Happy meals and growing up.

We all know that kids grow up too fast don’t we? We spend so much of our time saying that they are growing, getting older and bigger, but it’s the little things that roll up and give us a jolt, remind us that they are growing all too fast.

Recently, I’ve had two of those occasions.

It started on a Saturday afternoon, we were coming back from wherever we had been on a family day out and we decided that we were going to nip into the service station to grab a McDonalds. It’s not a massively common occurrence in our family but it’s common enough that we knew, without asking, the order would be three chicken nugget happy meals. It’s a given right?

I went to make the order and a little voice in the background shouts “mummy, can I have chicken nuggets instead? I’m not bothered about the chips. Could I get a 20 box?”

Firstly, how do you know what a 20 box is (“daddy and me shared one”) and secondly, don’t you want a toy?? You won’t get one! His little reply “Yeah, it’s ok mummy. I’m not bothered about the toy, I’m a bit grown up now and I’d just give it to Edie.”


I ordered him a 9 box of chicken nuggets with a tear in the eye and paid the bewildered cashier who was wondering why a box of chicken nuggets was being met with such a look of resentment.

Such a silly thing, but as I watched him tucking into his nuggets and totally disinterested in his siblings toys, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a moment. A moment where something had changed and my child was past a barrier that I never even saw. He was growing up, he wasn’t filled with excitement at a crappy little toy in his meal box, didn’t care for the jokes on the side of the box, he was past that stage, a stage I didn’t even know existed. He just wanted his food and that was that.

The second occasion was with Toby, and perhaps slightly more standard, though still infinitesimal enough that only a parent would notice the passage of time, the growing of a soul.

We were stood in the kitchen playing football (something that they aren’t supposed to do but that they do. All the time.) and Toby slipped. I jumped forwards as normally this would illicit tears from him. He’s very like me when I was younger, tears come thick and fast in moments of embarrassment, if he is laughed at it can be so upsetting for him. He’d slipped over and bumped himself, I could see the frustration across his little face as Reuben cackled with laughter, so in I stepped. The one he comes to when he’s angry, the one he can rely on when he is frustrated beyond measure and the tears are threatening.

This time, this specific time, he didn’t need me. He jumped up, glowered at his brother and rubbed his knee. I asked him if he wanted a cuddle and he just smiled and said “no mummy, it’s ok, I’m good.”

That was it. The game resumed and the moment was gone.

As a mother, there are moments when I’m not really sure how to proceed, I feel like the rug has been tugged our from underneath me, I’ve been given a rude awakening and I am unsure of what to do. I spend so much of my time working and trying to make sure that all of the kids live their best lives every day, but them simple moments like these, inconsequential and totally unimportant, remind me that I’m riding a freight train that is barrelling it’s way towards the day they grow up and move out and off to university, the day they get married or perhaps not but choose someone to spend their lives with.

It’s the smallest things in motherhood, it’s the simplest moments, the most un-noticeable things that are the hugest, most in depth and noticed moments of our lives.

H 🙂

The boys pjs were sent to us by Homebody and you can grab some (plus adult versions) here.

1 Comment

  1. April 10, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    I empathise with this so much. My kids go mad for the happy meal toy, them being over it would be a BIG deal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.