Monday, August 8, 2011

better parenting through coffee

Thank God I know my sister. Alright, well, of course I  know my sister. I guess what I meant was thank God we were both in college at the same time. (don't ask.) We went to different colleges in neighboring towns, so we were able to spend a lot of time studying together. We studied at her student union, we studied at my student union, (although we called it the student center at my school...), we studied at coffee shops. And in between all of that studying my older sister introduced me to joys of coffee.

I am fearful that this confession will lead you all to figure out my age but I'm saying it anyways. I grew up in a time when high school kids did not have access to nor did they hang out in coffee shops. There was a coffee place in Kent, which has since closed, (sigh), but until I was in high school we didn't even have fast food coffee available in my tiny little town. "Having coffee" was just not something we kids were doing. (oh my God, how old am I?)

My dad drank a lot of coffee but it was just understood that I was not old enough to partake and was not going to be old enough for quite some time. Then my sister came back to town and poured me my first cup. And I was hooked.

After college my sister moved to Lakewood where I visited her regularly and fell in love even harder with my new caffeinated friend. And now, totally addicted.

Better parenting through coffee. That's me.

I have a new coffee pot that I hate. My old one was over 10 years old when it finally died. It was white and cheap. I replaced it a few months ago with a Mr. Coffee. Which does not work properly. The pause feature doesn't work and the numbers on the clock don't show up all the way. The coffee is good though. And this one is black, which matches my other appliances, so there's that. So I can't really put my finger on why I have this weird dislike of my new coffee pot. All I can say is that I am annoyed when I look at it. Really. My coffee pot annoys me.

Despite it so annoying me I set it up every night to automatically turn on every morning. I love knowing my coffee is downstairs waiting for me as I rouse the boys out of bed and into their clothes every morning. As we walk down the stairs my big 4 year old always says "I smell your coffee, Mommy. Does it make you happy to smell it?" Yes, my boy, yes it does.

I gather up the boys' breakfasts and get them started on eating. Then I pour my first cup. Add the perfect amount of cream and ahhhh. I take a too hot sip and set the coffee down on the kitchen table. I break up a few breakfast table fights, replenish the little one's yogurt or juice- he eats and drinks everything at top speed and then freaks out until more is presented for him. I add the ice packs to the lunch boxes. Take another sip. By now my husband is downstairs and sometimes I sit down with him while he eats breakfast. Maybe another sip or two. Usually not though. Somehow, between getting the kids to eat and all the popping up and down from the table prevents more sipping.

Breakfast over and on to brushing two sets of little teeth, which these days require a lot of cajoling. My big 4 year old hates the taste of his new big kid toothpaste. He loves, however, the spitting that accompanies the new fluoride paste. The two year old likes the taste of his toddler toothpaste but prefers to just suck it off the brush while it remains motionless in his mouth. Shoes are next. Out the door- lunches, school bags, stuffed animals and matchbox cars and sippy cups. Buckle kids in car, hug, kiss, high five them both,  (the actual ritual is "hug, kiss, high five, spit on youuuuuu", but I try to avoid the spit on your part.) Kiss the husband. Stand on front porch signing "I love you" and making funny faces at boys as they drive away. My big 4 year old makes the funny faces back and signs "I love you" as the 2 year old signs his version of  "I love you" through his tears. Leaving Mommy at home is still not so easy for the poor little guy.

Back into quiet house. Coffee is now cold. Drink some of it. Reheat it. Not so good reheated. Clean up breakfast and then begin daily routine of keeping house clean and pulled together. By the time I am ready to start my work day the coffee pot is off. I turn it back on and maybe, if I am lucky, get to drink another cup before it turns off again. I think to myself that I have, once again, made too much coffee. Tomorrow I should make a smaller pot. But then later, when I am getting the pot ready for the morning I will absentmindedly put in the same amount of water and grounds. And the cycle will start again. Best cup of coffee I never had....

Sometimes I have coffee in the evening. Sometimes I use my new french press to make overnight iced coffee. I frequent Starbucks and other coffee shops, and my big 4 year old is so accustomed to coffee shops that he now requests to go and play Uno during our Mommy and Matthew time. Better parenting through coffee. It's all good....

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