I’ve told this story around the office a couple of times this week so I might as well share it here.
Wednesday night, I took Morgan to McDonald’s after work for dinner. She hasn’t eaten dinner pretty much every night this week, so I thought I might coax her into eating Wednesday night by first showing her the playground, and then offering to let her play on it as a reward for eating dinner. Of course, the minute she saw the playground she was done with me. Off she went, briefly on to the side of the playground set aside for smaller tykes before throwing caution to the wind and climbing up into the gigantic part intended for bigger kids.
For those of you who haven’t seen a McDonald’s playground recently, they are a far cry from the old playground equipment we grew up with. Gone is, well, anything that could possibly hurt you. The new playground is at least four (kid-sized) stories high. Once your kid is up in there, there’s no way to physically extract them. The sides are covered with a tough-plastic netting and the passage ways are too small for people my size to traverse. (Images of Godzilla toppling a skyscraper come to mind.)
Eventually Morgan found her way to the top of the play equipment, and which point she began screaming and crying. A couple of parents looked at me like, “is that your kid?” Finally a fellow parent (a woman, mid-20′s, much leaner in stature than I) climbed into the structure, commencing a search-and-rescue mission for Morgan. Shortly after she was extracted … but the fun was just beginning.
When I told Morgan it was time to go, she launched into her very first out of control fit. I mean, lying on her back in McDonald’s, kicking and screaming, the whole bit. I wish I had brought my camera. It was so cute! Of course, no one else in the restaurant thought it was cute. And neither did I, really. I grabbed my backpack, Morgan’s Happy Meal, her shoes, and threw her over my shoulder. I handed Morgan her milk container (lid on) to give her something to carry, if for no other reason than if something was in her hands, at least she would stop hitting me in the head.
As we walked out of the store, Morgan was screaming so loudly that people began looking at me like I was kidnapping this child. As I moved through the lobby, one of the three cashiers said something to me that I couldn’t make it out as I had a two-year-old screaming in my ear. I stopped and turned to look at the cashiers. And then I felt it.
Morgan had managed to get the lid off her milk container, and as she screamed, “NO DADDY!”, she promptly dumped it on my head. The milk (and there was a lot of it) ran through my hair, onto my shirt and down on to the floor. I stood there in horror. So did the cashiers.
All I could muster was a sincere, “I’m sorry…” The McCrew reacted swiftly and headed for a mop, obviously having seen similar incidents before. I busted Morgan’s cute little ass right there in the lobby. She responded by throwing the plastic milk jug at the door. With two hands full I simply kicked it along until I got to the truck, where I was able to pick it up.