Your Starbucks order says more about your kids’ future than their hopes, dreams, or horoscope. Here’s a 100-percent accurate and scientific analysis about what your Starbucks order says about your parenting.
You are the mom who gives just the right amount of fucks. You’re not a helicopter. You’re not free-range. You’re just the lady whose kid’s immune system is awesome because it eats just the right amount of dirt at the playground. You got all your table-dancing and lines of shots done in your young, free days, and you don’t really miss the hangovers or the taxi bills or waking up to find that you drunk-bought a three-gallon scented candle and then threw up strawberry margaritas all over your bathroom floor. You long ago tossed off any adolescent anxiety about being boring because you have a mortgage and a crossover SUV. That SUV is the best thing that’s ever happened to you since you decided it was OK to wear yoga pants in public.
Is this drink cool, or not cool? Is it basic? Is basic bad or good now. It seemed like there was some sort of cultural shift towards “basic” being cool, but you don’t know where the zeitgeist came down on that one in the end. You worry about that a lot. You worry about a lot of things. Your child was not allowed to sleep with a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal till it was three years old, and that still worries you because you know all the SIDS prevention recommendations say not to use those things, but they never tell you when to stop! Is it dangerous for a three-year-old to have a blanket? You just opened a new window to Google that right now. Your greatest fears are dry-drowning, squirrels with rabies, and having to talk on the phone.
You’re the mom whose toddler is never sticky. You wear all black clothes and are always pristine, even though you own three furry cats. Your toddler plays with plain wooden blocks you bought in Amsterdam, and she’s already building little skyscrapers. By two, your child knew how to say “Le Corbusier is so bourgeois” and you were almost as proud of that as you were when she said her favorite color was black. You have several tattoos, but if your child ever gets one you will ground her for 500 years. The hypocrisy gnaws at you constantly.
You have a motivational poster in your house that says you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce, but you don’t really believe it. 10 minutes ago you had three hours before your kid got out of school, and now you’re the last parent to pick-up again. You are super friendly to your kid’s teachers and you give them great presents at the holidays, and you’re the mother who brings extra costumes on Halloween just in case some of the other kids don’t have costumes and might be embarrassed. Everyone thinks you’re sweet as heck and likes you even though you never remember to take your kid’s art home from school and you are always late picking them up. (You are never, ever late to drop-off.) You embrace the “messy bun and no-makeup look,” but really you’re just wearing a messy bun and no makeup. Your child needs a haircut and only have had one bath last week, but they’re also the one most likely to share their toys and ask other kids to sit with them.
It’s important to you that your child have good role models, and you take that job very seriously. You have the kind of awesome job you hope your child will have someday. You work out. You don’t ignore your friends or your partner. You stand up straight. You say “please” and “thank you,” and at night you rehearse reading children’s stories while enunciating perfectly so your child will never learn to mumble. You practice before parent-teacher conferences, and you’re very involved in your school, but not to the point of joining the PTA because nobody has time for that.
There are 15 kids in your car, which is weird because you only have one or two. How did your kid get so popular? It’s probably all the activities. There’s soccer and band and science club and theater and … shit, is it time for dental appointments again? Jesus Christ, it can’t have been six months already. You make a mental note to start flossing so the dentist won’t judge you. You have a dog, and you alternate between thinking, “Fuck, why did I say we could get a dog? I knew I’d wind up taking care of it!” and “You’re the only one who understands me, Fluffbutt. If you ever get sick I will pay whatever the vet wants. You’re my best friend.” You sing along with the radio, and if your kids don’t like it, they can walk.
You don’t really like coffee, but without caffeine you will die. There’s a park in your town, and you go there every single day. One time you actually rode the swings yourself and were surprised by what a good core workout it was, and also how much fun. You can’t help buying expensive stuffed animals that are so, so soft, even though your kid only wants Monster High.
If I opened your kitchen cabinets right now, all I would find would be Annie’s organic macaroni and cheese, and toddler pouches that contain spinach. You drive a Mini Cooper, and if you don’t, then you want one. Your entire life is a mission to keep your child from discovering licensed characters. Your child knows who Elmo is, and you have no idea how that happened. Did your child absorb Elmo knowledge from the atmosphere? Somewhere in your house is a bottle of small-batch bourbon for when the kids go to sleep. You really want a green velvet sofa and a caftan.
LOL, this is not your first kid. You’ve been to this rodeo before, and you’re way more laid-back this time. Your first child wasn’t allowed to sleep with a blanket until he was five. Your latest kid can do a handstand and vault himself out of the crib upside down, and instead of stopping him, you took a video. He’s never getting anything new, but he’s going to grow up sneaky and resourceful and the kind of kid who argues his way into straight As at school without ever actually taking a test or doing homework. Every time you leave the house, someone throws a party, even if you just went to the store for a diet Coke and some Advil. You figure there’s no point cleaning anything until the youngest leaves for college.