McDonald’s Playland turned into a nightmare

Ah, McDonald’s … “I’m Lovin It!” is the slogan for the restaurant that holds its place as the Number 1 fast-food joint in America.
They offer a variety of Happy Meals for children and toss in a crappy toy that inevitably just sits in one of my kid’s toy bins.
The food isn’t that great, but as a parent, I tolerate the restaurant because, well, I have three kids. And, because McDonald’s seems to be the only place on the planet where my 3-year-old son will eat a cheeseburger, we visit there once a week.
Typically, I swing into the local Mickey D’s and bring the food home or we may park by the nearest railroad tracks and eat from our car.
Yesterday, I went “outside the box” and decided to take them to a McDonald’s that also had a … drums please … PLAYLAND!
Living in the country sometimes has its downfalls – like the fact we live nearly 25 minutes from the nearest McDonald’s with a playland. But, since it was raining yesterday and the kids were climbing the walls, I decided to take them to the “McDonald’s with toys” as they call it.
We got there, ordered the food and began what I was hoping was going to be a semi-peaceful lunch (right) inside the Playland. The twins were eating and eventually, just looking at the playland full of kids got to be too much for them and I let them go play.
Not 5 minutes later, I hear SCREAMING and CRYING … Parents know these sounds and can tell immediately if they should abandon their awesome lunch and run for the playland.
That was me yesterday.
I threw down my fork in my salad and ran to the jungle of kids as my 3-year-old daughter was making her way down the steps. Her brother was on her heels.
I looked at her and then I saw it. Her face had this massive, 50-cent piece mark with scratches on it. I asked what happened and heard from two little mouths, “So and So PINCHED her cheek!!!!”
The mom came running over and frantically began looking for her roughly 18-month-old son who terrorized my child. I just grabbed my daughter and saw her face and then I turned to look at the other parent – I am pretty sure arrows were darting out of my eyes as I said, “LOOK AT THIS!”
She found the terror and made him apologize, but I am pretty sure he had no idea what he had done at 18 months of age.
After looking a bit closer at the mark, I saw blood, so I asked her “Is he up-to-date on his shots?” She said yes, but I have no idea if she was lying or not. I left the area and put ice on her face as she sat in my lap at what was supposed to be a fun afternoon.
Eventually, the grandmother came over and also said she was very sorry for what happened.
And then they left.
Luckily, she is pretty resilient and no sooner had they left, she went back to her “friends” on the playland toys and resumed to her happy-go-lucky self.
I on the other hand could not shake what happened to her. I know kids will be kids, but what took place yesterday made me wonder what type of environment the children were living in on a daily basis. Was hitting, pinching and biting going on in their home every day, or was this a one-time deal?
I am hoping it was a one-time ordeal, because if not, I would hate to know what happened to the children when they got home.

1 thought on “McDonald’s Playland turned into a nightmare”

  1. I am willing to bet that: (a) the kid was knocked around and that is why they think behavior like this is OK; or (b) nothing happened and the kid continued to act like an animal while the overly permissive and worn-out mother moved on to the next topic in life.

    Without proper adult influences, some children quickly adopt a Lord of the Flies view on life.

    You are brave taking your kids to Playland. Those places always scare me. God knows how many boogers, pee puddles and poop smears are lurking in those ball pits, rope ladders and habi-trail tunnels. We stopped at really bad one in upstate NY once. There was not a full set of teeth in the whole place. I swear you could hear the banjo plucking out the theme to Deliverance.

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