Jan 3 – Leftover chicken parmigiana. Kids had Happy Meals. Wife foraged.
I haaate getting fast food for the kids, but my wife is a softer touch so they got addicted to Happy Meals from the first time they found out it came with toys. I frequently deny their entreaties to go to McDonalds when they’re jonesing for more toys, but they get it as an occasional treat from Mommy or when there are extenuating circumstances. Today was one of those latter occasions. We spent about 5 hours total round-tripping to a distant birthday party that lasted a couple hours. The party did not have much food to offer, so by the time we neared home on the return leg, we’d each had maybe a couple finger sandwiches, a few chips and pretzels, and a couple of tiny cupcakes.
I’ve lost my taste for McDonalds so much that I didn’t want any, but the girls were asking for it and I didn’t really mind or have better ideas, so we went through a drive-thru close to home. I thought I knew what everyone wanted before it was time to place the order. Here’s how that went:
Me: I’ll have two Happy Meals please – one with a cheeseburger, one with nuggets.
McBox: Boy or girl?
Me: Two girls. [While thinking, “WTF? Happy Meal toys are gendered?”]
At this point, I turned to consult with my wife, who apparently thought I was consulting about sides and drinks, so she attempted to convey the information to me that they both wanted apple slices and chocolate milk. In the fog of drive-thru ordering with everyone in the car talking, the only answer I was expecting was related to drinks, and everything else was a mumble, so I turned back to McBox:
Me: Two apple juices, please.
Wife: No – I said apple mumble chocolate mumble.
Me: Sorry, I made a mistake. I guess we want one apple juice and one chocolate milk.
McBox & Wife cross-talk: No problem, so that’s/ No, I said both apple mumble/ one apple and one/ chocolate mumble/ chocolate milk.
Me: I— Sorry, but— I think I got it wrong again. I guess it’s two choc—
Wife (and kids): Nooo!
Me: But you just fucking said…I don’t know what you said. You tell the guy what we want. [I leaned back so my wife could talk across me to McBox.]
McBox: It’s all good, man, take your time.
Wife: They both want the apple slice side and chocolate milks.
Within 10 seconds of the exchange being over, I was already feeling bad about snapping at my wife and apologized soon thereafter, but as it unfolded I swear I thought every time that I had just relayed exactly what she had just told me to relay, so it was very frustrating in the moment. As for the f-bomb, I’m usually pretty good about not dropping those around the kids, but I at least managed to mumble that part. There were no queries from the back seat about what “fucking” means.
The girls naturally went straight for the toys, which were different because McBox heard me say “two mumble” and decided to put one of each. I cared less that there was one “boy” and one “girl” toy than the fact that two different toys ensured an argument that would last the rest of the way home. If you’ve ever seen twins dressed or equipped the same way and thought it’s because the parents dig treating them like a matched set— no. It’s just fewer fights and less aggravation when they get the same stuff.
My wife has been craving sushi for a couple weeks and rarely gets any since I don’t do sushi at all, so I suggested she find a place on her phone to call ahead and order so we could pick that up on the way home, too. The one she had in mind is closed for remodeling and she couldn’t find a suitable alternative by the time we got close, so that plan was scrapped and I don’t know what she scrounged at home. I remembered I had leftover chicken parm from a couple nights ago, so there ya go.
I’m still working out how much I’ll focus these posts on my own dinner, vs. what my whole family eats. It’s not that I think excruciating detail about all our meals will be interesting, but I’m a family man, so my eating habits have family implications like affecting whether we eat together or apart, what kind of example I’m setting, and creating treasured memories of Daddy cursing in the drive-thru.