Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where's my International Coffee Moment?

When I was an impressionable teenager there were these commercials for General Foods International Coffee. Don't tell me you don't remember this:

They had names like Cafe Vienna, Hazelnut Belgian Cafe and Suisse Mocha conveying European sophistication (remember to keep the pinky raised as you sip). Although, I'm not exactly certain these cosmopolitan Europeans were downing such crass ingredients as: sugar, nondairy creamer, sodium caseinate, dipotassium phosphate, mono-and diglycerdides, instant coffee, and less than 2% of natural artificial flavors but who cared what the label read; it's the image that sells.

The coffee was of little interest to me. I was sold on the commercials. There was always a woman, in her thirties, gazing at the horizon as she peacefully greeted the new day sipping on her International Coffee French Vanilla Hazelnut Mocha Cafe concoction. The views often changed- the beach, the lake, the mountains but the same mood of peace and calm prevailed. Somewhere in my teenage-addled brain I envisioned this as the essence of adultness. Someday, I too, would greet the day, brow as smooth as a baby's bottom, no cares in the world, while I sipped my coffee and gazed at my amazing view, thankful to be alive.

Cut to Reality.

My mornings are spent cajoling and badgering. "Please get up", "Get up now!", "What are you doing? The bus is two houses away, you don't have time to change your jeans!" I'm making breakfast, packing lunches, dealing with the last minute permission slips, money for some fundraiser, and logistical details. No matter how organized I am we still end up in this frenzy of morning activity.

I try waking up before the kids for my international coffee moment but my daughter is up at 6am. This means that any meaningful bliss time has to happen sometime between 4:45am-5:55am. Did I mention we have a toddler who sleeps with us? And a dog? The toddler kicks and the dog scratches. When I do manage to get up somewhere around 5:30, my body is still in denial (It's still dark. It's night. I'm going back to sleep.)

So I've decided to throw away my long-held image of the "perfect" morning and embrace my chaos and absurdity where children fall back to sleep after you shake them, force them into a seated position and shine bright lights into their faces (hey, I wonder if I'm breaking any international human rights laws here?), only to stare at you with innocent bemusement as they say "I didn't know you wanted me to get up now."

I love that moment when they're whisked off to school and the house quiets down (even my toddler heaves a sigh of relief). I grab my lukewarm tea and some left-over bread crust, he grabs his sippy cup and we gaze at the scattered breakfast dishes, spilled miilk, and discarded and I toast the gift of a new day.

So what are morning like in your house?

1 comment:

Beautiful Witch said...

Your mornings sound very interesting and very busy! I only have 2 dogs (no toddlers, no one else to wake up, no need to shine bright lights into anyone's faces) so they are usually a bit excited at the prospect of breakfast. They are fed in different rooms (one eats al fresco outside or in the conservatory) and I write my morning pages a la The Artist's Way and leave for for work.

I must admit when you started talking coffee commercials I thought you were going to talk about the one where there are a man and a woman and they meet for a first date and have coffee, then the next commercial they are seen laughing etc etc and eventually they marry (4 commercials later). I love those people. I want THAT life. Pass the coffee (decaf) please!!