How to Train Your Mini-Barista – A Step by Step Guide for Lazy Parents to Raise Useful Children

Husband and I have a goal – to have helpful children. Apart from all that stuff about unconditional love and carrying on the gene pool, we want our lives to be easier. Kids are hard work. Nappy after nappy after nappy, it could drive you insane. So when are they going to pay us back by cleaning and cooking? Well, we hope being brought cappuccinos in the morning won’t be too far away. Although Weasel probably needs to master the steps and learn the whole ‘not burning yourself on the steam nozzle’ thing first, But we’ll get there and at least we’re heading in the right direction. So, how have we started this process I hear you ask…

Step One (you can have lots of fun):

Drink Coffee – from T minus 9 months. Lets start out with the most controversial, but a total caffeine addict like me should not go cold turkey. A cup of coffee a day isn’t going to harm anyone. Keep a (low and safe) level of coffee in your system at all times, allowing the foetus to get used to the taste of the tasty coffee goodness. Onto less dodgy steps…

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Step Two (there’s so much we can do):

Go to Coffee Shops with your infant. Chances are you’re going to end up wandering around town and sitting in coffee shops, so this is a silly thing to have to point out I’m sure. But when in there, let them sit on the sofas, let them play with the stirrers and generally immerse them in the ambience of the soft lighting and roasted bean aroma. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if decent, independent coffee shops existed on our high streets (please recommend some to me if you know of any!), but the likelihood is you’re going to choose the one with the guaranteed baby changing facilities and that has certain minimum standards. Go. There is no place for sentimentality in your training.

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Step Three (It’s just you and me, hmmm, these New Kids on the Block lyrics may be getting inappropriate):

Weaning them from milk onto frothy milk – sample the cakes (oh, you’re only going to have one bite of your shortbread? Oh, that’s such a shame….), get them babyccinos (it’s cooked milk, right? And it isn’t replacing their milk. And there is such an insignificant amount of milk in a babycapp that it’s not going to suck all the irony goodness from your child. Chill. And I suppose you could froth some human-ish milk at home, but I don’t think they’ll serve that at Starbucks.) And let them try the odd sip of your skinny sugar free iced vanilla latte that you forget to scoot away with its inciting straw beckoning them (I swear we do try to avoid this one). Throw caution to the wind! Think of that wonderful coffee you will soon be enjoying on a Saturday morning…

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Yum, mini strawberry shortcake that you don’t look like you’re going to finish there Weasel…

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Step Four (I can give you more):

Play sets. Your mini-barista needs to have tea sets. Weasel’s first was metal so she could enjoy banging the saucers together (she was about 7 months old). This is an excellent plan to get them interested in the paraphernalia that comes with coffee. A nice friend even bought her a Starbucks espresso mug for morning time babyccinos with Husband and I. And the spare Bialetti we take sailing is a perfect fit for her play kitchen (and clearing some space in ours 🙂 ).

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Step 5 (Don’t you know that the time has arrived):

Play espresso machine! This thing is so awesome. And it makes noises when you hit buttons – coffee grinding noises, milk frothing noises, noises that at this stage should be comfortingly familiar to your toddler. Weasel still hasn’t worked out what the big hunk of plastic beans are that go in the back (they just get chucked to the side), but we’ll get there eventually.

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Whilst there are some obviously ‘safety issues’ with putting your toddler near burning hot metal and potentially explody steam, I can dream of the day that Weasel presents us with our morning cappuccinos. One day…

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4 comments

  1. Living the dream ;). I went cold turkey when pg, but the smell of coffee made me feel sick anyway, so it was pretty easy. Slowly introducing Eva to the delights of caffeinated milk now. Didn’t think to put it in a cup and froth it but thanks for the idea 😉

    1. Use evening milk- the higher fat content will give you a better froth. And if you’re not giving chocolate yet you can always give a little shake of cinnamon instead. Have fun!

      1. mmmm….tasty!

  2. too funny – oh, I too soooo look forward to the day when my little one can not only bring me a coffee in bed, but first make it in our french press…(:

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