I am one of those people who linger at coffee shops writing on my laptop. It feels less lonely that locking myself in my apartment. The distraction of TV, cleaning, and my bed are more of a risk than whatever lurks in a cafe. Environmental noise serves as background music to my craft. Conversations that surround me invite themselves into my writing adding one-liners and character. The energy of others somehow ignites my own and I can bust out masterpieces (aka shitty first drafts), whereas the familiar, quiet, anti-workspace of my apartment ignites two sentences and a nap. At my home office I am the HR manager, a liberal, laid-back, unfocused manager. Yes, coffee shops are my better choice for an office, but unfortunately, I do not have a receptionist to monitor unwanted guests.
Okay, kids. I don't want anyone under age 13 in MY office. Screw it, I want it to be like a bar where nobody under age 21 can enter MY office. No shirt, no shoes, no kids.
Kiddies in cafes riffle through the equal packets, jump from table to table, and entertain themselves by mimicking the already annoying swoosh sounds of the cappuccino machine.
"Shwoooosha shwooosh shwoosh shwooosh. Ha ha Mommy! I make coffee!"
But mommy wants to go back to reading her New York Times, so she hands her kin an empty coffee cup and two stirrers indicating it's a-okay to create complete and utter commotion. The kiddie goes Tommy Lee with the sticks, banging out tunes such as "Bang bang bang bang" and "Bang bang bang bang" and everyone's favorite " Bang bang bang bang."
After a 25-minute jam session the miniature musician, loosing interest in the activity at hand, decides to pay visits to the unsuspecting prisoners of his annoying wrath. He/she crawls from table to table squealing "Hiyeeeeeeee!" as he hijacks tables with his infuriating cuteness. Most patrons humor the tiny invader with chattering of " Now what's your name? Charlie?! And Charlie how old are you? Four? Wow what a big boy! Can you count to four?"
Armed with attention filled armor, the confident kid now assumes he has full access to speak with whomever he pleases and the recipient of his convo will reply with equal enthusiasm and interest.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice the monster heading straight at me. His little excited booger-covered face ready to nuzzle up against the thigh of my brand new Seven jeans. I tense up, face, neck, sphincter. Everything is squeezed, locked and appalled. I try to send my mind to a happy place. I remind myself that this is a child, for Christ sake. An innocent, adorable child who just wants to explore all the wonders and merriment that Starbucks has to offer. Does this make me a bad person? Will I be a bad mother? Do I even want kids? I mean, I like kids, in small does, when they are well-behaved and in expected environments like amusement parks, the circus, the zoo, not at The Coffee Hut/Lounge/Castle. Here, the cuter and sassier the kid the more hate I feel. And it's actually not the kid whom I hate, it's their parents -- the dumb stupid obnoxious parents -- who think that a kid actually wants to spend Sunday morning watching their parents read the newspaper at a coffee shop. Can't you bring your stupid Metro Section to the playground so that your kid doesn't have to make a slide out of spilled creamer? At least bring them a book or doll or muzzle or something to keep them (us) happy.
And coffee? Just the smell of that orgasmic aroma sends my brain into a hyper tizzy, and here you are with your little one, getting contact high as they bounce about the barista station like they just chugged a triple espresso.
So now the kid is wrapped around my leg and screaming " Hiyeeeeeeeeee! Hiyeeeeeeeeeee! Hiyeeeeeee!" I quickly glance at him, smile and return to my laptop. " HIYEEEEEEEEEEEEE! HIYEEEE! HIYEEEEEEEE!" Everyone is looking at us. Except I'm the asshole because I won't play along and ask the kid " What grade are you in? Kindergarten? Wow! What's that? You went potty all by yourself today! Good job! What a good job you did! "
I don't want to talk to talk to the kid. I don't want to talk to anyone. And I certainly do not want to baby-sit.
"HI! HI! HI! HI! HI! HI! HI HI!"
Mom storms up, stomps her Birkenstocked foot on the ground and says " Okay that's enough." Grabs the kid by the hand and drags them back to her table and finally says, "now please sit here and stop bothering other people" (aka the short brunette tramp who seems to have no soul because clearly she hates children).
Kid: "Can I get cookie?"
Mom: "No sugar until desert after dinner"
Mom: "No! How about a bite of mommy's bran muffin?"
While my parents have made their fair share of parental misjudgments, they are way cooler than these coffee shop lounging, kill your TV preaching, dessert-fearing assholes. My parents would have given me a cookie. Actually, they used to give me various cheeses and deli meats. I don't have a strong sweet tooth and I much preferred an Italian sub to an ice cream sundae. As the first sight of bratty tears, my mom handed me a log of salami "here, go play with this"
So please, just give the kid a sugar pacifier so they'll shut up.
Ironically in my favorite coffee shop there is a large sign that reads "please be respectful, no cell phones aloud," because apparently phone chatter is disruptive in daycare.
As I write this a mother to my right has decided to let her child sit in the empty seat at MY desk/table. Perhaps next she'll put the babe on top the table. Better yet perhaps she can put the baby on my computer; he could poop all over the keyboard and cheer "yeah poopy!"
Yeah squirt, this is indeed very "poopy".