Ingrid, at almost four, had never been to McDonalds.
I felt sort of smug about it, and also the tiniest bit guilty for depriving her of one of the widely known pleasures of American childhood.
Then I heard they were giving away Hello Kitty watches with happy meals. And we were out swimming at the Y and needed a quick dinner. I was kind of bored with the food co-op deli (where we've eaten a lot these past few weeks) and, besides, dreaded shepherding two hungry kids through the co-op. It had been a long weekend. The slides and tunnels would be a nice diversion. So we went.
Ingrid ate two thirds of a cheeseburger and a handful of fries and gave the meal a thumbs up. Iris ate two bites of hamburger and drank half a container of milk, then spilled the rest on Ingrid's coat and the floor. They weren't giving away Hello Kitty watches, they were giving away stupid bobble-head cats in plastic cages. The place was filthy even before we spilled the milk, and the slides and tunnels were full of loud rambunctious ten-year-olds. Ingrid bravely went for a turn on the slide by herself. It was fine, but definitely not the sky-high experience I'd feared I was keeping from my kids.
Then we came home, and I put them to bed. Five minutes later, Ingrid threw up all over her bed and all eight of her blankets.
Time will tell, but after one puke she seems all better. She was perky as I mopped up the floor and offered in a chipper voice to help me remake the bed.
I ought to be sleeping in case we have a night of hourly vomiting, but I've got to at least stay up until the first washing machine cycle is done. If I don't get started on the blankets we could get smothered with vomity laundry.
Whatever tonight brings, the smell of thrown up McDonalds cheeseburger is going to be with me for a very long time. I'm glad Ingrid didn't seem to love the big M enough to beg to go back, because pardon me but I don't think we will.