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PRO:

#firstworldproblems

CON:
#thestruggleisreal

PRO:

Dar should be part of the real world, not just the world of home, school, and therapy sessions. He should go where all six-year-olds go. Six-year-olds go to Starbucks. (Where they look to be ordering half-caf triple-foam extra-shot medium-hot mochaccinos, but let’s put that to the side.)

CON:

When Dar goes into Starbucks he touches people, never aggressively, but sometimes fondling hair, sometimes fingering dangling keys. I wind up apologizing and explaining and stressing in the horrible period known as B.C. – before coffee.

PRO:

When I take him into a café he doesn’t ask for anything, nothing to drink or eat. He’s happy enough just basking in the various sights and sounds. That’s nice! At the Starbucks next to his school, the baristas seem to like it when he stands at the ether between employees and customers and stares at them, smiling. They like that…for now.

CON:

At some point during a café visit, if I’m in line long enough, Dar’s going to lie down on the floor. Now, if this were the early 80s, I would dress him like Afrika Bambataa and start beat-boxing whenever this happened. However, breakdancing is a little bit out of fashion (Microsoft Word red-underlines “breakdancing”!!!!). And the floor is dirty, and Dar looks strange being the only horizontal person in a public establishment.

PRO:

No parent should upend every part of her life for her kids. Sometimes a kid will have to simply accompany his parent to a hospital visit. Sometimes a kid will have to simply accompany her parent to Radio Shack or Staples. No kid’s life is only classes and parks and zoos and rec centers and home and screen time. On some level, Dar is in the real world, and we’re not helping him by isolating him from parts of it. Can I get an amen? Or at least a caramel macchiato?

CON:

Maybe I should just make coffee at home, you know? (One day my Cuisinart coffee-grinder-maker’s bean tray got stuck in there, meaning old moldy bean grinds, and customer service laughed when I called them. But I could get another one. Or call the wedding guest who gave me the Cuisinart and say “you owe us another one.”) If I’m so obsessed with going to a café in the morning, I could drive about an hour out of my way to the nearest drive-thru, at the Richmond Home Depot. (The drive is 20 minutes each way; the morning queue is 20 minutes.) But 40 more minutes B.C.??

PRO:

I’m not supposed to leave him in the car. If adults see him in the car, they may call the police or otherwise freak.

CON:

He’s fine in the car. He doesn’t complain, and no I don’t mean that he doesn’t say “The sincerest of pardons dear father, but these restraints are most unbecoming.” I mean that he doesn’t squeal or scream or evidence the level of protest that accompanies, say, an unrequited request for yogurt at our home fridge. He’s fine in a car’s backseat for ten minutes at 8am on any dewey Berkeley morning, right? Don’t parents leave their kids in cars in other countries, and laugh at us Yankees the toddler-coddlers?

PRO:

For now, Starbucks visits mostly happen without major incident.

CON:

As Dar continues to grow older and bigger, his random touches and approaches will seem less and less appropriate. When’s the cutoff?

PRO:

#firstworldproblems

CON:
#thestruggleisreal

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