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    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

Math Geek Mom: Not so Happy Meal
October 1, 2009 - 8:29pm

Ok, so I admit it. I am not a good cook, and, on top of it, I spend a lot of time driving my daughter around to various lessons and even doctor’s appointments. Although I know better, the other day I drove through McDonald’s in an effort to get something resembling dinner in her. I have done the calculations of what the best deal was in order to feed her, and have decided that, at this point in her life, the Happy Meal offered the right size portions for the best price, with options not available otherwise. However, when I drove through McDonald’s the other day, I drove out with something I was not expecting.

My daughter had long ago learned to ask for the “boy toy” when ordering such a meal, since the boy toys are usually things like toy cars or trucks that are cool to play with. The girl toys are often more sedentary toys, which don’t hold her interest for long. However, that night she wanted me to get the girl toy. I cringed a little when I learned it had a Barbie theme, since I lost my respect for Barbie when she started proclaiming that “math is hard”. However, it was one small toy, so I let her have it. What could be the harm?

When she opened the toy, I was shocked. At first I thought it was just a mirror compact, but she soon proved me wrong. Nestled inside the compact was a circle of lip gloss. She quickly put it on her lips and showed it to me. “Look at me, mommy!”

Her school does not allow lip gloss for any child in sixth grade or less, so I knew that I would need to confiscate it, which I did. And then I got to wondering. WHAT were the folks at McDonald’s thinking? How many children who are young enough to buy a happy meal are also old enough to use lip gloss? And how many other moms are out there right now, hiding the lip gloss so that their young children will not wear make-up before an appropriate age? Yes, it is my responsibility to monitor this, but McDonald’s is making my job as a mom all the more difficult. As if it was not difficult already.

Since we will need to be making a similar trip next week, I plan to pack sandwich for her to eat on the way home. At least then I know what she is getting.


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