Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Handy Manny and the Great McNugget Compromise

We babysit our grandson, M, every Friday. He is one of three reasons we moved up here to NH. The other two are his parents, my daughter and my son-in-law. The three of them bring us tremendous joy, love, and happiness. (Side Note: - We refer to my grandson as M, because we all agree that his digital footprint should be as small as possible.)

As grandparents, we do what most grandparents do with their grandchild. We spoil him. One of his treats is a McDonald's Happy Meal, but mom and dad don't want that to become a habit. Jill and I understand, but are torn. We don't want to be the bad guys and we don't want to make mom and dad the bad guys.

To be honest, I completely understand not wanting Chicken McNuggets becoming a fixture of his diet, but it he looks forward to the Happy Meal prize even more than the food. It pains us to have to take that away.

So what do we do? Is there a good compromise? Actually, there are a few, but I thought it was rather ironic that on the day they asked us not to make McDonald's a regular thing, M. and I were watching a TV show that taught kids about compromise.

We were watching Handy Manny. If you are not familiar with Manny, he is an animated handyman whose eight best friend are his his saw, flashlight, pipe wrench, hammer, pliers, standard screw driver, Phillips head screw driver, and tape measure. He has conversations and adventures with all of them. Now if my handyman talked to his tools, I would be concerned. However, kids have no problem with it.

Anyway, today Manny was building a fence for one of the townspeople, but there was disagreement between the man and his neighbor as to the type of fence needed. One wanted a 6' solid, green fence and the other wanted a 5' white picket fence. To make a long story short, the compromise was a 5' solid fence with a 1 foot lattice work on top with one side painted green and the other white.

Taking a cue from Manny, we're going to come up with the McDonald's compromise. Instead of taking him to McDonald's for McNuggets at 11:30, we'll take him a 10:15 for oatmeal with fruit and he'll get his prize for eating the oatmeal.

What's that you say? There are no oatmeal Happy Meals for breakfast. Well, you're right, but the prize will come from the Happy Meal I buy and consume myself the day before.

That should make M happy, satisfy mom and dad, make Manny proud, and give me a junk food fix I miss since starting Weight Watchers. (I'll still stay within my daily point allowance.)

So that’s what I learned from Handy Manny, though I still think holding conversations with your tools is a bit much.