Don't You Dare Do These Things Before This Mom Has Had Her Coffee

by Alice Jones Webb
Negative Space / PEXELS

Dear Sweet Children of Mine,

By now you must know that your mother is not a morning person. For your personal safety, I have composed this list of things you should not do before I have had my coffee. (Oh, glorious nectar of the gods, which doth bring me consciousness in an otherwise stressful world!) I can no longer be held responsible for what befalls you should you disregard the list. You have been forewarned.

1. Do NOT stomp up and down the stairs like a crazed herd of elephants.

Woolly mammoths might be a better metaphor. Even a herd of wild elephants could not make as much noise as you, my darling children, first thing in the morning.

2. Do NOT ask me what is for breakfast.

You are no longer small incapable toddlers. I abdicate responsibility for feeding you first thing in the morning. I fed you dinner last night, and that was less than 12 hours ago. I do not care what you eat for breakfast. Scavenge what you may. Cold leftover pizza and mayonnaise sandwiches are viable alternatives should we be out of cold cereal.

3. Do NOT ask me questions.

Do not ask if you can spend the night at a friend’s house. Do not ask me if you can have an advance on your allowance. Do not ask me if you can have the last container of yogurt or if you can get your ears pierced or if you can have a puppy. I promise you the answer will be “No!” Also do not ask me random math questions, or the distance from the earth to the sun, or who was the 21st president of the United States. I promise the answer will still be “No!” It’s probably best for everyone’s safety if we just save all questions until your mother achieves consciousness.

4. Do NOT turn on the television.

I have no stomach for Caillou or the Disney channel before I am amply caffeinated. (I really don’t have the stomach for it post-coffee either, but caffeine generally reminds me that I love you and should not shout obscenities.)

5. Do NOT make random annoying noises.

There will be no whistling or humming or giggling or gargling. No “beat boxing” or fart noises or burping just to hear yourself burp. Do not sit behind me and loudly chew your mayonnaise sandwiches with gusto. Also do not sing annoying Disney songs that will get stuck in my head and drive me crazy; you are doing a fine job of that all on your own.

6. Do NOT inform me of injustices, real or imaginary.

Do not tell me your brother called you “stupid.” Do not tell me your brother hogged the last of the bread and now you only have mayonnaise (minus the sandwich) for breakfast. Do not tell me your brother locked you in the bathroom for four whole minutes. Do not tell me that your brother tried to push you down the stairs…. On second thought, we’ll just lock your brother somewhere until I’ve had my coffee.

7. Do NOT allow non-family members in the house.

I realize this only happens on weekends when your friends aren’t in school and you want to play, but no one unrelated to me should have to witness the mess of a human being that is your mother before she’s had her coffee. Also you are much more likely to engage in No. 5 while your friends are here, and I refuse to be held responsible for what may happen should that occur.

8. Do NOT tiptoe up behind me to peer over my shoulder just to see how close to empty my coffee mug is.

This is only going to piss me off. It may even make me need an extra cup of wonderful consciousness-bringing caffeine, and then you are just going to have to wait longer…so just don’t do it.

Do not fret, Fruit of My Womb, your mother will generally be back to her normal, patient, positive self after one mug (two if it was a particularly long night involving kids with stomach bugs or horrific nightmares). Just allow your mother a few minutes of peace until she has the mental and emotional fortitude to deal with the crises of the day. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.


Your Loving, Yet Uncaffeinated Mother