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Big Guy the budding barista

Submitted by on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 No Comment

coffee2If I want Big Guy to do a chore regularly, it will get done only after much teeth gnashing and blood letting.

If it’s something Big Guy assigns himself, though, he will execute it faithfully and loyally. He’ll even accept gentle critique in the spirit in which it’s given.

That’s why I’ve made coffee only once this week, and that was a covert pot when I ran out while Big Guy was at school.

Please don’t tell him, though. He’d be deeply wounded. Big Guy officially took over barista duties Sunday, and he’s protective of the task.

It started after I collapsed on the couch on a hectic Mother’s Day that was more laundry and dishes than roses and chocolates.

“Please, guys. Just give me five minutes. I need some energy.”

“Do you need some coffee?” Big Guy asked. “You need coffee. I’ll make it. No, you just stay there.”

The guys have been making coffee for months, but always with supervision.The idea of Big Guy flying solo with a glass carafe scared me a bit – both for the carafe and him – but I really did want the coffee.

“Well …”

“I really want to do it for you since I didn’t get you anything for Mother’s Day.”

Oooh. Dagger to the heart. Never mind that I’d told him repeatedly that I didn’t need a store-bought present. He had me.

“That sounds good, babes.”

He scurried into the kitchen, and I soon heard a chair scraping across the floor to the refrigerator where the beans live.

“Do you know how much to use?” I asked.

“Yes. You don’t need to tell me anything.”

I took the hint and kept my mouth shut.

The grinder ground, the water ran, the pot began to gurgle. Big Guy stayed in the kitchen, watching each drip hit the carafe.

“It’s finished, Mom. Now I’ll pour it.”

Pour it? That wasn’t part of the deal. I grabbed my phone, ready to punch in 911, and began to rehearse plausible explanations to give Dad for his oldest son being hospitalized with third-degree burns and glass shards impaled in his eyeballs.

“I got you a new cup, Mom. I’m tired of your old one,” he said, proudly and carefully carrying the mug. The baseball mug stored on the tippy-top shelf of the cabinet. It was too late to freak out over that. I was glad, though, that I wouldn’t have to also explain a compound fracture to Dad, too.

“Try it! Try it!”

I could tell from the smell it was going to be too weak – I regard anything shy of battery acid as too weak. I started preparing my cover story.

“You know, Daddy would think this is the perfect cup of coffee. So would Grandaddy and Mawmaw and Aunt Marilyn. I like mine a little stronger, but this is good.”

“How do I make it stronger?”

“Next time, make the beans look like a cupcake in the scoop and use a little less water.”

He nodded, mentally storing the information. The next night, he showed that he’d absorbed it. It truly was the perfect cup of coffee, Mommy-style.

I lolled my eyes in my head, just like Big Guy does when he really likes something. You have to use their language to communicate, you know.

“Oh, this is amazing!”

“Good. I’m going to make the coffee from now on.”

Next step: The espresso machine. The kid has to master Americano by the time he’s 7.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg.

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