I’m sure we’ve all heard the inappropriate jokes comparing coffee to our dating preferences: “Strong and black!” “Warm and sweet!”
But do you know what coffee is really like? Toddlers. Now before I am shunned for sullying that sacred morning brew by making this comparison, just hear me out. You’ll find there are more similarities than you may have realized.
1. You used to not understand how anyone could want one
Did you ever beg for a sip of your parents’ coffee? Or sneak a sip when they weren’t looking? Perhaps this was your first inkling that your parents must be flawed, for how else could they willingly consume this vile swill? Me too. And 30 years later, I’m working on inventing a shower head that you can place coffee grinds into so you can literally bathe in the stuff every morning. (Patent pending, don’t try to steal it.)
The same goes for kids. Before that flip switches and you decide that HOLYCRAPINEEDACHILDRIGHTNOW, the thought of having children is so alien it seems incomprehensible that one day it could be you lovingly asking your 2-year-old not to put his foot in the mashed potatoes.
2. The smell of them gets you out of bed in the morning
Nothing says it’s time to wake up like that rich, deep aroma — either the coffee type or the biohazard type.
3. They go from hot to cold without warning
Surely coffee should retain some heat in the amount of time it takes to drink a cup? But no, it seems it’s either burning hot or iced coffee, sans ice. It is much like toddlers. They can be obsessed with (insert obsession of the day: Cars, Pokémon, Thomas the Tank Engine …). Ob-sessed. Then all of a sudden — WHAM. All artifacts of said former obsessions are the tool of the devil and must be driven from the house forthwith. A little middle ground would be nice!
4. They cost way more than they should
How can 12 ounces (let’s be honest — 24 ounces) of a beverage that at its core is mostly water be so expensive? How can 24 pounds of a human being that at its core is mostly water be so expensive?
5. They will probably spill. On you.
Nothing says “tempting the gods” like trying to drink a lidless cup of coffee around a toddler. No matter what you do — try to hold it (you will be jumped on), put it on the table next to you (it will be kicked), place it on the floor (why would you even try that) — you will be spending the next five minutes trying to get the stains off your clothes. Well, I guess one other thing does say “tempting the gods” — trying to keep your clothes stain-free in general when around a toddler. I recently got a white button-down shirt as a gift and just shook my head ruefully as I placed it in the back corner of the closet. Maybe in 10 years.
6. Exercise caution when adding sugar
There’s nothing wrong with adding a little sugar to your coffee. Until you realize that you’ve consumed half your calories for the day in the teaspoons sprinkled into your life elixir. It’s a slippery slope, my friends. And one I’ve slid down far too often. Now with toddlers, too, there’s nothing wrong with a little sugar now and then. Until your darling little one rips up all the napkins at the frozen yogurt shop in a sugar-crazed frenzy before dissolving into tears at the injustice of not getting a second cone. Slippery. Slope.
7. They don’t pair too well with vegetables
Coffee pairs well with so many things. Chocolate. Toast. Eggs. Air. But vegetables? Eh, maybe not so much. My toddler is the same way. He’d sooner eat dirt than broccoli. And I do mean that literally.
8. They are best left alone after 7 PM
“It’s just one post-dinner cappuccino — that shouldn’t be too big of a deal.” “How much harm could it really do to let him stay up for this party?” Such a big deal. So much harm. So little sleep.
9. You can’t imagine life without them
Nope. No explanation needed.