Toddlers and coffee shops do not mix!


Of course I’ve been to coffee shops with my son before but the difference is we’ve always had company, be it family members, friends or my husband. As we were passing our local cafe yesterday I decide to give it a (single) shot. It looked so cosy and relaxing from the outside and we deserved a treat after a hectic morning.

Fortunately it wasn’t busy and there was only person ahead of us; if there’s one thing we have in common it’s our hatred of queues. However even one person still meant a short delay and this was enough for the boredom to kick in. It’s great that on the shelves in the corner there are a selection of brightly coloured wooden toys, the trouble is we couldn’t get over there quick enough.

When my son started giving out, the lady behind the counter helpfully suggested that he needed to learn some patience, erm if you wouldn’t mind just making up our order I’ll look after raising him thanks (I said in my head whilst grimacing).

With my cup of tea and a cake for us to share ready I then reached my predicament, do I push the buggy over to a table then leave him alone and come back for our tea and cake, do I bring our order over to the table and come back for him, or thirdly try and do it all in one go and risk spilling scalding liquid everywhere? Mother’s dilemma number 63. If the toys weren’t over the other side of the room we could have parked ourselves there and then but let’s not make this too easy… Thankfully, seeing the puzzled look on my face a member of staff (not Little Miss Know It All) picked up our order and offered to carry it to the table.  Oops, I also need a high chair! Fortunately they were conveniently located just a couple of metres away. Right we’re sorted, time to relax! Not.

‘Want that one, no want that one!’ With so many toys to choose from he was like a kid in a candy store, except he was a kid in a coffee shop, with a mother naively trying to have a rest.

With four toys stacked onto the tray of his high chair and his attention diverted I ploughed into the raspberry cake. It’s like when Ross says in reference to Monica in Friends ‘If you didn’t eat fast, you didn’t eat!’ That’s what it’s like for mothers with toddlers.

In fairness I didn’t want him on a sugar high and I needed the energy. It didn’t take long for him to notice what was going on and between us we finished it in three minutes flat. The thing is when toddlers finish their food they immediately want to get out and run around and I still had a steaming cup of tea in front of me. I really didn’t think this through…

Reluctantly I lifted him out of his chair and sat him on the sofa next to me. Next on the agenda, he wanted to check out the books on the shelf above the toys. I had no idea if they were meant to be display only but we were about to find out.

There was literature on fishing, cooking, rivers and calligraphy and not a Thomas The Tank Engine title in sight. These were definitely used to make the walls look more interesting rather than to help them compete with the library.

With three quarters of my tea in front of me still, I downed the remainder in one go. It was time to get out of here before we had to pay for any damages.

I’ll be back again, but on my own (it’ll just be a bit more boring).

Footnote: you may have noticed the photo is of a cappuccino where as I had a tea; believe me, I had no time to be taking pictures!

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