The Starbucks barista looked at me as she handed me my Grande Quad Double Shot on Ice with a splash of Almond Milk and said,
“I can see why you added that second shot!”
Any reasonable person would have looked back and said, “excuse me… what did you say?” but at that moment, I was not a reasonable person. My tired eyes looked back at her, and above the screaming coming from my 2-year-old I say,
“You have no idea.”
The day started at 5:30am to a 2-year-old crying in his crib. My wife rolls over to me in bed and says, “Babe, I know it’s my turn to get up in the morning with the kids, but I’ve been up going to the bathroom every two hours. Can you get him?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
I sit on the edge of the bed, hoping there is a chance he would go back to sleep.
As I walked into his room, a foul stench hit me. The kind of stench that no parent, let alone no one, would want to smell that early in the morning. A stench so foul, it would wake anyone up. But there he was standing up in his crib, saying, “daddy.”
How could I resist?
I pick him up knowing full well that there is a present waiting for me. I place him on the changing table and start the process of changing a diaper.
One tab off…
The second tab off…
Lift the legs.
“OH, SWEET JESUS!”
I immediately look to my left to see that somehow, we managed to get into this situation with no wipes.
“Uh, buddy this just became interesting.”
My wife walks in to help as now things have begun to overflow on to the changing table. I manage to dig 3 maybe 4 wipes that were buried in the container and changed his diaper on the floor. My wife, who was up for the 5th time, cleaned the table.
I still held out some hope that maybe he would go back to sleep if I rocked him.
Pulling his pajamas back on, he lays his head down on my shoulder, and I think to myself that now is my chance. I stand up, and place him in his crib, and tiptoe out of the room, hoping I miss the creaky floorboard.
The door closes…
I stand there… and pray.
Then I hear crying.
Any shot I had for getting more sleep is quickly erased, and I take our 2-year-old who might just be afraid of the demon he let out of himself not 10 minutes earlier to the basement for some Super Why! And the first of many cups of coffee to get me through the rest of the day.
The rest of the day was uneventful, grocery shopping, coaching baseball, and…
As I am leaving the bedroom checking on my wife who has laid in bed for the entire day she says,
“Babe, you’ve done so much, give me 30 minutes, and I’ll make dinner.”
15 minutes… no movement.
30 minutes… no movement.
45 minutes… no movement.
Here, I’ll make dinner, she isn’t feeling well, and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter, I tell myself in my head.
I pull out the thawed pork tenderloin, the sweet potatoes, and dig through the refrigerator for the cabbage that was on the list.
“Where is that? I know I got it!”
I open my phone and pull up the grocery list only to see that it was on the list and never crossed off.
“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”
I walk upstairs to let my wife know that I am leaving to run to the store to get one of the essential ingredients.
“Can you get me some saltines? That might help me feel better. And take our youngest so that I don’t have to watch him since I’m sick.”
“yeah, no problem!”
Putting our toddler into the cart, I walk to the produce grab the bagged cabbage. At this point, he is fine. I walk to the dairy aisle to grab some yogurt for him hoping maybe this will clear things up with him after this morning. It was at this point that I had decided that I didn’t need Starbucks to make it through the night. Then he saw what I got, and at that point, he had decided he didn’t want THAT yogurt.
Walking to the checkout, I’m letting him know that he will like this he just needs to give it a shot. His cries pleading for another yogurt that I am unable to interpret said another story.
Waiting in the check-out line, crying toddler in my cart, I pull out my phone, open the Starbucks app, and scroll through their menu to find something I wanted.
I deserve this.
I find the Double Shot on Ice, and maybe it was my son screaming in the cart as I pulled the Tick-Tacks from his hands and back onto the shelf telling me this is what I needed.
“Oh look I can customize it with an extra shot… sure why not?”
Pulling up to Starbucks, the mood changed with our 2-year-old. It must have been something about the coming Pumpkin Spice Latte season that was upon us or just the smell of the caffeine changed it. But we walk in, and I wait for my mobile order.
“What’s his name? He’s so cute!”
One of the patrons said as he ran up and down through the store. I didn’t care this was my time.
“Mobile order for Brandon! Oh hi Brandon, I’m surprised you didn’t get the Salted Sweet Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew again.”
“Not this time… it’s been one of those days.”
I say picking up my son… who’s mood changes from laughing to hysteria.
“I can see why you added that extra double shot!”
For the record, I never got those saltines my wife asked for, and dinner was a disaster. But that Quad Double Shot On Ice changed how I viewed that day.
Throughout the entire day, I didn’t care that my wife was sick, she needed to stay upstairs and feel better. I won’t lie, the day was rough. I walked into the Starbucks that day with tired eyes, and no one in that store could tell just how hard the day had been on me.
To the barista that day, she had no idea what that drink meant to me. That extra shot, metaphorically was my extra shot that day. I was tired, drained and ready for the day to be over. I don’t know if it was the drink or the barista’s comment, but by the time I made it home, I was ready to cook dinner and continue to be there for my family who needed me the most that day.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how bad our day is going, all we need is an extra shot.