Monday, June 21, 2010

I might have to break up with playlands

Well it finally happened for me.  About 100 days after everyone else in the country finishes their school year, my kids finally started summer vacation.  I was trying to find the best way to celebrate, but couldn't chose between hiding in my closet or curling in the fetal position on my bed.  So instead, I took my elementary kids out of class early and brought them to McDonald's for lunch.  Yeah, I really was that tired of packing lunches and that ready to not send in more lunch money.

Now McDonald's and I have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for many years.  They not only provide me with extra padding around the middle and backside, they are also my sanity keeper on days when I need a break (especially rain days).  I think McDonald's Playlands may be the greatest invention since earplugs or duct tape.  It may qualify for the single greatest reason all my children and sanity survive summers.

In return for these lovely benefits, I provide them with astronomical sums of money.

Our relationship was so strong, it survived the my childen's discovery that McD's sells more than dollar sandwiches and even has options with cheap toys included.  It later survived half the kids graduating from Happy Meals to Arm-and-Leg-Costing Meals.  It (barely) survived fries cooked in non-hydrogenated fat. It even made it through that rough patch where they got my order wrong every single time I went for an entire six months.   But it may not survive my children's discovery of a height limit sign for the Playland.

How can I get a moment alone in the middle of a chaotic summer day when half my kids no longer fit on the Playland?  "Can I have your iPhone? " asked in triplicate is not my idea of fun.  Neither is a chanted rendition of "When are we going home, I'm bored."  I can't very well pretend the kids aren't mine when they are draped all over me, feigning death from lack of sliding.

I just paid tens of dollars for a moment's peace and now I get nothing.  Well, I still get the extra padding, but I could get that in the drive through without unnecessarily burning calories by walking inside!

So my summer plans have been dashed.  I'm going to go with my original plan of alternating between the closet and the fetal position with short breaks for chocolate.  Better make sure I've stocked up on extra earplugs and duct tape.  If some kids don't survive the summer, I'm blaming McDonalds.

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34 comments:

  1. Woot! I'm first!

    Anyway.

    I continued to play on McDonald's playland well past the appropriate height limit. My excuse (or, more likely, my parent's excuse) was that I needed to help the young 'uns.

    Perhaps you could try that?

    Although your suggestion of hiding out sounds rather delightful. Make sure to pack some awesome books in your room, I mean hideout.

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  2. Say it ain't so! I don't want to think about the day where the McDonnalds play land becomes inappropriate and/or boring to the kids! Hello, we live in the Northwest, we can't survive without indoor playgrounds!!

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  3. I thought our kids were the last in the country to get out of school. Looks like your school district is on the same schedule. Sorry about the McD's height limit.

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  4. YOu should send them to the poor people shower at The Gateway, the fountain. They will have fun for hours.

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  5. okay I dread when this happens to my kids as well! I hate the can I play your iphone question too ha

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  6. Our McD's don't have playyards. Chick-Fil-A does, but they don't have a dollar menu. The mall also has an indoor playground, but you have to go at 8:30 in the morning if you want it to be even relatively safe for your children. That is why we now have a membership to the local children's museum.

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  7. Um, I don't feel too bad for you because you still live on a beach where you could eat your drive-through food. Sorry.

    That's nice that since it is officially summer today, your kids are officially done with school...at last!

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  8. Charlotte, there was a time when I got all my writing done in a hard plastic booth at McDonald's! But that height sign is pretty short; we outgrew it so many years ago too!

    Now I go to Peter Piper Pizza (do they have those there?) where my son can kill to his heart's content on the video type games (I swear he spends ONE token the entire time) and my daughter just amasses tickets for junky prizes. There's no dollar menu, but for however much, I get a large pizza, 4 drinks and 100 tokens. Oh yeah, and peace of mind. I can read and write through any noise.

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  9. SInce when has the height limit stopped anyone? We often to to the indoor playground at the mall, and there's always bigger kids hanging out there. Unless they're being a problem, nobody minds. But, yes, it is against the rules. Le sigh.

    I like the comment about sending the old ones in to help the younger ones. Good thought...

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  10. I hope you can fill that void with something else that allows you to get some down time. Good luck! :)

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  11. My husband and I are short...both under 5'5, so blessedly I may never have this problem, LOL. But the problems with the backside, ya, that I've got licked.

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  12. I dread the day my kids are too big for the play yard. I also look forward to the day I'm rich enough to go anytime I want.

    But my suggestion: bounce house. No height/age limit!

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  13. That is beyond tragic! I dread the day!

    I plan to build an indoor playground in our town some day (we have no McDonald's). This shall be my legacy. I think there will be no height limit...

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  14. Does your town have a pool that you can buy a season pass to? That's what we're doing. That way we have one place to go to for swimming, playground play, and tennis. I know this doesn't help for rainy days, but if you go enough on sunny days, your kids could probably handle a day here and there indoors, watching dvds.

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  15. I have no ideas for you, but I just discovered the joy that is McD's playland. It's a dream come true. Sorry yours just got dashed.

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  16. Blerg. No fun. My kids are just getting big enough to really take advantage of the play lands, and you're right- they are the best invention ever. My sister thinks they are disgusting, but I was there at least once a week during our disgusting cold snap this past winter.

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  17. I'm voting for the closet... do you have enough closets for each child to have their own though? because if they have to share that might be considered abusive :)

    (and yes... I know it was YOU that wanted to go in the closet... but if you don't have a plug in there for the computer that just won't work for me)

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  18. You can feed all of your kids on $10???
    Of course I rarely eat there (1) because I worked there for over a year as a teenager and (2) almost everything (including the fries) have meat or beef in them of some kind and I'm a vegetarian.

    I can't believe they're just NOW getting out! It seems the further north you go, the later the date is. Growing up in AL, I can't remember a single year we started before September and stayed in school past April. We even went to school on Saturday if needed to make up the time!

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  19. My McD's don't have playlands either. I wonder how they decide who gets them. And man oh man... I thought our kids got out of school late!

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  20. I sit in McDonald's & wish that my 14 month old could get INTO the playland!! Let's sit in your closet together & discuss how my sadness now will transform into the fetal position when my boys get older.

    I'll bring the chocolate!

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  21. I would probably ignore the height limits myself. I'm a rebel like that!

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  22. Oh CRAP...half your kids??? That would mean that at least one of mine is over the limit too! Please tell me that Ethan is not to big for the playland...I still need at least one more summer!

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  23. OH NO. They need to stop growing. This is terrible!!!

    Hilarious post, lady.

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  24. My kids would be thrilled with the idea of McDs...so I have no suggestions. Pool? Jumpy place? Good luck.

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  25. Haha!! Sending you some chocolate your way for your sanity and survival this summer ;)

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  26. see, this is why I stopped at the one. Only ONE is around to drive me crazy, tell me she's bored and insist on using my computer while I sit in the closet in the fetal position

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  27. You are a hoot! Playlands give me the heeby jeeby's! is that even how you spell it? oh well-- you get my drift;)

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  28. You're better than me. I loathe McDs through and through.

    Since my kids aren't as old as yours, I have no advise. So far we've been good with the sprinkers and the park!

    Although, my daughter IS always asking when she gets to go back to school!

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  29. Sometimes I get annoyed that they have height restristions because I do like to have my older children tag along with and entertain my younger children... but sometimes there are other children there who are over the height limit and they're wild and rude and tend to do things that bring out the mother bear in me like repeatedly knock over my smallest children, and then I don't mind the height restrictions so much...

    It's a conundrum, one of many...

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  30. I'm sorry that 3 kids graduated from playland! That is a sad day. It was nice while it lasted!

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  31. You are becoming so popular... It makes me happy. Considering you have one of the very first blogs I ever read... and you are hysterical, and sweet, and just plain awesomesauce.

    But... I never had to break up with playlands... because my hubby never let our kids go in them. So I am not sure where all my extra padding came from.

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  32. I totally know how you feel. Only 2 of my six enjoy playland anymore. Though it has provided me with the same benefits for many years. We have graduated to the hard stuff now, like Chuck E Cheese.

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  33. "It's not you, it's totally me...let's still be friends..." etc. I am thinking of all the break-up lines that might be relevant.

    I remember the happy days when we took our kids to McDonald's just for the playland value. Then they outgrew it and it was a sad, sad day. But not worse than when I got stuck in one of those stupid pipe-slide things trying to retrieve a toddler who wouldn't come out.

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  34. That way we have one place to go to for swimming, playground play, and tennis. I know this doesn't help for rainy days, but if you go enough on sunny days, your kids could probably handle a day here and there indoors, watching dvds.

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