It’s been a day. It’s late. It’s hot. We’re sitting in traffic. Kids are hungry.

“Girls. You know this totally calls for fast food.”

Hope cheers.

Only it takes us forever to get to the Golden Arches because of all the crazy traffic.

Finally we pull up to the drive-through, and the line is long.

Hope places our order: “We need some French fries!”

We drive up to the second window, I quickly hand the woman the money, and the race is on.

Gotta get home fast. Because Rhema, my picky eater, is deeply offended by cold fries.

(Truth is, I strongly dislike cold fries, too. Now, I’m not going to call 911 over it like some people. But once they’re cold, they’re inedible. I’ve heard of people using a microwave to reheat them. This is no bueno. Soggy, limp fries are like a cake with no frosting – such a waste! Fries must be vetted. They need to be crispy. But not so crispy that they are approaching burned. And not the ones with the dark shriveled ends. McDonalds fries that are hot, salty and perfectly crispy are tolerable without ketchup, but Burger King and Wendy’s fries always require ketchup.)

So I drive like a maniac, get a little road rage on the way home. We hit every single light. Can’t believe these slowpoke drivers. I’m talking to the man in front of me like he can hear me. Seriously, dude? That light was so orange – you totally could have gone!

And then we get stuck at a railroad crossing, and the train lurches and crawls down the tracks.

But we’re almost home.

Yeah, I’m a tad over the speed limit. Thank goodness I don’t have a fish symbol on the minivan. If a policeman were to pull us over I’m sure he would totally understand the urgency of the situation – that I, I mean Rhema, cannot stomach cold fries. In fact, the friendly officer would probably escort us home, sirens blazing.

We come upon roadwork and a detour on a main street. You have got to be kidding me!

Finally, finally we turn down our street. I’m peckish around the mouth as my mother would say.

“Mommy, I’m sooooooo hungry. Can I just have a fry right now???”

“O.K., babe. Me, too.”

I reach over to the passenger seat.

No bag. No box. No fries. Nothing.

I didn’t even get my change. Just handed the McDonald’s lady a $20 and took off.

“Mom? Fry? Can I have a fry?”

Oh, our poor, poor homeless fries shivering in their little paper bags back at the store, sitting next to a cheap toy in a “happy” meal box.


Have I finally gone mad? Tell me I’m not the only person who has done this.

27 thoughts on “Silly

  1. LOL! I don’t have kids but, this is so something I’d do if I did have kids or even in a frenzy w/out kids. I have paid and walked away but, never left the premises. I feel for you though, I’m sure that must have been SO frustrating to say the least.

  2. OH MY – – – I can’t say I’ve done that. I don’t think I’ve ever abandoned FOOD [ha ha ha!] But I have forgotten about everything else possible in the world. 🙂 Were you just shocked, or what???!!! 🙂 best wishes next time, and thanks for making me laugh.

  3. your not…….The pressure of time and hungry children. Doing this has lead me to keep a colder with ready snacks (mainly for me). With four children I am always forgetting something. I am one big list or half my day would be lost between lossing shoes and dealing with mom are you seeing what I just did (full attention) even if you are driving. Then the one who is so quite you could leave somewhere and another who talks about the deep things of everything(so Mom what did you think about my history lesson). All this in the middle of thick traffic bumper to bumper and someone says I have to go pee. 🙂

  4. You are not the only one! I went to Jordan’s Furniture in Reading. Bought three huge tubs of ice-cream and asked Richardson’s to hold them while I went to the ladies room. Went to bathroom, washed hands, walked out into my car and drove home. No ice-cream 😦

  5. SO FUNNY!!! You are SO not the only person who has done this. I have done stuff like this, too…and — when I worked at McDonalds as a teenager, I saw some amazing things. We were right next door to a Wendy’s. One woman actually paid, drove away, then came back. She told us she had inadvertently driven over to Wendy’s to pick up her food! Anything’s possible! 🙂

  6. That is funny!

    I once did a full grocery run for a lady I babysat for. Filled the cart, payed, pushed the cart to the curb, loaded the kid in the minivan, and drove off and all the way back to the house without a second thought (or a single grocery). “where are the groceries?”, she said. Errr…

    So, you’re in good company.

  7. I have never done that one before (though I’ve heard of other people, without kids, who’ve done it!) but I’ve done plenty of other similar stuff. We’re so focused on the mission in front of us, that sometimes those details that are oh-so-important to the mission get overlooked. I have twins, one has asperger’s and goes to a sp. ed. school. We’ve had plenty of pitfalls along the way. Sometimes we cry, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we do both. Oh well! Laugh and move on! Thanks for the smiles! I greatly enjoy your message each and every time. You are inspiring and uplifting and you write like a dream!

  8. Please tell me this has a happy ending and you got your fries 🙂
    I have done most absentminded things you can think of. Not this particular one, because I never get far without tasting my food. I’d be eating those fries in the car as soon as I got my order. But I’ve gotten TO the car, or if driving, started to drive away. Needing instant gratification has its perks!

  9. Too funny!

    Here’s what happened to me at CVS yesterday: The clerk peers at me as I pay for my shampoo and conditioner. She asks, “You buy cigarettes here yesterday?” No, I replied, I am not a smoker. “Yer sister smoke?” she asks hopefully. No, I reply again, I don’t have a sister. Why do you ask? “Looked just like you. She paid for a pack of Marlboros and walked off without ’em. Wasted 8 bucks.” I laughed and said “Maybe she decided to quit cold turkey!” The clerk did not find this funny. Somewhere my doppelganger is fishing around in her purse looking for her smokes…

  10. I would forget my own head if it wasn’t permanently adhered to my body ( but I never forget food. Look at my hiney. Does it look like I’d ever forget food? Lol! Maybe if I did that, I’d look more like you?!? One can only hope).
    I feel your frustration though. ;o)

  11. Oh no! 3 times in the last 6 mths I’ve walked off without my “cash back” from a self-check-out. It happens. I’m so sorry you guys didn’t get your fries. I too am a lover of hot, crispy (but not burnt) fries.

  12. Oh NOOOOO!!! I’m with Stimey – this is both the best story and the saddest story, but one of the greatest posts. ALL mothers have done something like that. More times than we care to remember 🙂
    and my husband is with you on the fries – he won’t even look at them after 5 mins.

  13. I hope you got your fries and your change! I haven’t done that, but my hubby has done similar things many, many times. I had to laugh, I like my fries hot as well, but all of my kids prefer them cold…well room temperature at least. Parker actually likes to eat a few and put the rest in the fridge for the next day. He loves them cold out of the fridge…blech!

  14. Okay…I needed a good laugh tonight and this put a smile on my face. I call these moments, “two child brain with a little autism sprinkled on top”….I hope that there were no major meltdowns and they you were able to eventually get those fries!

  15. That was a truly great story. Funny!

    I can’t say I have left fries behind… lol… but, I definitely have done things like that. Totally normal, because we mommy’s are thinking so fast.

  16. I really hope you turned around and went and got some more! That would have been so disappointing especially after the stress of trying to get home quick! So annoying and so easy to do, if only it were the dry cleaning you forgot, you could live without that easier than missing out on those hot, salty, perfectly crispy fries!! I want some now!

  17. What a lovely picture of this crazy life! Loved it! I haven’t left my fries (sorry, don’t really like them… now a Wendy’s Frosty would be a different story!). But I have driven my AS son across the state and forgotten his shoes! Or left his school books on top of the car and driven off… Glad I’m not the only one!

  18. I have done this with Starbucks coffee when I would try to quickly go through the drive through before work. It was a tragic way to start the morning. And the only kids I have were the ones waiting for me on the busses each morning! I hope you were able to get your fries and change after driving so precisely to get home while they were hot! I too hate soggy, lukewarm or cold fries.

  19. Done it! But someone in the car let me know after I’d already pulled away, so we went inside and picked up the food. I had to explain to three different people what had happened. Apparently it really throws everything off, because they were in mass choas still when I went in to get the food. Oops! Sorry folks.

  20. I’ve never left a good fry behind, but I’ve certainly left the gas pump without actually pumping my gas. You know the drill, go in and pay and then forget to pump and drive away.

    But fries? No way. And change? Especially no way, not in this economy!

    You made me laugh. Thanks.


  21. Guilty as charged! One of the worst was when my girls were little and I was having a stressful day. I left my purse in a grocery cart, drove all the way home and then realized what I’d done. Called the store and a good samaritan had taken it to the front desk! I look back and what seemed stressful then was nothing. I wonder sometimes why God gave such a neurotic, anxiety filled woman a child with autism. I’m clearly not who my son needs as a mom.

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