Wednesday, February 28, 2007

House and Home III

I was doing the checkbook the other day, because, you know, it's February. And February is the time to pull out the January statement, print out the February interim statement (laugh mockingly at the August-December statements), find Quicken 2003 on the computer, and start a new file. Suffice it to say that I'm not a good money manager.

So in the process of entering almost 2 months worth of deposits and charges, I came across some entries that sparked some recent memories.

To wit:
1/30/07 McDonald's 12.91
This should have been about $20, but it was the day after the new McDonald's opened up and they were running a 99-cent special on kids' meals.

This particular McDonald's had been closed and had slipped its Dec 06 re-opening date. I had stopped paying attention to it, but my wife drives by the location with some frequency, usually with Jonah in the car.

So on that day (a Tuesday, if memory serves), she came home and said, "I have to clean the house. Take the boys to McDonald's after work. Then go somewhere else, maybe the grocery store. You like the grocery store, right? Go and don't come home for at least 2 hours."

And I said, "Ok."

So I took the boys to the new McDonald's and a good time was had by all. Jonah got his cheeseburger Happy Meal, I got a Coke, and they all got to run around kicking and screaming in the new PlayPlace. One of the ladies from our babysitting co-op was there, and true to form I didn't recognize her at all. Jonah talked with her similarly aged son for about 10 minutes before she turned around and introduced herself.

Sitting behind me was a poor girl trying to do her Accounting homework. I apologized for the noise (4 boys + new McDonald's PlayPlace + friends = lots and lots of noise), but she pointed out that she had brought her son here so that he could play while she did her homework. Good for her.

It was on this trip in particular that I noticed Jonah's new eating habits. He eats a lot, and does so all the time. There's a growth spurt coming soon. That night, he ate his entire cheeseburger, all of his fries, 3 of Sam's chicken nuggets, the remaining half of Sam's fries, 2 of my chicken nuggets, and a handful if my fries. It's at this point that I'm thanking God for the produce co-op with its big box of apples and bananas, and for the inspiration for the "any fruit, any time" rule.

That night is also worth remembering because it was the last time Timothy got a kid's meal. For a few months now, the portions of the kids' meals just haven't been enough. Mama Fu's, McDonald's, Chick-fil-a, none of them give enough food for my 9-year-old. And so, in the checkbook, the very next McDonald's entry is this:
02/15/07 McDonald's $17.34
That's pretty high, especially considering that there's only 4 of us. But now, instead of Timothy getting a $3 Happy Meal, he's getting his first adult combo. He likes those Chick-fil-a knockoff sandwiches they have (southern style?) and so I got him the combo meal with that in it. He loved it, and ate the whole thing.

What does this bode? Well, it portends us eating out a little less often, unless I strike it rich. If Timothy is eating adult-sized portions, then it's only about a year or two before Stephen does the same, then Jonah a year after that, then Sam a few years later. And then my $20 night out at McDonald's becomes $30-$40. Mama Fu's goes from $30 to $50, etc.

And no more entries like this in the checkbook:
1/17/07 Chick-fil-a $17.75
1/19/07 Chick-fil-a $ 4.68
1/20/07 Chick-fil-a $ 7.31
Still, I'd rather have children than money. And as a very wise woman once asked me, "Do you really think God would give you all those children and then not provide for them?" I agree, and hope that said provision also covers a bi-weekly McDonald's run. I don't want to be the one to break the news to Jonah if it doesn't.


Post a Comment

<< Home