Getting That Elusive Morning Coffee While Wrangling a Toddler

I’ll preface by saying that I generally am not the one who gets up with my two-year-old first thing in the morning.

It started when he no longer needed a shit-am breastfeed and was able to eat breakfast but I still had to get up to resettle him during the night. Husband Dearest kindly started taking Toddler for that first am shift and I would take over when Husband had to leave for work.

Over the next eighteen months that has somehow evolved to Husband getting up in the night to Toddler as well as getting up with him in the morning. He thankfully doesn’t whine much about the arrangement (which I know is quite obviously in my favour) and when he does I blame it on my fat-pregnant-ass being unable to roll out of bed.

Anyway, while I’ll admit to having a pretty stellar husband, and I encourage any new mums I talk to to try and wrangle a similar arrangement, that’s not the crux of the story today.

See, I still eventually have to get up and it still feels entirely too early after a fairly sleepless night of being punched in the cervix, wrestling with husband as to who gets to spoon the body pillow and trying to stop the cat from sleeping on my neck and crushing me to death under his hefty 5.5kg mass.

Toddler, having been awake for an hour or so by this point, can be in any sort mood (though I usually get fair warning if it’s going to be a bad one by how many times Husband has yelled at him that morning). My mood each morning is a consistent ‘Dont-fucking-touch-me-until-coffee’.

For the first hour after Husband leaves, it’s a power battle of me being able to sit and drink a full mug of delicious heaven sent nectar coffee and Toddler wanting to drag me off to play with whatever he’s found to play with. I quickly decided that allowing someone to finish their coffee without gulping it is an ideology that I wanted to instil in him (and I haven’t had many of these since throwing out the old first-time-parent rules… No TV before two-years-old? Ha-fucking-ha).

Anyway, he’s slowly starting to grasp the concept and I’m down to telling him “let Mummy finish her coffee,” only about a thousand times or so before I let him have at the dregs. Other key points to having a successful morning coffee include:

  • Don’t distract the Toddler from what they’re doing unless it’s life threatening. Distracting them will only bring their attention back around to you.
  • Have some shit in the kitchen for them to do. We have a play kitchen and magnets on the fridge. This morning he spilled water on the floor so I made him clean it up himself. Rough job, but I get to sit for five minutes more and he learns that men should do equal chores in a household.
  • Let them eat your food. It might be second breakfast for him, but giving him half my toast means I don’t have to share my time with my blessed first cup of coffee.
  • Reinforcement. I hate reading this word in parenting articles – reinforcement is key to a blah blah blah – but reminding him that ‘Mummy gets to drink her fucking coffee before she plays with you’ does eventually get across. You don’t even have to be polite about it, especially if your Toddler isn’t inclined to mimic words like mine… you can practically say whatever you want to them.
Toddler distraction 101

And that is how you manage a morning coffee with a Toddler. I follow this up with about an hour of TV so I can allow the caffeine time to get to my blood stream. Realistically, I don’t have to do any real parenting until after 9am. Lazy Mum win.


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