Yesterday we did an easy 2-mile hike down a beautiful trail overlooking Crystal Springs. Some of my cousins and my aunt and uncle came as well, and we were having some good Bay Area weather that morning. It was my first hike with my little toddler, so I was unsure how the morning was going to pan out, especially since it happened to be nap time. I was crossing my fingers hoping that the bumpy road would lull her to sleep in her stroller. Ah, if only we lived in a perfect world.
The minute she realized I was the one pushing the stroller, she lost it. Cue the fake cry. I reassured everyone that she was just trying to get me to carry her and that she would quiet down in a minute. My aunt, however, was not too pleased with my cry-it-out method. And, of course, because little 14-month-olds are amazingly smart, my daughter picked up on this and worked the system. Baby Dylann knew exactly what to do to get my aunt to crack, and just like that she was free from her restraints. We were still half a mile from the end of the trail, and my poor back cringed in anticipation of the cute 20-pound load it was about to carry. It’s a good thing my husband walked back to meet us (he ditched us earlier and started running) as he ended up carrying her the rest of the way.
My aunt wanted to eat at this seafood restaurant called Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, and it was going to be a bit of a drive to get there due to weekend traffic. Luckily I brought snacks! If there’s one thing I learned as a first-time-mom it’s that the way to my daughter’s heart is through her stomach. Unfortunately my snacks ran out (I forgot that I should have packed for the rest of my family, too!) and we still had to wait 1.5 hours for a table. Dylann woke up from her nap and I knew she was going to be hungry. With no more food and more than an hour to wait, I had to make a decision. So, I did the unthinkable.
I took her to McDonald’s. gasp.
There’s a lot of pressure on today’s first-time-moms…
- Have a natural, drug-free birth. It’s better for the baby.
- You should make your own baby food. It’s better for her.
- Cloth diapering is easy! It’s better for the environment and for your little one!
- Don’t feed her any fast food. She’ll grow up craving it.
You can imagine my guilt. But you know what? Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. And you can’t feel bad about it. The reality is that you set the tone for how your kid is going to live his/her life in the future, and though I want my child to be healthy I also want her to know that it’s ok to break the rules every now and then. Plus, her Happy Meal came with a cute little minion, and who doesn’t love minions? You got me there, McDonald’s.
Dylann ended up eating a small handful of fries and one chicken nugget. That was enough to hold her over until the “real food” came. Mmmm…lobster roll. I’m still dreaming about it.
It was a fun afternoon, and I got over my McDonald’s guilt pretty quickly. I know that I do my best to live a healthy lifestyle and set a good example for my daughter, and I can of course always do better. But she’s growing, she’s happy and healthy, and I can’t ask for much else.