Coffee, it’s wonderful stuff isn’t it. Dark, rich, velvety, milk-foamy, chocolate topped loveliness. Making and drinking it has become part of my daily, morning routine. It signals the start of my day and often gives me a much needed kick-start, especially if the kid has been up wailing in the night. A favourite past time of mine used to be sitting in coffee shops, watching the world go by *sigh* but those days are long gone. Nowadays, going out for a relaxed cup just doesn’t have quite the same appeal as it used to. A trip to a nice coffee shop now is actually a mission in itself, requiring tactical planning in advance. Something that was once so easy, can now be a tad stressful. After a recent visit to one establishment, I left with some serious top lip sweat, red faced and apologising to people as I went after the kid launched a muffin at someone, forced people to wave at her by shouting ‘ALLOO’ at them in her best Danny Dyer voice, she shrieked a lot as I attempted to remove my cake from her hands (her anger resulted in the aforementioned muffin throwing) and she finished off by doing the crocodile death roll when I attempted to get her back into the buggy. I’m fairly certain I saw the entire shop heave a collective sigh of relief as I exited.
If you love coffee and cake as much as I do but own small people, here are some tips on how to survive a trip to a café, should you find the time to spare:
- I know it’s not totally necessary but a small buggy is preferable for shop access. Trying to tackle any kind of coffee shop, especially my preferred ones which are the non-chain ones which tend to be small and cosy, a less bulky buggy is better, as there’s nothing worse than navigating a narrow walkway, collecting strangers bags and coats off the backs of chairs as you attempt to get yourself and child quickly in or out.
- Have an idea of what you’re getting beforehand. Counter dithering with a child trying to unclip themselves from their buggy and run away is not ideal and leads to much queue tutting from behind you.
- Ask for the wifi code with your order so you can let your child watch back to back Peppa Pig as soon as you sit down, it’s the ONLY way you might be able to avoid cake throwing and get a moments peace.
- If you can’t get wifi, but have photos or videos of your child on your phone then you should be okay, should.
- If your phone has no battery just don’t even bother, you’ll have to try again tomorrow.
- Always, always, always ask for your coffee in a take away cup. Very handy when a quick get away is needed. I’ve learnt the hard way when I had to down my mega large cappuccino in a mug in 5 seconds after the kid has gone into meltdown mode and a shop abort has been required. Exiting a coffee shop in a hurry with a chocolate moustache isn’t the best look.
- On choosing your table, remove everything from it that your child might eat: previous diners left overs, sugar (yes I’ve had to wrestle a packet of sugar out of the kids mouth before) salt, pepper etc.
- Buy your child a treat, it’s another thing that stops them from shouting for for at least 5 minutes. Mine doesn’t do sharing at the moment so trying to explain to her through clenched teeth that, ‘mummy would really like that chocolate muffin she’s just bought’ often leads to shrieking.
- Spend a ridiculous amount of money on a tiny milk foam drink for your child. Preferably get the tiny foam drink in a tiny cup, ideally not breakable.
- Make sure you watch your child with said tiny foam drink, mine sometimes likes to pour hers’ all over herself or the floor.
- I’ve mentioned chocolate face so always remember to give your own face a wipe before leaving the coffee shop as well as the child’s’, I don’t know about you but somehow the chocolate from my cappuccino sits in the corner of my mouth marvellously.
- And finally, always have your coat and bag ready to quickly get together if meltdown from child is imminent. You need to know that you can juggle child, coffee, buggy, cake and shop exit asap!