Coffee cup by Bitzcelt

Coffee cup by Bitzcelt

 

When I was pregnant, I more or less gave up caffeine. Ok, not totally – I still had the odd cup of tea – but I drank plenty of other stuff too. Water. Orange juice. Herbal teas in flavours ranging from dandelion (yuk) to liquorice (surprisingly nice) and gallons of raspberry leaf (because it was good for something related to childbirth that I’ve already forgotten). When I had coffee, it was usually decaff. I even drank roobois tea, with milk, in lieu of normal tea – it looks fairly similar, and I grew to like the slightly bizarre smoky flavour and deep red-brown hue.

And then I became a mother. And slowly, slowly my caffeine intake went up and up until it looked one of those graphs depicting the rise of swine flu cases. What was to blame exactly? Well, obviously, to begin with the crushing tiredness, the stumbling about not being sure if it was day or night, and the desire to mimic something resembling wakefulness and alertness in the company of others. And then there were the endless coffee mornings that being a new mother entails, either at others’ houses or in the coffee houses of my local high street. Having a coffee with someone was no longer just a nice thing to do. It was my raison d’etre. I craved my next tumbler of hot frothy capuccino with chocolate sprinkle on top in the way that, I imagine, a drug addict craves his next hit. Soon I was spending more per week on capuccinos than I did on baby wipes (and believe me, that is saying something).  

Now it has got the point where if I don’t have a decent caffeine shot at the start of each day I look and feel like something that has crawled out of the grave. These days on waking I generally feel like I have the worst hangover of all time, only miraculously without any alcohol having passed my lips the previous night.

First thing, I will now even contemplate instant coffee in the absence of anything more refined on the palate (and I never drink instant. Though if I have it very milky it kind of makes me feel like I’m drinking coffee-flavoured Nesquik). It’s not just about the caffeine though. There’s something so lovely about clutching one of these reassuringly expensive cardboard cups of frothy coffee as you embark on the day. It makes you feel stronger. Happier. Better able to cope. Like you’re a sassy kind of individual partaking in cool and interesting lifestyle choices as you queue to a soundtrack of jazz lite, and gaze wistfully at the flapjacks, the muffins, the exotic Italian biscotti. That is rather than a victim of mass marketing over content – those frothy  coffees are 50 per cent air – wasting vast amounts of money, and cardboard, on something you could make yourself.

 Still, look around at those other office drones, clutching their little cups of hope as they too stumble into work, their paper receptable of coffee the highlight of their disappointing days. They feel that way too. And some of them aren’t even mothers.

 

 

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