball, I am not buying another toy.  We need that toy to exchange."

Ball: "But I want Dude to have it."  (I know, awww!)  "Let's go get my new toy."

Me (the hardass): "No.  I am not buying you a new toy.  You have to get that toy back from Dude because we have to exchange that toy if you want the girl toy."

Inevitably, this led to a game of "keep way" and "chase" where smaller, younger Ball was the looser.  Dude was not giving up his new toy.  (A wiser mom would have seen that coming.)

     I was willing to go to McDonald's on the down low to exchange one piece of junk for another to appease a disappointed Ball.  I did not want it announced to the other children that Ball was getting a toy and they were not.  I did not want to give Dude the toy and go buy Ball a new toy.  Buying Ball a new toy meant I would be paying extra money for a piece of junk.  Also if I didn't come home with one for Blondie too she would be pissed (and rightly so) that Ball and Dude had brand new junk and she didn't.  Thus, buying one for Ball meant actually buying TWO more pieces of junk.  Annoyed that Ball offered her toy to Dude when I told her not to and that it had caused them to start fighing I took the toy away and decided no one was getting it.

     This resulted in Ball running into the garage, sitting in her seat in my van, screaming and crying for the next hour, and waiting for me to buckle her in and drive to McDonald's to do the toy exchange.  When I finally went to the garage to get her she was laying on the floor of the van sobbing.  Because I do not negotiate with terrorists, I carried her upstairs, laid her in her bed, and invited her to come downstairs when she could be calm and nice.  Her tantrum lasted 65 minutes.

he toy that ruined Ball's life.

     Although I am sure that some of my parenting this afternoon was not beyond reproach, I prefer to lay the blame squarely at McDonald's feet.  (I've never experienced this type of meltdown over In & Out stickers.)  I know few parents who can resist their children constantly begging to go to McDonald's and I am sure the kids aren't begging for the delicious burgers.  Because of the toys they give away, McDonald's is clearly an evil genius corporation that has ruined my child (or at the very least part of our afternoon).


  1. You did good Marian... If not McDonalds something else. I hope she learned something.

    1. Only time will tell if she learned something. She's usually pretty good.

  2. The McD's by our house is Terrible. They never give us the right order but no matter how many times we say "boy toy" we get a girl's toy. We now check before we leave... not that we go a lot

    1. Our McDonald's is horrible about that too but we go there so infrequently that I always forget to check we have it all. I think the solution is to never go to McDonald's ever again.


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