There are many downsides of the "McDonald's Years", those being the years that you spend more time than you'll ever spend in your life, ever again, at McDonalds with your kids.
Downsides include food that is only so exciting, though perfectly edible if I'm being honest, and also the fact that this food costs as much as 'real food' elsewhere. Gone are the days when you'd get change back from your dollar. If you remember those commercials, you're in my age bracket. The upside is that a 53 year old guy gets to set up his kids' Happy Meal toys in a fun match-up that makes the kids think Dad is pretty cool.
Witness Starscream telling Megatron that he's pretty much had it up to here. Eat red plastic, you jerk!
Yes, it's the much-maligned Happy Meals.
Kids love them and, admit it, so do you. If, like me, you never grew up. You go in one day and it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Another visit gets you Transformers. Next time around, you could get a cool LEGO Hot Wheels car, or one of the many ultra-cool super-heroes that make the rounds. We even picked up some cool light-up Avatar action figures back when that movie was in town. The promotions change on a regular basis, but inside that fold-up box, which you can happily recycle, there's always a toy. That's what it's all about. And if you have more than one kid, you can ask the nice person to make sure they hand you different toys. Can't have two of the same.
Best of all, you can claim it's all for the kids. So enjoy the McDonalds years. And play nice with your toys.