Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Instant Coffee Karma

with 15 comments

A photo of a cup of coffee.

Image via Wikipedia

Guest post by Spectrummy Daddy

Spectrummy Mummy likes to joke that I have permanent foot-in-mouth disease.  It seems that I have a knack of making comments at exactly the wrong time, and usually I don’t even realize I’ve done it.  I’ve decided to tell you one of those times, and how it has now paid me back.

The day before we discovered Pudding was on the way, my longest-serving friend, Chandler (not his real name), and his wife, Joanie (or hers), were in town visiting Spectrummy Mummy and I before we left for Luxembourg.  Now, to understand something, Chandler and I think a lot alike.  We used to get in trouble all the time in classes we had together.  In fact, in one class, the teacher was so sick of it, he moved Chandler to the other side of the room, and we still got in trouble because we’d exchange a look and just laugh.  With this in mind, picture the 4 of us as we’ve just gone to a Caribou Coffee after a cold time in front of the White House taking photos.

Joanie and Spectrummy Mummy went to find a table while Chandler and I went for coffee.  Chandler likes his coffee a lot.  We order, wait to get our coffees, and head to find our lovely wives.  As we sit down, and with Chandler’s love of coffee in mind, I ask him a simple question: “You’re not going to be one of those parents that let their kids drink coffee, are you?”

Joanie and SM look at me aghast, and Chandler just looks confused at their horror.  To both of us, it seemed like a perfectly normal question.  All of this took place in exactly 2 seconds, as I glanced to SM’s right.  There sits a little 4-year-old drinking coffee, and his father has just heard what I said.  I quickly add: “Cause that would be awesome,” hoping this will assuage the gentleman.  He looks at me, and says kindheartedly, “Well, you’ve got to teach them to drink the good stuff early, right?”  SM and Joanie are just embarrassed, and Chandler is still trying to figure out what was going on.  I vowed right then and there two things: 1) I would always look around when making judgmental pronouncements, and 2) I would never be that guy whose kid drinks coffee at coffee shops.

As Spectrummy Mummy’s post the other day showed, my kids are intimately familiar with the symbol for Starbucks, and they like to talk about “getting a coffee.”  They don’t drink coffee, but it sure looks like they do when they have milk in a Starbucks cup.  Maybe that kid long ago was just drinking milk, and I was being a pretentious jerk.  All I know is that we get those looks of disdain when my kids talk about getting coffee, and I always think back to that day.  I think about the looks I get from other parents when my kids act up, and I remember I was a bit judgmental as well.  I also remember the look of understanding from the father, and I try very hard to be as cool as he was that day.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. You know, I think it’s all about tone of voice with those types of questions. You may have had a tone of jest in your voice with your friend knowing his love of coffee. It’s much easier to let a judgmental comment roll (at least in the moment and maybe vent later to a trusted friend) when it’s not meant to be nasty and truly hurt.


    April 25, 2011 at 7:50 am

    • Thanks for your comment. I agree that it is much easier to let a judgmental comment roll, and have tried very hard to keep calm when I see people getting judgmental about Pudding or Cubby.

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

  2. Ah yes, Joanie was telling me the other day about the hilarious milk in the Starbucks cup story and the “I NEED COFFEE!” exclamation that came from one of your little ones. Classic! So awesome!!!
    I’m so dense, I don’t even remember the Coffee Dad incident from several years back. Too much football to the head, I suppose.
    You guys are great!


    April 25, 2011 at 8:05 am

    • Yes, but do you remember Mr. Calabrese moving us in 8th grade and us still getting in trouble?

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

  3. This made me smile. Would that we could all be as cool as that other dad when people make comments which may rankle.


    April 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, that Father and Gentleman (the best compliment I can give) really taught me something that day. Now when I see a kid who is having a rough day, I try to give the parents a smile to let them know it’s ok.

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

  4. Geesh, I’m right there with you, always eating my feet. I’m glad you had enough brain power to react so quickly and recover. I’m not sure I could muster up that much brain power!


    April 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    • thanks so much for your comment. You know, I think it is just practice covering up for my foot-in-mouth disease that allowed me to answer quickly. Most times, though, I just look gormless. (That’s a British word my wife uses when I look stupid.)

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

  5. Love this post! I try not to let others’ judgmental feelings get to me, knowing that I’m not exactly perfect in that regard myself.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!


    April 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    • thanks for commenting!

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 11:07 am

  6. I loved this. I think it takes having a kid to think about what you say when you’re talking about kids. I know I look around me a lot more now than I used to, and understand a lot of things that I didn’t back then.
    I do love my coffee too…


    April 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    • My kids love their “coffee” too. I agree, though. I definitely think before I speak now more than I did then. Still, I can gaffe spectacularly at times.

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

  7. you and my husband would get along famously. =)


    April 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    • I probably would. Thanks for reading.

      Spectrummy Daddy

      April 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

  8. […] starbucks coffee karma – You suffer from it too?  You must know my husband. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: