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A Vegan at McDonalds

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There once was a moderately committed vegan who had two children. He did his best to feed them well, with a healthy mix of plant-based foods (and the occasional dessert). He also tried hard to take them outside for some exercise every day. But in an east coast town, weather is inevitable, and when the rains came down, this man had limited options to keep his kids entertained. The mall playground. Chick-fil-A . McDonald's. (Or "Inside park," "Chickalay" and "Old McDonald's"  as his kids called them.) These were the options, and out of the three, Old McDonald's had the best play place. It could be dirty at times, and with this season's high level of flu going around, he carefully weighed his options each time the sun didn't shine. But occasionally Old McDonald's won out, and there they headed, sanitizer in tow. But what does a vegan eat at McDonald's, or any fast food restaurant for that matter? Not much. A bunch of fries and

Marker & Toothpaste

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It's no secret that life as a parent is filled with messes . Well, the other day my wife was cooking sushi (how cool is that?) and I was working on the car (lame...), and somehow in our shuffle in and out of the dining room, this happened: Yes, that is sharpie on our nice dining room table. Katie immediately cleaned it with a wet wipe, to no avail. "Why do permanent markers even exist?" I asked, a little peeved and spouting out nonsense. The table was a gift from a friend, and though a solid one, we try not to put much stock in material possessions, especially with kids around. Still, that is kind of an eyesore, isn't it? Back in the yonder days, we used to ask our neighbors or moms about how to clean up messes like this, now we just have Brother Google to help out. I searched and found this site , which suggested using toothpaste, of all things. Here is a little foreshadowing: I wouldn't be writing this if something didn't happen... That is

Stingy

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I'll admit it: I have spent most of my life being pretty stingy. I would probably attribute it to not really having an abundance most of the time -- always enough, but not a lot extra. Maybe this is my fault -- career choices and the such -- but whatever. I have lots of embarrassing stories where I cheaped out on myself and my friends, but I stand here ashamed and working towards a more generous Rick. So fast forward to the parenting version of me and, though I am much better in this arena of life (thanks almost exclusively to my wife), I can still be quite stingy. Almost every day the kids eat oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. Well, blueberries can be pretty expensive, so I try to balance cost with giving my kids a nutritious breakfast, as well as meeting their massive appetites; which means I can't give them as much as they want, but I still strive for a solid coverage. Well, today I was doing the blueberry dance and found myself in the same predicament as usual. Bu

Lunchbox

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My kids go to a half-day preschool twice a week, and my main responsibility in the matter is to get them there on time and make them a lunch. At first it was a huge stress -- getting kids anywhere on time is difficult -- but we've worked it out. Every week my girls go through their lunchbox on the way to school to check out what I made them, to see if they approve  or not. It is pretty annoying to be honest, but today something occurred to me. "Don't you trust that I made you a good lunch?" I said with disdain, and a bible verse immediately popped in my head: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  ( Luke 11:11-13) My kids asking to preview their lunch boxes has got to be akin to us doubting God'