The Mission: Coffee

Your mission: Get a cup of coffee

  1. Go downstairs. Do not trip on cats.
  2. Greet the soon-to-be-three-year-old (STBTYO).
  3. Feed the cats. Normally, in the priority rankings, children come before cats, but children do not tend to angrily take swipes at your ankles if food doesn’t appear instantly. Because you will need your mobility to get coffee, feed the cats first. Plus, this frees your mind for the most difficult task of…

Feeding the STBTYO:

  1. Ask her if she wants cereal for breakfast. Try to make your voice simultaneously matter-of-fact and enthusiastic. (Don’t overdo it.) At the loud refusal, offer toaster-bread. (Do not say “toast” because the STBTYO will have no idea what this mysterious item could be.)
  2. When she voices her approval, contain your joy. Toaster-bread is a minefield.
  3. Sneak the whole wheat bread into the toaster. Get out the margarine. Ask, “would you like margarine on your toaster-bread?”
  4. Try not to sneak longing looks at the percolator.
  5. Offer other condiments: “honey? Jelly?” NO.
  6. Take the toaster-bread out of the toaster and put margarine on both slices before turning them to face each other. Ask, “Do you want squares or triangles?”
  7. When the answer returns, “triangles”, cut toaster-bread into four triangles. Upon seeing this, the STBTYO will shriek, “NOOOO! Squares!”
  8. Using your knowledge of geometry rearrange the triangles into squares. Say, “see? Squares.” Sound convincing.
  9. Put the plate on the table. Glance toward the percolator, but don’t move; you’re not done yet.
  10. The STBTYO will now demand honey. Fetch the honey from the shelf. Preemptively cover your ears because the honey is Not Honey. This will prompt cries of outrage.
  11. Think hard. What else could be honey? Fetch the peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter = honey.
  12. Dab a bit of peanut butter inside each triangle sandwich on the plate. Give thanks that for reasons unknown the STBTYO fails to notice that her square sandwiches are in fact triangle sandwiches pushed together.
  13. Pour your coffee. Take a deep breath. Begin doctoring it.
  14. Fetch a cup of apple juice for the STBTYO.
  15. Finish doctoring the coffee.
  16. Turn the light on in the bathroom for the STBTYO.
  17. Take your coffee to the table. Sip. Ponder life as your STBTYO eats 3/16 of her peanut butter toaster bread.


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