Saturday, March 3, 2012
2012 Slice-of-Life Story Challenge | 3
So, today was full of typical Saturday fare... My husband kept Reid busy so I could sleep in, we dilly-dallied around until it was time to make the weekly pilgrimage to Super Target for groceries (and everything else I'm invited to 'need' while there); then for kicks, this week, we added lunch at McDonald's.
Now I know, that may sound funny. I mean, we have a two-year old. So, McDonald's shouldn't be a stretch. And, it really isn't. But, typically we hit the drive-thru (and like bad parents) pass our toddler back bits of burger and fingerfuls of fries while we finish the trip home.
Munching on salads, fried chicken, and cheeseburgers galore at our oval table, my husband made an interesting observation: I thought all McDonald's stores have a Play Place. Didn't they used to? This one doesn't... And, that idea turned my mind into a veritable card catalog of all the franchise locations I've driven by, stopped at, or driven through in the past few years. You know what? It's true.
In my Midwestern metropolitan area, the big push right now with McDonald's restaurants is rebuilding. The company will close a store, tear it down, rebuild a modern one complete with the tandem coffee house (sorry, it'll never be Starbucks!), and then open it six weeks later full of up-to-date amenities like lounge chairs and fireplaces. But, the one amenity which doesn't resurface is the Play Place. In fact, I can only think of one store right now (and that's up near my hometown) that still offers the space. Evidently, its number hasn't come up yet...
Reid doesn't even know to associate McDonald's with playing after dinner like I so lovingly did as a small child. Some of my fondest memories include when my grandparents would take all my cousins at the same time once each year for dinner and playing at McDonald's. For him, Chick-Fil-A is the new McDonald's because the posh play area is integral to the restaurant's design and overall company mission to serve families the best they can. We never do the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A because it's far more fun to eat inside In honest terms, skipping the play area afterward would be darn near unacceptable.
So, why do places that claim to be for kids cut out the kid-friendly amenities? An inquisitive slice for this Saturday...