January 11, 2008

Hello, My Name is Heather and I Steal Frenchfries.


I had better type fast or I might reconsider posting this. Here goes my moment of candor (for better or for worse):

Reason #260 of why you shouldn't be getting homeschool advice from my blog...

My mind has been a jumbled mess lately. I'm sure you can tell with posts titled "drowning" and such nonsense. January is not a kind month for ADD perfectionists who live in a self-induced checklist haze. All this to set the scene for my wandering mind at dinner time tonight. Here's how events unfolded...

Tonight after 5pm my mom came home from teaching piano (she stays with me a couple days each week) to ask me "what's for dinner". I was buried under a pile of papers I had put off grading during the holidays (OK - even some from before the holidays). We were still doing school at the table. I didn't want to cook. In fact, I think I would have rather eaten the stale holiday popcorn than cook... or the rotten Oreo balls.

I sheepishly called my husband (who worked hard all day and was in 6:00 traffic on his way home - for 30 miles). He wondered aloud why we needed to eat out (again) after last night's nasty Mcburgers that we scarfed down after Wednesday night Bible Class (another crock-pot opportunity missed). This week hasn't been about adding jewels to my domestic crown, that's for certain - Mistake #1.

We agreed on Chick-Fil-A (partly due to the children screaming in my other ear after I mumbled 'you want to go to Chick-Fil-A?' to him aloud). Mistake #2. We loaded up the car and planned to meet him there so he wouldn't have to drive all the way home first.

I met Kev at the restaurant (can you even call it a restaurant?). Upon entering my son began asking me deep questions (at this point I can't even remember what the discussion was about - as he has a habit of coming up with mind-warping conversation at inconvenient moments). My thinkbox was half on the papers I still had to grade, half on how hungry I was, half on the field trip I forgot to set up for the co-op, half on the emails that I was sure were piling up since I spent all day at the kitchen table... etc. Add answering questions from a ten year old to that list and you have a recipe for disaster. Mistake #3.

Lost in conversation and thought, I sauntered up to the Chick-Fil-A counter with the rest of the family. No brain necessary to order something you have ordered 18,000 other times, right? No need for formalities. At the counter there is a tray full of food ready and waiting. I reach out to grab a fry (as if I was at my grandma's house and she were talking to me while she cooked... only my grandma died in 1995 and the fries were SOMEONE ELSE'S FOOD).

We hadn't ordered yet, people. Or paid. Or even said a word yet to the teenagers waiting behind the counter... who are ALL staring at me.

This was all happening in slow motion. My fingers snatched a fry off of someone else's tray as if it weren't even attached to my arm. Suddenly I realize that I have four teenagers paying very close attention to me - looks of horror are spreading across their shiny faces. Still, no one has said a word.

I hear my middle name being said in disgust from behind. It was like that Sprint commercial... the slow motion pin dropping. You could have heard one.

The thought FINALLY processed that I was grabbing a fry off of someone else's tray. I let go of the fry and set it back down in shock.

[Later at the table my mom told me that putting it back was worse than eating it. Looking back, i would have to agree. Especially since they didn't remove it - they went ahead and served that fry to the customer! ACK!]

Back to the story...

I stammered... "OH! I'm sorry! I thought that was my food!"

The teen behind the counter smiled at me incredulously and said, "Well, I kind of thought - man, whatever works for you."

There was uncomfortable laughter (mostly from my poor embarrassed husband). We commenced ordering our meal. Our smug cashier smiles and hands us our tray "Now THESE ARE your fries." he says.

"Fry-Toucher!" my son snickers, looking up at me with a wicked smirk on his face.

We die laughing all the way to the table. There were more jokes told and reminders shared about the many other eating establishments in the area that I had left either my purse or cell phone at. My mom warned my children during this chatter to 'always pay attention' to me when we are out in public or I might leave them instead of my purse.

My son piped up to tattle on me to my mother. "She already has left me."

Luckily, I already confessed this to her after it happened. Yeah, I left my kid at a bus stop in downtown Arkansas. I bet you can't top that one. We didn't get far down the road before I realized that he wasn't there and went into mass panic. The trolley driver said he couldn't stop, but when he took one look at my crazed expression and saw me walking down to the step anyway, he finally relented. The kid had been watching the ants and wasn't paying attention to the bus take off (with his parents, sister, and the family of 6 that came to visit us on it). Mom - yours truly - was busy taking photos.

That has to be the worst parenting moment of my entire life.

But back to the fries...

You see... I tell this story for two reasons. One - because I want to remember it. No telling how long my memory will last since I am capable of such embarrassing blog fodder. It is pretty funny, after all. We all got a kick out of it after my case of hives went away. Two - because I need to explain to you that I AM NOT PERFECT and neither are my kids (well, at least the one like me, not "Mini-Martha-Stewart"). I can't blame my son for living in a fog. He was born in the same swamp that his mama came from. Or was it a turnip truck we fell off of? This is the stuff that daydreamers and lollygaggers are made of. At least my kid has a parent that understands what it was like to have her mom threaten to staple things to her and have to go to the principal's office after a SOLID THREE MONTHS of me forgetting to flip my attendance card on the way in to the school building. I was a high maintenance kid. I deserve to raise one!

As we were getting up to leave, my mom asked, "Do you want the rest of my fries?"

"No" I smiled, "I just want to touch them before you eat them."

You have to be able to laugh at yourself... and with your kids. I guess you have to let your kids laugh at YOU as well. At least that is how things usually turn out at my house: the kids laughing at ME. This is especially true if either or all of you are prone to flaking out or have ever gone by the nickname "Space Ace".

So there you have it... the "Fry Toucher" is as human as any other homeschool mom. So don't go putting me on some kind of pedestal. Yes, sometimes I wonder why my kids are so smart. It must have A LOT more to do with God than me. I'm living proof that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to homeschool.

[It does help to teach your kids their address and phone number, though. Oh, and just try to keep me away from your fries if we ever get together for a field trip, OK?!]

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Anonymous said...

That was hilarious, and sounds a lot like something I might do. And now that I know I'm not the only one, I'm going to keep a closer eye on my food tray when I eat out.

Rhonda said...

Oh, that was hilarious! From one ADD-er to another, I completely understand. I promise I will share my fries with you next time we eat together. :)

I am extremely forgetful when I am rushing through life and stressed. That sounds like the case here. Slow down sweetie. Put your list away for a day and relax.

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

My favorite post by anyone all week!

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I totally lost my youngest in a store one time. Luckily it wasn't busy and as my husband and I screamed out her name a nice lady raised her hand to get our attention and asked "Is this what you're looking for?" I was so embarrassed. And don't feel bad for reaching for someone else's food, I've done it before :)

Amico Dio said...


I am laughing so hard right now! I will never be able to go in Chic Fil A again without thinking of this! That was so funny! You are awesome!

you fry burglar you!

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

ROTFL!!!! That is WAY too funny! You big, bad FRY TOUCHER, you! It's especially funny that you put it back! Thanks for a good laugh this morning! :D

Anonymous said...

No, I will not revoke your invitation to visit Georgia. My 16-year-old son works for Chick-fil-a, so he could be counted upon to cover your fry indiscretions. In his first week of work he did something like sneeze, touch his face, then touch a tray, horrifying one of the customers!

We left our oldest son at church one Friday night many years ago. My husband had met me from work, and each of us thought the other had Jacob. A friend realized our mistake and told our son that he was supposed to spend the night with their family. When my husband got home (before I did) he got a call from another member asking if we'd forgotten something. We haven't lived this one down yet (although it was probably 15 years ago).

Anonymous said...

Heather, that was priceless! I can picture it. LOL

Sorry we'll miss you today - we just got back from our morning co-op...a Medieval Feast and I'm beat.

Messe it forth!


Anonymous said...

I just almost died


Anonymous said...

I loved reading the story as much as you telling it!

Do we need to start a support group for reformed Fry Stealers?

Spookygirl said...

Thank you, I needed this laugh today!! I've never been to Chik-fil-a, are their fries worth stealing??

And keep your mitts off my fries ;)

Sprittibee said...

Wendy - Yeah, I couldn't believe they served that fry!

Rhonda - :) I actually didn't even ORDER fries! I got nuggets and salad! Thanks for the order to put the list away, though... we went to the park today! I figured mom needed it just as bad as the kids.

Momma Taderdoodles - :) Thanks! Glad I'm not the only one who leaves their children places.

Amy - :) I love the fry guys! ;) They were always my favorite! I'm way too familiar with fast food. It is like being at home - hence my indiscretion!

Bunnyfoofoo - I PUT IT BACK! LOL I'm still laughing. :)

Dawn - I'm so glad you still love me now that the truth is out. ;) I have some friends that did the same thing with their son at church. ;) Don't feel bad. They were the ones who were on the trolley with me when Kaden got left behind!

Cindy - Sorry we missed you. What a gorgeous day it was! Sounds like you had a blast, too! I can't wait to hear about it.

Sara - I know you are nodding your head because YOU have probably done something like that, too. Am I right???? I know you have to have - you are related to me. Poor thing.

Terri Sue - Yeah, I think I'm going to have to chair a FSA (Fry-Snatchers-Anonymous). Too funny.

Beckie - Oh, yes - my husband likes their fries the best. They are waffle fries and some have peel on them. They really are good - if you are ordering them (and some crazy woman doesn't touch them all first). ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh no!! I can't stop laughing. Absolutely hilarious.

By the way, I lost my daughter in a store once. A huge store, Mike went one direction, I went the other,Madi stayed put. She was three. I walked up to Mike when I noticed he didn't have her and completely freaked. We won't mention the fact that over the PA they had been calling "Sheri Madison we have your daughter at the front desk...Sheri Madison"...DUH! I just thought 'how weird! That's my name and my daughters name!' oh and "What an awful parent! They've been paging her for at least 5 minutes"

JoAnn said...

You had me in a fit of laughter with my daughter asking, "What?! What's so funny? What?" I love your blog!

I left my son home once when he was 2. Fortunately, there was someone there to watch my house (I had kicked out a renter whom I expected to try to stop by and steal some stuff while I was gone). I didn't realize I forgot him until I was several blocks down the road. Ooops!

Laura Paxton said...

SO funny! And my absolute favorite fast-food joint...hubby and I worked there, together, before we were married...such fun memories! I'm SO glad we're back in a state that actually has Chic-fil-A! Thanks for sharing, you fry-toucher!

carrie said...

That, my friend, was freakin' hilarious!

Totally something I could catch myself doing lately. My husband comments all the time that my mind is going. And he's serious. Total space cadet!

I'm just glad it's not just me. I could almost picture the faces of those people watching you take that fry! Hahahahaha!

Lisa~ said...

I am laughing so hard I have tears! Tears running down my face! My kids came into the office wondering what was going on...

I think my sides hurt....

You poor dear.... Im laughing with ya! *Ü*


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...


Taking it was bad enough, but I think the *worst* thing was them serving it to a customer! That's pure evil!!!!

Sprittibee said...

:) Hey Sheri... That is a funny story about your intercom episode!

Joann - Yeah, at the time it wasn't so funny, but I knew if I could get past the complete mortification of it, it would make good blog material! :) Man, your poor baby! Isn't it sad that we moms flake out like we do?!

Laura - Yeah, Chick-Fil-A is great. I certainly don't mean to pick on them. Their nuggets are awesome.

Carrie - Glad I could make YOU laugh for a change - it is usually the other way around. :) You'll have to come down here some time and let me buy you lunch at Chick-Fil-A. :) I promise not to touch your food.

Lisawa - :) Let the kids know you are safe (I can't reach your food). :) Glad you got a kick out of it.

Mrs. C - Yeah, good thing I'm not sick! Unless you consider Cedar Fever. ;) LOL

Unknown said...

Too funny! I haven't done this... yet...but I am sure it is something that I am at least very capable of doing! When your mind is on twenty other things, when can you expect? It is their fault for having delicious fries just sitting out like that :-)
I love Chic-Fil-A! One of the things I like best about them is the fact that they don't work on Sunday... unfortunately that is the day that I think about fast food the most on the way home from church, and ALWAYS think about getting some then. Oh well.
Have a great week!

Forthekids said...

Too funny. Sounds exactly like something I would do when overwhelmed with the millions of details we call life.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a pretty funny post. I had a good chuckle this morning over my coffee. Thanks for being real.

Happy Campers said...

It's always refreshing to read an honest post & realize that, hey..there ARE other people in the world who are imperfectly wonderful too! :)

Your story made me laugh out loud...thanks for sharing!!

Anna said...

I am SO GLAD to find out you're human! ;)

Mama Teaching 3 said...

LOL! I think I enjoyed this blog post more than any other in my time of blog reading. Hee hee...PERFECT! :)I plan on reading here alot!

Jacque Dixon said...

DUDE!! I didn't comment?? What is up with that?? This was hilarious. I must have been laughing too hard to comment when I read this before!!

Stumbling it.... LOL

Michelle said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'm not sure how I missed THIS one. I was laughing so hard because I have been very much accused of being a space case!

I wonder if it has anything to do with being a right-brain dominated only child!? (Was talking about me, here!)

RivkA with a capital A said...

I LOVE this post!!

I once asked my kids: "which is harder, having a mom with cancer or having a mom with ADD."

They all answered without hesitation: "ADD"

My son's best friend lives around the corner from where I teach swimming. I cannot begin to count the amount of times I forgot to pick him up on the way home! It is so humbling.....

(btw, got here via heryl's blog, Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama)

NikoleC said...

Once on a business trip, I fell asleep during my flight and when I woke up the flight attendant was handing me a soda which I instinctively took and drank down in 1 gulp. Then I realized that I hadn't ordered a soda and that she was really handing it to the guy next to me in the window seat. Embarrasing!!! Even worse, 10 minutes later I spilled the rest of it on myself.

Robyn | Add a Pinch said...

This has me snorting with laughter (doesn't that sound pretty?). You fry toucher, you.

Thanks for linking up to Mingle Monday. Now everyone will know about your fry problem. :D


Jenilee said...

so funny! :) LOL I can only imagine how embarrassed I'd be by taking a fry from someone else's tray but I can TOTALLY see myself doing that! Yikes! :) loved your post.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

That was hilarious! :D I had to have my daughter read the fry part with me. :D

Came by through Mingle Monday!

Have a great day!

Angela Foltz said...

This is so funny, Heather! I did get a great laugh from it. Thanks. I hope you don't mind if I post it on my facebook page. My friends would love it, too!



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