Generally speaking, I am a very honest person. I am also easily offended by less honest people, and feel vaguely superior to them as I am confident my integrity will not be compromised and my character will not be questioned. Well maybe it has been or it will be and I just don’t know it, but I’m pretty secure in the fact that I’m not a big fat liar when the chips are down.
So, where do I draw the line on the whole children’s menu thing? So far, it’s not an issue. My son, Red Bull, is now twelve and eats like your average twelve year old boy or farm animal. He does not order from the children’s menu anymore. He generally has expensive taste and is the first to ask, “Do they have lobster?” as he is lunging toward the bread basket and dropping butter on his pants. My ten year old daughter, MelloYello, is a tall, athletic machine who independently self monitors her portions and makes intelligent food choices. No idea where she learned that. When we go out, she enjoys a treat as much as the next guy and she usually goes for the grilled cheese sandwich or cheese quesadilla. She is still legally entitled to order from the kid’s menu, so it’s all good (and all cheese). Sprite is just six years old, so she always orders from the children’s menu, and no matter how delicate the glimmering panko crust on her succulent stack of chicken fingers, she will only eat the French fries and that’s just the way it is, please pass the ketchup and just back off already.
Now here’s the real question. Where do you draw the line on faking your kid’s age to get the children’s pricing? Is it a hard and fast rule or more of a general guideline? I never thought I’d fall victim to the children’s pricing cheat until I went to … yes, you know it’s coming. The Happiest Place on Earth.
Join me now on a family trip a few years ago. We are at the gates of Disney World. The children are dripping with anticipation and are already demanding stuffed toys, gimmicky accessories, and sugary beverages. All right now. Calm down everyone. Let’s just get in this long line of families with crying babies, parents wielding cans of sunscreen spray like graffiti artists gone wild, grandparents who are suddenly having grave second thoughts, and me, who can’t quite read the pricing on that board over there. What does that say? No really. What does that say? Holy. Friggin. Mickey. Mouse. My. Ass.
Okay, Sprite. Quick. I know you’re a big three year old girl, but just get into this stroller that we rented primarily to haul around our overpriced Disney loot, and crouch down so you look small. No, smaller. Now stop talking. You can’t speak. Okay this is fun. We’re having fun. Yay.
Um, Hi. Yeah two seniors, one adult (Mr. Sprite gave us his blessing, or urging, to go without him while he was 1,000 miles away at work. So wise, that man is.) two children. One baby. Yeah. She’s two. No charge for babies. Really? That’s great! MMhmmm. Thanks. Do you take American Express? Or just the title on my house? Okay. Yes. We’ll definitely enjoy the Princesses on parade at midnight if we’re not already dead from exhaustion, sunstroke and diabetic shock. Okay, You too. Have a great day.
Shhh. Sprite. Okay sweetie. You can come out now. See the castle? No, It’s okay. Come out now. Mommy was just kidding before. You can talk as much as you want now. Do you want a lollipop and an ice cream?
So we poured the $84 (I know, right?) we saved into bribes to get her out of the damn stroller. And then she wouldn’t get out. Except for It’s a Small World which is just a ridiculous waste of time unless you are two (sort of) or 102. And then we eventually gave up and went back to the hotel to go swimming. For free.