Not bad for a fat girl

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots


Scour the news for an entirely uninteresting story. Consider how it connects to your life. Write about that.

The news is full of all sorts of stories from the horrifying to the absurd. The story I chose caught my eye because it was about a father’s unwillingness to take his child to McDonald’s and the fallout from that decision. Really?

In a nutshell, it’s about divorce, choices, and outside interference from psychologists, lawyers, and judges. It’s not about McDonald’s at all. Here’s the story: Dad gets almost 5 year old for dinner once a week. fast-foodBoy wants McDonald’s for dinner. Day says no. Boy tantrums. Dad says anything BUT McDonald’s or no dinner. Boy chooses no dinner. Dad returns boy to mom. Dad deemed unfit parent. Dad’s visitation with son is on the line and Dad sues psychologist who recommends limiting visitation. Big. Ugly. Mess.

How sad that a parent can’t say no to his child without being accused of something sinister. Of course this isn’t about going to McDonald’s or not going to McDonald’s. It’s about finding an in, a chink in the armor, the Achille’s Heel, of your adversary. I’m sure son was upset at being taken back to mom without dinner. I’m sure mom was unhappy that son was upset and unfed. But somewhere, she had a flash of brilliance and used the incident to further her own agenda of limiting son’s exposure to dad. Maybe she has good reason. I don’t know these people. Maybe dad is an awful person on another level. But this isolated incident is not indicative of anything troublesome. In fact, I think it’s decent parenting. Sometimes we say no, and we mean it. That is an important lesson for an almost five year old.

I’m so glad I was able to teach those types of lessons to my son when he was small without any fear that his father would somehow twist them and use them against me. Would the incident where I walked out of the grocery store with a screaming three year old, my full cart stashed in the beer cooler (at the manager’s suggestion) have caused me to be labeled unfit? Would the scolding and swat on the bottom after running away in a busy mall have labeled me abusive? I don’t know, but those incidents could have been twisted and transformed into something ugly and harmful.

I think we are too quick to want to further our own agendas without looking at what is best for the greater good, in this instance a boy who really needs love, guidance, and limits from the adults who love him.

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Author: BulgingButtons

I'm a middle aged woman doing the things that middle aged women do and trying not to beat myself up. I'm living the life I choose with the man I love, the grown up son who impresses me all the time, and the most adorable pup ever rescued from the euthanasia list. We live in the heat of the Southwest, where I regularly sweat through my Lane Bryant bras.

12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots

  1. Oh brilliantly said. I absolutely agree with you. What a sad story; what a terrifying indictment of our society. xx

    • I worry for so many children of divorce, my own included, and his father and I get along well. What about those caught in the crossfire of venom and hatred? So sad.

      • And so unnecessary, I always feel. Yes, I saw many children brutalised by that crossfire of venom and hatred in my thirty years as a teacher. xx

  2. This is really well written! And such a good point! Terrible to think that saying no makes us terrible parents… (I’m not a parent, but as a teacher of young, young kids… no is often absolutely necessary).

    Good connection! I was afraid of this prompt because I didn’t know how to put stuff together, but you did it really well!

  3. You’re so right– it’s not about MacDonalds. Life was so much easier when my kids got old enough to make their own choices about which parent they wanted to live with. I hated that period of always second-guessing everything you do and wondering what is getting related back to your ex. Messy stuff. Your analysis is bang-on.

  4. You hit the nail on the head when you said it wasn’t about MacDonalds but more about the parents not getting along and the mom finding any tiny reason to punish the father. Sadly I see parents who put their kids in the middle everyday and its so sad. The poor kids never did anything wrong and some how they always end up in the middle.

  5. i almost chose this story as well. I’m regularly floored that a parent can choose point-scoring over their child’s emotional welfare.

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