I am just about through the birthday gauntlet!
January and February are like a landmine of birthdays for my family. I have three family members who celebrate birthdays in January and another three in February. That is six presents, six cards and six family parties in the span of eight weeks. Coming off the Christmas holiday, this stretch can break even the strongest of birthday party-goers. Add in two weeks of classes in Vermont and I am pretty much exhausted.
So, I admit I pulled a truly bad uncle move this week. I combined two of these birthdays into one trip. That is right- I took my two nephews to McDonalds to celebrate their birthdays together. Hey, it sounded good at the time. I would get a little nephew-uncle bonding time. I would give my sister a bit of a break. I would get two birthdays out of the way. And I would come across as the fun uncle.
Now, anyone out there with kids is laughing at me right now. Because a trip to McDonalds with a four and six year-old is not as easy as it sounds. Let’s just say I am out of kid shape! I have muscles that hurt that I never knew existed.
Here are the lessons learned from my innocent birthday trip to McDonalds:
Houdini would have had a difficult time getting out of a car seat.
How many buckles do these things have anyways? And of course one kid can easily undo the seat and jump out of the car while the other is stuck like he’s in a straitjacket. Kids don’t wait patiently by the car for their brother either.
People go through the drive-thru because they are in a hurry.
Seriously, it was like Frogger crossing the parking lot. I don’t even think people slow down at the window, they just speed right through. It was like Mario Andretti snatching a Happy Meal!
Kids don’t do well with lines.
They can’t stand still and have the attention span of a gnat.
Kids can smell a crappy Happy Meal toy a mile away.
There is no pulling one over on kids. They may be young but they understand a scam when they see one.
Chicken Nugget is false advertising.
That wasn’t chicken is all I’m saying.
McDonalds Play Land is about as sanitary as a still pond in the Amazon.
The little kid drooling all over the slide put me over the edge. I didn’t know this was a water park! And unlike every mother on this planet… I do not carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go.
Ice Cream cones are not designed to be eaten over time.
I consider my nephews pretty bright but why they couldn’t figure out that ice cream melts, I have no idea. And unlike every mother on this planet… I do not carry wet naps everywhere I go.
Kids, for some unknown reason, enjoy screaming.
They enjoy screaming at one another, at other kids, at adults, at mirrors, at slides, at windows, at tables, at milkshakes, at store clerks, at climbing ropes, at ball bins, at ceiling fans, at French fries, at the ketchup stand and at one over-stimulated uncle!
Gobs of dried and crusty ketchup are just gross!
Do kids dip their fries right on the table? Seriously?
Kids have worse hearing than old people.
I vote for hearing aids for all kids under the age of eight because they obviously can’t hear the words, “it’s time to go home.”
Kids that can climb twenty feet high through a tiny little slide tube have the upper hand on adults.
A parent elevator would have come in handy, Mr. Ronald McDonald!
And speaking of Ronald McDonald… he is one creepy dude.
What is he? A clown? I’m not sure what’s going on with that guy.
Video games are melting kids’ minds.
With a huge climbing apparatus, numerous slides, a gigantic tub of balls to crawl in and new Happy Meal toys within arms-reach my nephews only had eyes for the little video game station in the corner. I would have NASCARed it through the drive-thru, taken the food home and sat on my sister’s couch if I wanted to watch them play video games. Get outside kids! Run around! Be creative!
Perhaps I should have gone back to school to become a video game designer and not a children’s writer.