Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Babycino appreciation

I started drinking coffee when I was 25. We'd just moved to Melbourne, I had a job at a consulting firm and was advised the best thing to do in my first few weeks was to have a coffee with each of the partners. I pretty soon realised that hot chocolates and mochas just weren't that cool. I graduated to the humble flat white.

I feel my daughter's interest in coffee will develop earlier and more strongly than mine. I remember a moment quite early on with the twins when I was juggling them very ineffectively - try holding them both and no one is happy, hold one and the other cries, swap them over, start again. It doesn't work. I remember looking to J and rhetorically saying something like, "this is hideous, what are we going to do?" Her response was instant, "Put them in the pram, go Yelo (our local), get a cino." You know things are dire when your two year old has better ideas than you.

Admittedly since the twins came along, coffee has become a greater part of my diet and J has come along for the ride with her babycinos. For me, it's not particularly about the caffeine, it's the circuit breaker too. Sometimes you just need to do something that makes you feel normal. Often in the mornings, as soon as the twins go down for their nap, J and I will have a cino together at home. A walk and a coffee is also a pretty regular part of our routine.

This brings me to my main point. The babycino is the most inconsistent coffee order in Perth. This is a problem because toddlers (the target audience) are the most fussy customers possible. Will it have chocolate on top or just cocoa, maybe even sprinkles? Will there be one marshmallow or two? What if there aren't any? Is she going to have a meltdown when it doesn't come out exactly as expected? Is this going to end in disaster? Should I just have not ordered her anything at all? Would that have been better? These are all the things that run through a parent's head as they wait anxiously to see what type of babycino is going to be served to their toddler. I know there are people out there who feel that macchiatos are served inconsistently in Perth but at least with that there are really only two scenarios - topped up or not. The babycino has way too many options!

This weekend, I realised that just like me, J's interest in her cino is no longer about the product, it's about the moment. We were at Humblebee, a local place that prides itself on being purist. One size, no skinny, no soy, no chocolate. Until recently I don't think they did babycinos but they must have realised that they are located in babyboom central and were doing themselves out of a significant market. Our order arrived - no chocolate, no marshmallows, just milk in a cup. I braced myself for a meltdown. J didn't bat an eyelid.

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