In my last post, I talked about "my cousin" who fed her daughter McDonald's every day after school for a year. I wasn't entirely honest about that. It wasn't my cousin. It was me. I apologize for the ruse, although I'll explain in a minute.
In any case, I wasn't the one who fed my daughter the McDonald's. I was the one who ate McDonald's. From roughly ages 9 through 11, my mother brought me to McDonald's for dinner every weeknight.
*cue horrified gasps*
According to some of the comments, I now am incredibly obese. I have serious stomach and liver problems. My cholesterol is through the roof. My blood pressure is sky high. I have type II diabetes. And I continue to eat horribly and take my kids to McDonald's with equal frequency.
Except none of that is actually true. My BMI is about 20. My cholesterol level is excellent, as is my blood pressure. I had two completely healthy pregnancies, and both times lost all my baby weight within a month. I certainly don't have type II diabetes. I cook dinner at home most nights, and limit our fast food trips to maybe once a week, with minimal guilt.
How is that possible? According to the comments, I should be in an ICU right now, or at least on insulin.
Let me back up a little....
When I was in fourth grade, I went to a school that was about a mile away from my house. Every day, my mother would come pick me up at school, and we'd walk home together. There was a McDonald's on the way. We'd stop inside and I'd order... well, I don't remember. Something incredibly unhealthy, no doubt. And probably very tasty, since I was a really picky eater. But I do remember I always drank two cartons of lowfat milk, no soda.
We'd usually spend over an hour at McD's. I would tell my mother about my day, then she'd help me with my homework. Sometimes she'd give me a lesson that she made up herself. She bought SAT books, and when I finished doing my homework, she had me work on math problems from the SAT books. (I scored 650 in math when I took the SATs at age 12.) Then when it was getting late, we'd walk home. I didn't watch any TV at night... when we got home, I'd pretty much go straight to bed.
Sometimes these days I'll say to her, "I can't freaking believe you let me eat dinner at McDonald's for years." Her reply is usually along the lines of, "Leave me alone, life was difficult back then. And you know I can't cook." (She really can't.) It's hard to really get angry because I actually have good memories of those days. Maybe I didn't eat the healthiest dinner in the world, but I got some exercise and I learned a lot. Is that neglect? Is that wrong? Would I have been better off if she did things differently?
I guess the purpose of my post was that we need to look at an entire picture before we make a judgement. Or maybe that these little "bad things" we do as parents aren't as harmful as we think they are, as long as we're doing other things right.