Sunday, December 9, 2012

Junk in the Park

I fed my kids complete garbage sitting cross legged on the grass at a local park on Friday.

And it felt good.

When Maddy was born, we were very young parents. I was still a teenager, and we didn't really bother with cooking much back then. We ate out at cafes and restaurants, or bought takeaway most nights, or ate microwave meals.

When Maddy was a toddler, we were always getting takeaway and eating outdoors somewhere. It was fun, she could play on equipment, and it wasn't like life was so busy.

I don't know when we grew up. We did though. Takeaway is a rarity in our home now. And usually its planned - Chinese night or something, but we don't just pick up pizza's or Macca's very often. Meals are planned around life activities, bedtimes, budgets, nutrition and variety etc. And so they should be! Maddy is almost 12, we have a hungry toddler and newborn with formula needs, but even with inflation, my weekly food budget is $100 less each week than it was 10 years ago.

But even so. We found ourselves out and about with nothing organised for dinner, so we grabbed an $8 pizza, some burger and drink freebies from Hungry Jacks (please tell me I am not the only tight arse taking complete advantage of their IPhone app, its always good for a free slushie for Maddy on a hot day) and a $1 thickshake. We were headed home, when I spotted a park and made Hubby pull in.

He didn't think twice. Like me, he remembered lazy evenings spent at parks with a toddler Maddy. The girls wolfed down their greasy dinner, wiping sticky fingers on the grass, and raced off to play on the equipment. 

Our only mistake was giving Lolly a try of the Strawberry thickshake. She's only had water, milk and watery juice to drink before then and the thickshake pretty much rocked her world. Once she sipped it, she claimed it, and there was no getting it off her again. Hubby and I had to share Maddy's disgusting blue slushie with her instead.

We need to do this more often. Careers, kids activities, life in general took away these quiet, cheap evenings that my kids enjoyed so much. I'm going to make sure that there is time sometimes to sit cross legged on the grass. Sometimes dinner doesn't need to be a balanced meal at home, sometimes it can just be fun junk in the park.

Did you grow up and not notice like me? Take the time to eat at the park sometimes?

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