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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Party Like a Momstar

Yesterday was my friend's birthday.  As we sat around a plastic corner table underneath the harsh fluorescent lighting, Happy Meals strewn about, amid shouts about apple juice ownership (no, you can't have all three juice boxes) and arguments over whether or not the barbecue sauce in itself was enough food for lunch (what if it's licked off the McNuggets, Mom, does that count?), it had never been more drastically clear how much life has changed.

This was a birthday party?  Not to say it wasn't fun.  I had a blast and so did my babies.  Everyone was moderately well-behaved, and one place you'll never have to defend yourself as a mom of two year olds is a McDonald's.  We won all around.  Still, it was a far cry from closing the bar at 2 a.m. after free birthday shots all night.  It was a far cry from hopping from club to club, dancing the night away.  It was a far cry from collapsing at 5 a.m. to a house full of empty beer bottles and rowdy friends.  It was a far cry from the birthdays of my young adulthood.

To be honest, I don't miss those birthday parties at all.  I didn't get many of them.  I only spent a few years single after college, and those years were enough.  I remember joking with a friend of mine once after all the bars had closed and we'd gone to an apartment after-party, "We've found the after, where's the party?"

Well, former self, the party was at McDonald's yesterday, with a couple of toddlers.  While there are many differences between a young adult definition of party and a child's definition of party, I really believe (now, after having children) that the adult version is simply an unsuccessful attempt to bring back the joviality and pure fun of a child's party.  Adults have so much more to escape, they need so much more to loosen up and allow themselves to have a good time, they feel as if they are lacking in so many more ways.  All of these factors veiled just behind the adult-party curtain stop the fun short of that which my toddlers experienced bungling around in the McDonald's playscape.

After unknowingly searching for years for the elusive party of happiness, I've found it in the most unlikely place -- an afternoon trip to McDonald's with the babies.  I'll never get back the innocent child-like happiness at the surprise nickel-toy in a Happy Meal, but being able to live through it with  my children has got to be the next best thing.

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  1. That's how I feel too. I got excited for my boys when McDonald's happy meal today where transformers.

  2. SO TRUE! I took Elise and Sam to McDonalds today with LJ's i_luv_hippos and her kids. It didn't have a ball pit, but I think I made Elise's week by getting her a Happy Meal My Little Pony lol

  3. I was just wondering today how hippos was! Where's she been?!

  4. But WHY can't I have all three juice boxes??? Gah, you're so mean.

    This post made me smile. It's funny how our ideas of what a "good time" is shift in time, eh?

    Despite the... issues associated with McDonalds (I know it isn't healthy. I now we're facing an obesity epidemic. I know, I know, I know) a post-storytime McDonald's lunch/playdate was the first time I sort of "broke in" to my current group of momfriends, and it happened when I was reeling in the wake of being a depressed newly-single mom, and -- there's absolutely a place for junk food, and for the fun, social, playful, bonding time that comes along with it.

    I'm glad you guys had fun!

    -Karinya @ Unlikely Origins



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