Disclaimer: This is one that I wrote some time ago and then completely forgot about until I stumbled across it in a directory that it was not supposed to be in. It is only about 3 months old…
For those of you who may have missed the (good) news: Santa Clara County (California) has banned toys in high calorie Happy Meals. Read all about it in this LA Times article.
To the gentleman quoted as saying, “If you can’t control your 3 year old…”
I say, “HA!” If you are trying to get errands run on a Saturday, the last thing you need is a full blown tantrum from the car seat set. And being denied that Happy Meal can bring one on faster than a cat comes running at the sound of the can opener.
Stubble was a Happy Meal Expert. He knew from TV which toys were at which franchise and he always managed to be “Hungry Mom, Hungry,” right in the middle of the Operation Saturday.
At first we were unsuspecting, it was late and we still had to get to Target, Home Depot and the grocery store. Of COURSE we picked up something for him to eat. We quickly caught on to his ploy when he would take two bites of the hamburger, eat three fries and spend the rest of the time playing with whatever toy was in the bag.
Our first step was to withhold the toy until the food was finished or until we were home, whichever came first. He would wait and wait and wait. The burger would grow stale and cold and the fries soggy and limp and still he held out. On the way into the driveway it was, “Toy! Now!”
The day that The Bearded One bought just a burger and drink and fries but no meal complete with toy was not one I really care to remember; except that I do remember it - in excruciating detail.
So our little one didn’t get obese, but his room was filled with cheap plastic toys and he loved each and every one of them even when they were identical. You could not get rid of ANY of them for ANY reason. They were his and they were precious. They were in boxes and gallon zip lock bags. They were under his bed and under his pillow. They multiplied like rabbits. Finally when he was about 8, he allowed me to box them all up and take them to a charity thrift shop where they sold bags of the toys for 25 cents each.
And the real irony of the situation is this: Now that Stubble is all grown up, he can’t eat fast food burgers because of stomach issues.