McDonald’s: Home of the brown meat circle

  • Friday, February 13, 2009 1:46pm
  • Life

It’s certainly cliché but still continually amazing what our children can pick up from us. Even when we’re not really trying that hard.

My husband Peter and I and our 5-year-old Dashiell took Dash’ friend Salem to a show. Afterwards, we told Salem that we were going to go for a snack and asked her if she liked McDonald’s. At 4, Salem is a very articulate child, precocious in many ways and not afraid to express her opinion. She said she did indeed like fries and would also like to eat a “brown meat circle with ketchup and pickles.”

A brown meat circle? Hilarious. And clearly a phrase she must have gotten from her parents, Tammy Weisberger and Rob O’Neal.

Not so. We come to find out though that Tammy refuses to take Salem to McDonald’s (it’s different when Salem’s grandparents are in town), though neither she nor Rob preach about the ill effects of fast food. They admitted sending some subtle messages to Salem that McDonald’s is a place that if you eat there too much, you will get fat.

Well. That subtle message took hold. While eating her brown meat circle and fries in the back seat on our ride back to Everett, Salem loudly proclaimed that McDonald’s was “loserville” and anyone who ate there a lot would get fat.

I think this story really sends the message about how receptive these little sponges can be and how easy it can be for us parents to do our ‘brainwashing.’

Cookie Monster’s subtle reminder that treats are a ‘sometimes food’ can actually work. And Peter and I don’t harp about against fast food chains; we simply never sit down to a meal at McDonald’s because we don’t want to send the message that it’s a real restaurant.

What messages have your kids picked up from you when you weren’t trying?

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