Today is the beginning of a brief but hilariously fun McDonald’s experiment – dubbed the “McXperiment (pronounced – ‘mickspeariment’)” I can tell you right now, I shoulda started dating women with kids years ago. This is awesome. Why play with mice or guinea pigs when you can do it with a real, live human??!!
My girlfriend’s daughter turned 7 yesterday.
“Where do you want to eat for your birthday?”
We’ve spent the last couple of weeks with her nonstop, and she loves that Mickey D’s – mostly for the lame toys. This week it’s Spongebob playing basketball, which makes it even more fun as you will see in a minute.
We both think that it’s important that a child has a balanced perspective about certain things. My GF’s daughter seems to be, like most kids, infatuated with television and McDonald’s. TV was an easy thing to balance things out with. All we have to do is force her to watch it when she whines to do other things. This morning she was whining about wanting to swim. We made her sit for 2 long hours watching the Cartoon Network in her bathing suit. Works like a charm. Plus it’s very entertaining to the adults to say “You’re not going anywhere until you watch those cartoons young lady!” and then try to stifle your laughter after saying it.
But today I had a novel idea to get her past this McDonald’s fixation. She loves McDonald’s. Calls her dad and grandparents and tells them, not about riding a horse, camping, massive waterslides, bungee trampolining on top of a mountain, or any of the other fun stuff we’ve been doing lately, but says, “Guess where I ate for dinner last night… McDonald’s Yay!”
And that novel idea kicked off today at lunch about an hour ago. The experiment is, of course, to get her to stop liking McDonald’s so damn much, because we typically let her eat anything and everything she wants, as much or as little as she wants, etc. (probably why her abs are starting to show). But she loves McDonald’s a little too much, probably a culmination from having it be a ”treat” at her dad’s and “forbidden” at moms for so many years. It just needs a little evening out, that’s all.
Sure, you can force a kid not to eat there, but that just raises the excitement and fixation – reinforcing the specialness of the golden arches. With some kids I guess that could work, but she spends about a fourth of her time at her dad’s house, and he’s not going to stop taking her to McDonald’s anytime soon. If we were to force her not to eat McDonald’s, that would just make her trips to Ronald’s with her dad that much more exciting, and make us look like the enforcers – him the fun dad. That’s not acceptable. The only solution, and the best solution in a world with tens of thousands of McDonald’s restaurants serving up cheap, quick, and neurologically-tasty food is to decrease the desire to eat there.
For the next 3 days, we will be testing this out. No matter what she wants to eat, or asks us to eat, we will take her only to McDonald’s for every meal, 3 times daily. Not only that, but instead of picking at her food and playing with her stupid Spongebob toy, she will be forced to sit there eating every last bite of her chicken nugget and french fry Happy Meal. She was not so happy to do that today lemme tell ya. Kid looked like she was forcing down soggy broccoli finishing those fries for lunch. And it’s only a few more hours before her next not-so-Happy Meal.
The best part is that they give out the same toy for like a week I think, so getting the same toy over and over again is going to be a spectacular let down. Ronald is gonna look like such a Meanie Pants McPanster Head by lunch on Thursday.
We were already having trouble hiding our laughter in the first meal. I don’t know if we’ll have the stamina to take her to McDonald’s only for 3 days, but we’re gonna try. And it’s gonna be hilarious. I will be reporting later and how it went and hopefully capture her on video whining about having to go to McDonald’s by the third day (probably the 2nd).
With any luck, this will have her asking to go to McDonald’s a lot less often, which would probably be a good thing because when she asks to eat something, we do our best to give it to her – complete and total unrestricted eating.
If none of this makes sense, take a moment to review my post and video on How to Feed Your Kids