Thursday, December 16, 2010

Conversations with Jewel: The Coffee Bean

This is our morning ritual. As I put my medium roast beans into the grinder and get my machine ready to brew my morning cup of sugary wakefulness, I hear, “Smell, smell!” Every morning, Jewel loves for me to walk over to her, canister outstretched, and let her take in eau de caffĂ©. The smell is usually succeeded by, “Mmm,” or “That smells good,” or something similar. This morning, however, my rather strong-willed little urchin said, “Can I have one? I want to try it.”

I was now faced with two options. I could have told her no because I know it’s disgusting, and then I would have spent the next umpteen mornings being hounded for a coffee bean (Did I mention she was strong-willed?). Or... I could let her have one, warn her that it’s gross, and let her learn a little something about the world. I might even be a little bit entertained by her response. Hmm... which one, which one. Of course I chose the second option.

So, I hand over a bean with, “Now Jewel, sweetie, coffee beans don’t taste very good by themselves. I don’t know if you really want to eat it.” She returned with, “I just want to try it.” And so she did. And she loved it! No, not really. She sputtered and spewed and made horrible faces to my heart’s content. And, of course, she learned something. Two somethings, in fact. One, when Mom says something is gross, she’s right. And two, coffee beans don’t taste very good.

Now, I’m not totally heartless. I helped her get her milk and clean the coffee bean out of her mouth and off her hands (and off the couch... mental note... don’t let her eat yucky stuff on upholstery). We talked about the experience, and I made sure she wasn’t traumatized. All in all, it was a very entertaining and educational morning. I wonder what will happen tomorrow.

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