Friday, September 9, 2011

Mermaid Spotting

This sounds a bit funny to say, but you can go right ahead and judge us if you will.  And I'm fairly positive some of you are about to form certain opinions of us be they positive or negative, but Lukas is 4 years old now and Mrs. LIAYF and I have never taken him, hmmm (wondering how to put this diplomatically), well let's just say we can safely pass any local pair of golden arches without the slightest hint of begging or pleading to stop coming from the back seat.

That's right, we have never taken him to a McDonald's restaurant before.  Not even once.

There have been no Happy Meals.  No McNuggets.  Nary an Apple Pie, Fillet O' Fish, or Shamrock Shake.

He has no idea who Ronald McDonald is, nor Mayor McCheese, or the Grimace, or even the Hamburgler. He hasn't once been through one of the drive-through windows or became at all familiar with a local Micky D's Play Land. 

He doesn't even have the concept of fallen fries, and what a treat they are to find at the bottom of your grease stained white paper bag as your vehicle is perhaps miles from where you procured your salty meal.

In fact, when we are out driving around and Lukas happens to see the ubiquitous Golden Arches, he is 100% more likely to be impressed that he saw a giant yellow M out the car window, than to immediately associate them with hamburgers, nuggets, and french fries.

To those who ask why.  "Why have you denied your offspring one of the fundamental vices of childhood?"  I have one simple question to ask that really speaks volumes.  "Have you not watched Super Size Me?"  Talk about horror movies.  That was one scary flick.  What happened to Morgan Spurlock in just 30 days was crazy.

Seriously though, we try to always pack healthy snacks and meals for Lukas so that we won't be tempted to stop in and buy the unhealthy option at McDonald's.  We have just been very good at enforcing this policy.  So good, in fact, that he really doesn't have any clue, ANY, that McDonald's even exists.

Sure, Mrs. LIAYF are a teensy bit proud of that fact.   Once in a while we will even slip it into conversation, not at all to be judgemental of other families meal choices (we don't judge), but more to show the other like minded people in question that, yes, we care deeply about the health and well being of our child and we have been able to find better options for the past 4 years.

That all being said, I nearly spit out my coffee and laughed out loud a couple of days ago when, as we were driving somewhere around Seattle, Lukas pointed out his window and excitedly exclaimed:

"Look, a Starbucks!  Can we stop?  Can we? PLEASE!"

That was just Golden.


ericdbolton said...

Tell me he asked for a grande orange mocha frappuccino..

triles said...

If it was up to my wife, we'd be right there with you. The general plan is to avoid fast food, but I have been known to swing through the Mickey D's drive-thru with the girls on occasion, more to get my own fix than anything else.

I have an award for you in my latest post.

Kevin said...

My kids do know what McDonalds is. We wish they didn't. Sometimes we run out of time and it would be quicker to go through the McD's drive-thru two blocks from the house than to cook. In all seriousness, we feed our kids McD's maybe a couple times a year. In fact we are so much against feeding them it that during the Smurfs Happy Meal promotion we didn't buy then Happy Meals. I bought the Happy Meal Smurf toys off of ebay.

Good for you guys. I have seen Super Size Me. A fantastic documentary.

However, my kids have no idea what a Starbucks is. So I guess it all comes out in the wash.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Eric - Nope, but that does sound very interesting. Does it have coffee in it? :)

@Tim - I have had the urge more than once, but have so far resisted. It'll happen eventually I suppose. Thanks for the award.

@Kevin - Exactly. But thankfully they do have some pretty healthy options there for the eating. Fruit cups, Organic milks, ect. Really, that is what he gets when we stop in.

Sandi said...

My kids would've said the same thing. We haven't taken our four year old twins to McDonalds but they sure do know what Starbucks is. We chose not to take our kids to McDonalds for some of the same reasons as you, Super Size me is an eye opener. I figure if I don't eat there why should my kids.

Diplo_Daddy said...

I can count the number of times, over the past five and a half years, we've taken Christopher to a McDs, on one hand. Now Starbucks...we can't pass one, even over here in Kuwait, without him wanting to pop in for a cookie. We had SB this morning, as a matter of fact! And it was damn good!

SFD said...

We tried to avoid that knowledge, but quickly realized spending 10 hours a month on the highway driving back and forth from my parents' makes it impossible to avoid fast food.

It's not a staple, but it's not a "never" either.

Stephanie said...

I was that good with my first, minus the Starbucks. Got away with not teaching her about McDonalds until she went to preschool, where it turned out to be a major topic of conversation among the kids.

Didactic Pirate said...

Dude. I'm freakin' impressed. Starbuck's SHOULD win out over McD's every time.

I salute you, sir.

Homemaker Man said...

We tried to do the same thing and were submarined by the kids' godmother. Sneaky biatch, but they love her. Also,curious, does he eat or drink anything at starbucks?

Bruce Sallan said...

I wonder how much longer you're be able to get away with this!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Sandi - Sounds like we are of a like mind.

@Dipplo - Me too! Mmmmm, yes it was.

@SFD - Yes, that would make it pretty tough. Thankfully, we don't have that kind of driving schedule. If we did, I could only guess how many SB we'd hit.

@Stephanie - Thankfully Pre School, and now Pre K hasn't had the same effect on Lukas. Yet at least. Thanks for stopping by.

@Didactic Pirate - Absolutely. Better options all around. And better treats for the grown ups.

@Homemaker Man - Yes, we get sandwhiches, fruit and nut plates, fruit cups, organic milks, cookies sometimes, and occasionally kid sized non fat milks with a touch of coconut flavoring.

@Bruce - Thanks for stopping by. Not real sure. If it were me, maybe not long, but his mother is very good at providing great alternatives. Not forever for sure.

@AnOrdinaryDad said...

I'm shocked, and impressed. I didn't know this was possible!? But, I don't feel judged so, great post!

Niel said...

Wow, I feel like a horrible dad. But in my defense my daughter only wants to eat apple dippers from McDs.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@OrdinaryDad - Yes, possible. But you have to have alternatives. Like Starbucks! Preferrably better ones than that, but alternatives nonetheless.

@Niel - Ha. That's the second time I have read that and thought Apple Diapers. That may qualify, but Micky D's for some apples certainly doesn't in my book.

Jack said...

My kids haven't been to Mickey Ds all that often, but truthfully I wish that they never had.

I think that it is great that Lukas doesn't know what a Happy Meal is yet.

Anonymous said...

My daughter has always hated McD's ever since they refused to sell her a vegetarian happy meal when she was 4, she only wanted the toy (happened to be her current fav. Character). They still won't do veggie stuff for kids. She once tried the fires (with a friend) and reported the tasted of cardboard, if they don't develop a taste for them early they usually can't stand the taste anyway.

Rachael said...

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with never having been to McDonalds. I feel like if I was less lazy maybe my kid never would have been there. The Starbucks thing is hilarious though.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Jack - Good to hear that from someone who has been there. Thanks.

@Rachael - Like TV, I wonder how long we can keep it up. Thanks.

@Anonymous - Yeah, there are a lot of things I can't believe Lukas doesn't have a taste for. Probably because we don't feed them to him.