Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘coffee

Instant Coffee Karma

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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.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

Memories

with 23 comments

Pudding has an awesome memory.  We’ve never had it tested, but every once in a while she’ll say something that tales my breath away.  She has been able to recite entire books from the age of two.  She remembers what dress she wore on her 2nd birthday.  She remembers almost everything that everyone has ever said to her, indeed this appears to be the way she learns language.  I have dark fantasies about abusing this gift by taking her to Vegas for some card-counting, but have managed not to exploit it yet, even though the chips are down (ha ha).

I don’t intend to imply that Pudding has any savant skills.  She is no Rain Man, and is way cuter than Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise anyway.  I suspect rather that her memory skills have been sharpened because when the world gives you unpredictable and unreliable information, you have to use what you can to make sense of it all.  Her memory muscles simply work harder than ours do.  As she continues to develop, I’m hopeful that she will be able to use these skills effectively, and they’ll enable her to navigate the social world a little easier.  For now though, that memory can prove equal parts useful and problematic.

Take Wednesday.  Pudding has a half-day at school.  Every other week she has an OT session, but this was our week off.  Pudding was reluctant to go to school.  She is going through a phase of separation anxiety, and wanted to stay with me.  I promised her we’d do something later that she would enjoy.  Immediately she requested that we go to the mall.  Not a problem.  I promised, and she happily left on the bus.

I still had some chores to do, so decided to get them done in the morning so we’d have plenty of time to fulfill my promise.  At the store, Cubby went through his usual routine of taking off his shoes.  Rather than putting them back on for him to remove again, I placed them on the handy shelf below the shopping trolley/cart.  To distract him and keep his hands busy, I bought a warm soy milk from the “Mermaid Cafe”, which Cubby proudly told me was coffee.  We carried on shopping without incident, his shoes still riding below.  Even though I noticed as I put him back in his car seat, in the 20 seconds I took to return the trolley, I forgot them, and subsequently drove home without them.  Obviously, I do not have Pudding’s mad memory skills.

There was no time to go back before I had to get Pudding from the school bus, so I called to ask them to keep them for me until I could collect them.  Cubby wears custom-made orthopedic inserts due to problems with his legs turning in, so there was no question wearing different shoes- we only have the one pair.  By this time, Cubby was screaming tired, so I put him down for a nap.  I decided to be proactive and make dinner in the slow cooker.  I opted for Maple Dijon Chicken, but erm, forgot the Dijon.  Yes.  I swear I had a decent memory until I developed pregnesia carrying Pudding. I turned it up high, and added some rice.

Pudding’s greeting to me as I met the bus was, “I want to go to the mall now.”

Right.  The little glimmer of hope that she’d forgotten about that fizzled out.  I explained that we couldn’t go to the mall as I’d lost Cubby’s shoes, and we needed to collect them.  Cue unhappy Pudding.

When Cubby woke up, I bundled them both into the car, and we collected the shoes.  All the while, Pudding demanding we go to the mall.  To appease them both, I suggested that we went to the book store nearby.  Pudding ran to the Abby dolls again, Cubby went right for the trains.  Around 45 minutes later, I realized in my haste to leave, I’d forgotten to turn down the heat of the slow cooker.  I told the kids we had to leave again.  Evidently, this was a cue for the kids to pitch why I should buy them their favourite items.  Pudding was in no way appeased by my assertion that she had her own Abby doll at home.  She wanted that one.

Likewise Cubby didn’t care that he has a bunch of brand new trains at home from his birthday.  He needed Salty, an obscure diesel dockyard engine.  He doesn’t even watch the Thomas the Tank Engine show, but has a catalogue of engines that he studies.  Oh yes, I’m not even going to open that can of spectrummy worms right now!  He screamed that he wanted Salty, as I put him in a fireman’s lift on one shoulder, my backpack on the other, and shepherded a whining Pudding out of the store.

On the way to the car, Pudding remembers that she still wants to go to the mall, and begins her plaintive petition to go there.  Meanwhile, a still screaming Cubby recognizes the mermaid logo, and changes his yells for Salty to “I WANT COFFEE!  MUMMY, I NEED COFFFFFEEEE.”  Pudding decided to join in, only she wanted her coffee at the mall, as four year-old do.  My off-kilter sense of humour kind of relished the looks from everyone in the car park, as I looked exactly like the kind of flustered woman who does, in fact, pump double espressos into her high as kites young children.  Wonderful timing there, kids!

I drove home to find that the only useful thing I’d achieved all day- cooking dinner- looked and tasted exactly like vomit.  I served it up anyway, and amazingly the kids ate it.  I wonder how long it will take them to forget this particular act of motherly malevolence.

Try getting this image out of your mind!

Another day in our life.  Memories are made of these.  At least mine is goldfish short these days!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 15, 2011 at 7:44 am