There are times when I can forget…and blissfully plod along thinking our family is relatively normal.   Then…there are the other 364 days a year.  **heavy sigh**. Couple of weekends ago our family went to KY to visit my parents.    First order of business was to convince my husband that we needed to rent a van.    As we have already established, we are vehicularly challenged.   I firmly and steadfastly believe that the following are not optional on any roadworthy creation.   1. Brakes. 2.  Transmission.  3.  Steering.    I can see how that cool screen that helps you back up could be optional.   But not brakes.    I can see how the booty-warmers built into the seats for a chilly day could be optional.   But not steering,   Add to that the fact that we have taken the middle row of van seats out of the van to…….yes….you got it….to move furniture around…..and we have no clue where said seats are now located….and we have some serious safety issues,   ( now tom DID have the kids all excited about his plan to throw bean bag chairs in the middle of the van and have them “buckle up” with a piece of twine or something.    I personally saw quite a few flaws in that plan….).   Anywho…..we finally get loaded up in our red minivan rental and head out on our way.


note:   Tom and I travel in very different ways….for those of you not aware of the immense differences, I would encourage you to refer to the following blog post…


So about three hours after a normal family would have stopped for dinner, tom decides we are allowed to pull thru a drive thru for food.  Now let me just explain here that tom has two issues when “drivethruing”.    First…as we all know…there needs to be a dollar menu, and that is all anyone is allowed to even think about looking at.   And second, he can’t handle anyone talking or deciding or changing their mind etc while he is ordering…..he expects to just place an order thru the speaker with no changes or additions in about 30 seconds or less and drive up and get it.     Um…..we have five kids.   Not gonna happen.   So we are in the parking lot of wendys having our little pre drive thru pow wow where we all tell tom what we want so he can pretend that he will order smoothly and quickly.    after that little meeting we proceed to the window….and despite his little dream, the kids start changing and /or adding to their order.   Tom freaks that the stranger taking our order who we we will never see again might think we are less than put together and demands silence in the van and starts apologizing to the kid at the window and places our order.  He somehow always downgrades our order…thinking back to the time when our children were about three years old….they are now 19, 17, 15, 13, and 8.   We drive off with our order and tom hands the bag to me to start handing out dinner.    Well….here is where the real problem begins,   Instead of the requested three orders of chicken nuggets, tom got the value pack…..not caring that we would be about 86 nuggets short of what the kids needed.   Fries?   Heck…they can all five share two orders, don’t you think?   Drinks?   At least three straws can fit snugly and efficiently in one cup for sharing, right?   The kid who ordered the cheeseburger?   Why trouble the hardworking Wendy’s employee by requesting that plain  You got a napkin…..just scape the mustard off yourself.   ( really?   We are in a RENTAL van!). And one of the kids had the nerve to request a chicken sandwich….which we all know does not qualify as a viable ordering option since it is $1.29….not a dollar.   So this kid is out of luck all together.    Better just beg for fries or 1/2 a nugget from a sibling.    So I now have a van full of cranky hungry children and a husband who is actually pretending to be bewildered at what has gone wrong.

no problem.  Mom to the rescue.   Tom pulls over to get gas and I wink at the kids and race into the gas station which just happens to have a Dairy Queen attached to it.   Jackpot!!  Or so I thought.   I won’t mention that at this point of the trip we are in Tennessee so as not to offend anyone who may have roots there.    I go inside and order cheeseburgers and fries.  “Uh….we are out of those”.   What?   OUT of those?   “Yes”.   Okay…then I’ll have chicken strips and onion rings.    “Uh….we don’t have those today”.  Excuse me?    “out of those too.”   What the???    Okay…I decide if I hurry, I can jerk the nuggets away from two of the kids and give those to another child and substitute hotdogs for those kids.    Okay….then I’d like hot dogs (ill just get a bag of chips in the gas station side of the place).   “Sure!  How many do you want…..and is it okay if we are out of buns?”    I swear this is a true story.  I finally just said tell me what you have!!  “Uh,  well….we got plain vanilla blizzards (what?  Are you KIDDING me?   That’s ice cream you nut.  Plain vanilla blizzard??). And we got dogs but no buns.”   I politely tell him I have decided not to order anything and end up in the gas station side of the joint scrambling around for trail mix…..$7.00 lunchables…..and $4.00 juice boxes to supplement the sad “snack” my dear spouse has ordered for our children.   So much for saving any kind of money in the drive thru, right????    I just have to wonder how come this kind of dysfunction follows our family.    Bean bags in the van???  Everyone share two small drinks????    No food at the Dairy Queen???   Plain vanilla blizzards????   That’s some serious dysfunction!