December 24, 2008

Times have changed

When I was growing up, eating at McDonalds was a special treat. If my mom and dad wanted to bribe my sister and I to do anything, all they needed to do was dangle a trip to McDonald's in front of us and we were on board with whatever it was they were asking. In fact, I remember going for allergy testing when I was in early elementary school - you know, when they poke your back and arm a bunch of times to find out what we were allergic to - and we were promised lunch at McDonalds and a pair of jelly shoes. Soda was also a good bribe, too. We only had soda about once a month when my family would order pizza and rent a movie to watch.

When we DID get to go to McDonald's, it was usually when they were having their $.20 hamburger and $.30 cheeseburger deals that happened two or three times a year. There was a limit on how many you could buy, of course, so my dad would give me, my sister and my mom all money and we'd each order the maximum allowed. We'd eat some and freeze the rest for my dad to take to work in his lunch. Nothing about this struck me as odd or humorous at the time.

Times have certainly changed, though. My parents eat out quite a bit (and I can't fault them for it . . . they have an empty nest now, and it's a lot easier than cooking for two). And every time I open their refridgerator and pull a can of soda out from their soda "rack" I laugh a little to myself about how that would have been a DREAM for my sister and I. Actually, if you put 10-year-old Sara at my parents house now, I'm pretty sure I would think I had gone to heaven.

Where is this going? Oh, right . . .

So on our way home from my parents house on Monday morning, we stopped at McDonald's to grab breakfast. For the last year or so that Jack has been eating with us, our McDonald's trips have been infrequent so he hasn't been there very often. As we're pulling into the parking lot, I said, "Do you want some pancakes from McDonalds?" And he said, "Mickey D? Mickey D?" I'm guessing that Jack took a few trips to McDonalds with his grandparents over the weekend.

But he learned more than just nicknames for fast food restaurants last weekend. He now tries to sing his ABC's, which I need to get on video . . . it cracks me up. And he was sitting on our bed on Monday and had his fingers spread out and was pointing to them one at a time. He said, "One, four, four, four." Thanks, grandma!

We're headed to Dexter tonight for a Christmas celebration with my mom's side of the family. We'll spend tomorrow morning at home and then head to Kyle's parents' house in the late morning. I'm hoping for this Christmas to be better than it was last year. It has to be, right?


Kristyw905 said...

Mickey D ... hmmm, not coming from Grandma and Grandpa W! As it happens, we did not go out to eat even once while you were gone ... even on my birthday! (excluding pizza picked up on the way home from the airport Sunday night) Unusal, I know. I'm convinced Jack has a near photographic memory though. One flash of anything and it is cemented in his memory bank! Even when you think he is not watching or listening.

Anonymous said...

growing up, mickey d's was a treat for us, too! i especially remember getting it on nights that my parents were going out and we were having a sitter, since my mom didn't particularly like it...

my oldest identified mcdonald's so early it was scary, given that we didn't go there all that often! he'd yell out "fwies! fwies!" when we'd drive by one.

merry christmas! hoping this one is better than last...i'm sure it will be.