I do so love my morning coffee, but I think it's making my stomach too acidic. This potential attempt at pondering the prospect of eliminating coffee has me contemplating all the stressors that coffee has helped relieve throughout parenthood. I am pretty sure I use it as a crutch. I have actually stayed awake far too late, watching one or two more episodes of Netflixed "Scrubs", thinking, "I'll just have an extra cup of coffee in the morning to make up for the lost sleep." That can't be a healthy attitude.
I haven't always relied so heavily on coffee. I think there are different drinks choices that are appropriate for the different stages of parenthood. Allow me to elucidate via a handy bullet-point list that you may print out and carry with you, like those cards that tell you which fish are safe to buy, just in case you need a refresher while at the grocery store.
- Newborn: Water -- Besides being essential for the nursing mother, it's easy to get dehydrated with a newborn and it's even easier to forget to pee. Lots and lots of water forces the latter issue. Since you can still attempt to sleep when the baby is sleeping, you don't want to destroy your chances for a nap with too much caffeine either.
- Baby to Toddler: Chocolate Milk -- You're not sleeping so you need the caffeine and sugar, but you can't drink hot beverages because there is a grabby child in your arms at all times whom you prefer not to scald. You also have no time to eat. Chocolate milk is perfect: you get caffeine, sugar for a good, temporary high, and enough calories to call it sustenance.
- Four to Five: Coffee is perfect for this age. You are still not sleeping much and you are dealing with super human bouts of energy (your child's, not yours). Plus, your house always looks like you've become a hoarder, what with the 7-10 outfits your child changes into and out of a day strewn all over the floor and the massive quantities of crackers and apple slices smashed into every surface possible.
- Six to Seven: Tequila, Vodka, or another fast-acting hard shot of mind-numbing liquid -- if you have parented this age, you understand this. This is the time to invest in a Costco card and frequent the liquor section. If you live in California, you have other options. Some "expert" somewhere decided we should have a million books on how to parent adorable little, sweet, cuddly babies and toddlers, but not a darn one on how to parent the monsters that emerge from our children's bellies somewhere around six or seven. I hate that parenting "expert". This shot's for him! Huzzah!
- Eight to Eleven: Lattes or Fancy Teas -- You still need a bit of the boost that comes from caffeine here, but you have the luxury of spending a little special time with your drink. These are the easy, golden years of parenting; don't waste them on Folger's or cheap drive-through coffee. Treat yourself to the good stuff before the teen years approach.
Now, since I have only parented up to 11, I have no idea what the appropriate drinks would be thereafter. I am guessing wine, but I can't be sure. I figure wine is a very social drink so it allows you to properly socialize with the parents of other teens. It might be tricky, though, because you want to be sober should the police come to your house for any child-related reason. Soda, perhaps? Soda would be a good choice for sporting events and the like. Really I have no idea.
If you have survived parenthood past 11, please illuminate us with your wisdom. What are the best beverages for parents of teens?