This morning my boys and I sat at the kitchen table to make a list of everything special we wanted to do this summer. The obvious answers of "Children's Museum" and "Zoo" made the list quickly, but then something funny happened. They started listing off restaurants. The same restaurants we always go to. Places we've been in the last week or two.
My initial thought was, "that's not very imaginative." But when I thought about it some more, I realized some things.
First, anything out of the routine (even something as simple as lunch at McDonald's) is special. Just taking time to break out of schedule and switch up life a little bit is exciting to a three year old.
Second, they enjoy what we do together, even if it is just having dinner. They love having the attention my husband and I lavish on them when we are out to eat. That attention is largely our monitoring of appropriate behavior for a meal out with the general public. But we are hyper-focused on them, and they lap it up.
Finally, my own reaction to adding fast food joints to the list...YES! Not cooking is always a vacation-worthy endeavor!