wonderous strange snow

This week was all about gratitude. Gratitude that I don't live in Chicago anymore. Haha, suckas! I asked Trent last night whether he was disappointed not to be in Chicago experiencing history and was very surprised when he said yes, a little. I'm more than content to miss out on that one, thank you very much. 

[Nugget just asked me to help him with something and when I hovered a second too long afterward he ordered me to "go back to work." Love his growing independence.] 

Although it is much warmer here than in Chicago, and although we are partly in the rain shadow of the Olympics, it is still pretty wet and this puts a damper--ha--on outdoor activities. Even if it's not raining for the moment, the playground equipment is usually all wet. So we have become frequent visitors to a place I have not been in years. To my shame, Nugget's growing vocabulary now includes "a'Donald's." Which is not to say that we are eating there all the time. Although we do sometimes. And I am torn between delight that Nugget is actually eating chicken--protein that's not cheese!--and wondering morbidly what is actually in a McNugget. I have never recovered from seeing Supersize Me.

One wet day when I really wanted to curl up with a latte and a book and Nugget really wanted to run around like a crazy man, I had the naive idea of heading to "McCafe" to satisfy both our needs. Sadly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, I discovered that a latte at McDonald's tastes like McDoald's coffee--colored water with a bitter aftertaste--with steamed milk. Sigh. So much for finding SAHM paradise.

So why is it that McDonald's and its ilk are the only option for a free indoor playground? Why doesn't Starbucks--or better yet, Tully's or Peet's or Intelligentsia or Argo, or even better yet, since I'm dreaming, an independent coffee shop with free wifi, used books, comfy couches, a roaring fire (childproofed), and a hearty helping of character--have a play area like McDonald's? Why not Panera or Noodles & Co. or Potbelly or Corner Bakery or even Subway, some place with healthier food? OK, McDonald's salads are actually quite good. But (a) there's no salad HappyMeal, and Nugget wouldn't eat it anyway, (b) I still feel like there must be some health-destroying processed-food chemicals sprinkled on the salad (why else would it taste so good?), and (c) at least one time out of five if I'm at McDonald's I'm going to cave and get a Quarter Pounder with cheese. Because the health-destroying processed-food chemicals are in the same family as crack cocaine, as far as I can tell.

Would some like-minded entrepreneur please get on this, and open a branch in my hometown ASAP?

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