Sunday, February 06, 2005

Why I love my coffee guy

When my daughter was first born, and I was in the black hole known as "new motherhood", one of my only pleasures in the otherwise hellacious days was strapping both kids into their carseats and heading to the Starbucks drive-thru. Those days, I was recovering from my c-section (which was MUCH more difficult than expected, but that's another blog), trying to keep up with my 16 month old son, who was acting out constantly (jealousy, I'm sure, but knowing why doesn't make the dealing with it any easier), adjusting to being mother to two instead of one, and tending to a crabby newborn--all on little or no sleep. It was not a happy time, and my daily jaunts to Starbucks may have saved my sanity.

However, Vivian did NOT enjoy the daily run to Starbucks. She despised being in her carseat, so that driving anywhere with her was an exercise in torture. She screamed BLOODY MURDER from the time you strapped her in until you got home, unless she by some miracle fell asleep. Once she was asleep, all was fine, until you had to slow down. God forbid you stop altogether at, say, a red light. Then the crying, the wailing, the blood curdling screams would begin again in earnest. I spent a lot of time turning right on red in those days, whether or not I actually needed to go right.

As you might imagine, a Starbucks drive thru often has a line. Let's be honest here, folks: there is ALWAYS a line. Which means you must slow your vehicle to a stop and wait, anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes, before getting your life-giving serum.

So, my daily fix entailed spending a known period of time in a closed space with a screaming infant.

Still, it was worth it to me, just to get out of the house. Every day I'd pack the kids up, strap them in the carseats, drive to Starbucks, then wait in line. Some days I could get there before the screaming started, sometimes the screaming started the second we got in the car. Either way, as soon as we got in line to wait, the screaming would commence again. I always had to shout over her wails into the drive thru box. After a few weeks of this, the conversation went like so:

In the background: hysterical sobbing, sniffling and screaming.
Coffee guy: "$2.70 at the window."

Driving to the window, several minutes later, infant still screaming:

Me, grabbing coffee, handing over 3 bucks: "Thank you."
Coffee guy: "Yeah." Pause. "You know, every morning you order a decaf, and I just keep thinking, maybe you should order the regular strength."
Me, looking up, startled. "What-oh, HA HA HA HA" Commence, hysterical slap-happy giggling and continue cackling as I drive away.

Maybe 3 weeks later, we had leased a new car. This time when I got to the window in my new car, with Vivian screeching in the back, he said:

"Wow, new car. Same baby, though, huh?"

He's not there anymore (I think maybe it was his summer job) and I don't need to go every day anymore. But every time I do, I think of him, if only to be able to point to the back at my charming 8 month old, who NO LONGER SCREAMS IN THE CAR!! Hooray!

No comments: