As a working mom of two, a three year old boy and a 7 month old girl, I love caffeinated beverages.  To give you an idea, since about the age of 2 my son has been able to say Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks (a fun party game that gets a lot of laughs).  There is a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts on my way to work, so most mornings I get myself a large French Vanilla Black, but once in a while, I really want a Venti two pump vanilla Americano from Starbucks.  Unfortunately, we do not have a drive-thru Starbucks anywhere remotely close to my home or work, which means that if I want an Americano bad enough I’m going to have to do the ‘Starbucks shuffle’.

This morning was one of those mornings.  I was running ahead of schedule and felt confident that we could get to Starbucks and childcare and I would still make it to work on time, so off we went.  On the drive, I decided my best plan of action would be to carry Edith, my wallet and put my car keys in my coat pocket instead of lugging in my huge purse and then trying to carry a baby, purse and coffee back out to the car.  On the walk to the door I see that the line is about 12 people deep…yikes! I realize I’m going to have to keep Don extremely entertained or this will get real ugly, real quick.   Don’s accustomed to Starbucks protocol, so he lines up with me.  After about a second though he starts to get antsy, so I send him to the front of the line to check out the snacks and see what treat he’d like to have this morning.  He comes back, slightly scared by the amount of people and slightly frustrated that he can’t see into the snack case.  He asks for me to pick him up so he can see better, but I can’t, I have Edith.

This is when the ‘shuffle’ kicks into full gear.  Starbucks is all decked out for Christmas so I start talking to Don about everything I see.  This comes easy to me because if it were socially acceptable, I would talk to myself at all times.  We discuss the Christmas trees we see, the snow men, and before I know it, it’s our turn.  I ask for a handle bag to carry our treats–berry coffee cake for Don and a parfait for me.  Don holds the bag and we head over to get our napkins.  Now it’s time to wait for my Americano.  During past visits, this is when I’ve lost him.  I mean holding a treat and not getting to eat it can take a toll on any kid, but today, we continue to discuss the holiday items we see.  Don becomes distracted by a cupcake pop kit.  He just received a kit of his own as a gift from his Aunt over the weekend and cannot believe Starbucks has one too!

My order is up! I ask for a splash guard and reach for a heat protector. It is at this moment that my plan has failed me.  It is humanely impossible to put a heat protector on while holding a baby. But, lucky for me, the kind woman next to me says, “Please let me do that for you”.  She has been watching us for some time now.  I happily accept her kind offer, grab my Venti two pump vanilla Americano, and off we go.  Don holds onto my coat as we cross the parking lot. I get the kids in the car, give Don his snack, get in the car, turn up the music and we’re off!  The ‘Starbucks Shuffle’ was a success…but I might need a second cup after all of that effort!

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