My Drug Of Choice Is Leftover Sonic

There is a scene that plays out in my household and in my head at least a couple of times a week. We go about our busy day as a family of four and at the end of the day there is no dinner in sight, prepared or otherwise. My wife, who is supposed to prepare an eight course meal for us every night (pretty sure it’s Biblical) has inevitably left all of her “cooking energy” in the hot yoga studio or at the tennis court.

Being a huge proponent of self preservation and hoping to live past my fortieth birthday (so I can have a proper mid-life crisis), let me assure you that nothing I stated in the previous paragraph is true, nor do these statements represent the thoughts or feelings of me, my children, any of our acquaintances or anyone we have known in the past or might meet in the future…so help me God (in all seriousness, and because someone will inevitably not understand anything I am saying, my wife run’s our world and everyone, including me, knows it). But I digress.

When the family is tired and we didn’t quite make it to the grocery store, or if our kids have done something for which we want to celebrate (or reward them like dogs), we sometimes give them the choice of picking somewhere to eat. No holds barred. The world is your oyster kids. Go get ’em. Something peculiar happens to me every time we offer them this choice.

You see, my kids are wise beyond their years at the ripe old ages of 2 and 4 (“4 1/2 daddy!”). When we ask them what they want to eat, there are only two options in the universe that might come out of their mouths. It’s either gonna be pizza or Sonic. There are zero exceptions. McDonalds? No way. Burger King? Burger what? Hardees? Hardly. Pizza or Sonic. Nothing else will do.

So when this situation presents itself, every time we give them a “choice,” I get a familiar feeling inside. It’s the same feeling you got the first time you went to a school dance. It’s the same feeling you got the first time you scored a goal or a point in a sporting event. It’s pure excitement and pure joy. Like a kid in a candy store. I giggle on the inside.

You see, I know something about my kids. They have big eyes and little stomachs. There is a 100% chance that they aren’t even going to finish half of their food. Guess what that means? Daddy gets the goods! What can I say? I don’t like food to go to waste. At least that is usually what I tell myself inside.

“Don’t be wasteful Grant! Finish that food. It’s good fiscal policy. You’re a man. Eat it!”

The problem with this amazing pot of cheeseburger gold at the end of the Sonic rainbow is that I, like so many others, am on a stupid diet. Yes, sadly, at the age of 34, I am no longer in my prime. I am a cliche. I am a stereotype. I need to lose some elbeese (take a minute, you’ll get it). Well guess what doesn’t go well with a healthy diet. You got it. A freakin cheeseburger, fries, sugar ketchup and some leftover nibs of a poor excuse for a chicken nugget. Nope. Back loading trans fat and grease at the end of my day is not something my nutritionist (whatup Jamie) would want from me.

There are really only two solutions to this ever present conundrum. First, we could stop letting our kids eat fast food. Smiley face emoji. Laughing emoji. Smiley face emoji. Angry face emoji. Sunglasses emoji. Poo emoji (just for fun). Give me a minute while I gather myself and stop laughing obnoxiously into my computer screen.

If you have kids. You understand. If you don’t, take your washboard abs, your full social calendar, your clean, stylish car, your sweet downtown condo and your hopes and dreams and just walk into the other room for a few minutes. You don’t get it. Hopefully you will one day. Every time a friend of mine announces they are having a baby, I get super excited. Not because I am happy for them like a normal person. No, I am excited because they will finally know the soul crushing world that is being a parent (#blessed, #mycuprunnethover, #tothemoon, #myheartisfull). All you parents are thinking it. I am just saying it.

Since that option is a no go, there is only one other choice. Pure, unadulterated willpower, of which I seem to have less and less as I get over. So I fight. I fight the urge to vacuum up all of the leftover bits and pieces like one of those crazy floor robots. I fight for the little bit of masculinity I have left. I fight for all of the dad bods out there who wouldn’t eat it if it wasn’t right stinkin there on the table of front of them! I fight to avoid the shame that accompanies those last precious bites of cheese, pickles and the amazing marriage of ketchup and mustard.

I’m not the only one who struggles with not eating children’s refuse. If I am, chalk it up to an inherent survival mechanism.

Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. Tonight, as my kids basked in the glory of their greasy wonder, I ate grilled chicken and broccoli…in silence and with an angry look on my face. The sad thing is, its been twenty minutes since I finished that meal and I still don’t have abs.

Oh well. Maybe they’ll show up in the morning.