Baby as in 10 months old. McDonalds as in a Happy Meal. I also bought oatmeal, but it was too hot at first. So I offered him a fry. To no one’s surprise, he loved it.
And as he did, I sank into one of my worst parenting moments ever. Or maybe not?
For the first four years of my life as a mom I fed my oldest son a perfectly organic and healthy diet that would be approved by Whole Foods cart wielding ferociously health conscious mamas. He had homemade breastmilk until he weaned himself at the age of three (years, in case there is any confusion), that we combined after six months with plates of a calculated balance of protein, whole grains and terribly tasting but immensely beneficial for your health vegetables, namely broccoli. And to this day, to our amazement, he still loves that thing (no irony here).
But along came baby number two, with all of his appointments, therapy sessions, and and endless hunger of the same homemade breastmilk that took a long time to produce, and there I was, a frazzled mama trying to do way more than she possibly could. And then, one afternoon that my husband was out of town, my oldest’s kindergarten teacher revealed to me the secret to a happier motherhood, that had been passed to her by her mother in law:
Every now and then, just go to McDonalds and order on the drive through. Make your life easier.
Since it was coming from a much respected figure in my house, and such an statement had been backed by our own pediatrician, who himself declared that he had fed one of his kids a Mcnugget at a very tender age, I gave it a go. And of course, it worked. Too well, I would say. But that night my kids got to spend more time with a happier mom.
Fast forward four years. For the last few months, all this baby had eaten was homemade and pretty much organic. As a good Spanish mom, I started cooking and pureeing his food when he was six months old. I filled my freezer with a beautiful collection of multicolored frozen vegetable ice cubes, that I diligently defrosted and fed him every day.
Until today. I had his food ready, when I went into a frenzy looking for his thermos. We had forgotten it in his bag for a couple of days, with disastrous results, and I needed to leave for his brother’s therapy. Just this morning our pediatrician had told me that I needed to up his calorie intake. And so I did. By feeding him fast food. That was not organic. That was not steamed. That was not balanced nor healthy. But it sure had a good bunch of calories, and it was easy, and fast and made my afternoon a little less hectic.
So, I’m just passing some advice that I received from a wise woman. Make your life a little easier. Whatever it takes. At least once a day make an executive decision that saves you time, even if it’s not the most popular option of the day. Kids are extremely adaptable and resilient. And they will survive eating fast food just this once.
(*Disclaimer: apparently all my efforts have rub off on this baby. After really enjoying the fries, he shrugged his cute little nose at the chicken nugget, and went instead for the oatmeal. So I could enjoy some of the calories too).
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