Drive thru Drama


car in drive thru

I call this, “Ode to the Drive Thru” please enjoy…

I run from place to place with a smile on my face

I know the list is long and the time is running low

So I decide my dinner plans are going out the door.

I see those golden arches shining in the sun

And I justify another meal that will come

In a bag or a box – wrapped up just for us!

My sanity has been saved, my time lengthened just a bit

The car has become our dinner table, pull up a chair and sit

You’ll discover that even though, I didn’t cook this meal,

The conversation and laughter have kept us connected and real.

No dishes to clean, our destination is found

Once again I’ve done what I had to do to stay on solid ground.

     As our children get older our lives have become full of activities.  Having three boys means I am destined to live in my van and on a bleacher most evenings.   I said I’d never be “one of those moms” but I don’t know WHAT I was thinking!?!    When time allows I would rather be at our table, in our home, looking at each other and discussing our day.  But when we can’t I don’t feel guilty – I simply try to make the best of the situation.

     Throughout these posts you will hear me refer to one of my favorite little tools – my memo book.  These small spiral notebooks are perfect for making lists, writing down a phone number and entertaining children.  We even looked at how to use these little notebooks in my post about grocery shopping.  So here’s how the memo book helps at the drive thru. 

     Before I speak into that mystical little black box I like to know what I am going to say to the person on the other side.  I make a plan.  I either pull the car over before we reach the restaurant or I judge how long the line of cars will take and carry out my plan while waiting.  First I turn off the radio/DVD.  This is important because it minimizes distractions and helps the kids focus on my questions and their answers. With memo book in hand I ask each child what they’d like to eat.  If they are younger I like to give choices – but NEVER more than 2 choices per item.  I keep it simple and I don’t let whining become  an option.  If a child starts to whine I move on to the next sibling and simple say, “I’m sorry but I can only take food orders from people who have a calm voice and aren’t whining.  I’ll be back  with you after I hear _____ ‘s order”.  This process goes quickly, especially when I already know what they tend to order.

     Once I have everything written down I ask them to listen and I review it all.  Then I ask to see all of their eyes (so I know they are paying attention).  We then take a moment to review acceptable behavior while I’m ordering.  By now I don’t have to review as much detail, but in the early days I avoided sibling scuffles and people shouting out extra things they wanted while I tried to remember what everyone wanted for their meal.  When I have checked the bag and its contents I then park in a space or pull forward and ask the oldest child to help distribute the food.

     I really don’t like eating in the car but sometimes its your only option.  When you do have to, make a plan so that the stress level is down and the children know what is expected of them.  Having a plan, putting it into action and keeping that plan consistent is all it really takes – in ANY situation – to become a smarter mom.  Have a great day and next time you drive through order some fries or a shake – you deserve it!

Bon appétit!

1 Response to “Drive thru Drama”


  1. 1 Marietta Fulk October 22, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    I’m definately going to use this advice! My hubby will love it!


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