Coffee is amazing. When I drink coffee, the day gets better. I magically become more social and I get things done much, much faster. In fact, I know four places within a five-minute drive of my school where I get a hot cup of joe. And, on Fridays, my staff knows that it’s “Friday Coffee Day,” which means I’m going to Starbucks.
But oh, the days I don’t have coffee, I am a shell of myself. I verge on being anti-social. I really don’t feel like talking to anyone for the first two hours of the day. I feel sorry for my staff in the morning. It’ll be 7:30 in the morning and I’m so dead. When other staff members cheerfully greet me saying, “Hello Teacher Gilbert,” my response is a dazed look with a muffled grunt. So sad. My students are very observant and they picked up that I like coffee, as well as the days that I didn’t have any coffee. And being the kind-hearted children they are, they feel compelled to help out their teacher.
One day, playing in the dramatic area, a child named Andy offers me an imaginary cup of milk. It’s 8:15am in the morning. I’m going off three hours of sleep. I’m exhausted and very tired. I’m sitting on the carpet with a dazed look as Andy puts a red plastic mug against my lips. I hold the cup and decided to speak to Andy about what is really on my mind. “You know Andy, I could really use some coffee. Can you make me coffee instead?”
I’m so tired, I’m thinking, “I should have just called in sick. I just told one my students to make me coffee. I’m out of my mind.” However, to my pleasant surprise, Andy responds “My mommy likes coffee.” Andy then proceeds to make me coffee. He gets a large jug and puts it in under the water faucet and fills it with pretend water. Then, Andy takes the jug and places it on a wooden table. He takes my cup, dumps the pretend milk in the sink, and pours me my pretend cup of coffee. “Here teacher. Drink.”
I’m amazed. He took my unabashed statement and played along. “C’mon Gilbert. Get with it,” I tell myself. Taking Andy’s lead, I followed up with a Hollywood-worthy performance:
Me: (gulping down pretend coffee) “Oh! That is Uh-mazing! Andy, this is Uh-amazing coffee.”
Me: (desperately) “Please, Andy, please I need more coffee. PLEASE give me more coffee!!!”
Andy: “Okay teacher.” Pours another cup “Here teacher.”
Me: (gulping) “Andy, this is the best coffee ever. Oh! This is SO good. Please Andy, more coffee! I need more coffee!”
Andy: “Okay teacher” Pours another cup “Drink.”
Me: (gulping) “This is sooo good.”
Andy: “More Teacher Gilbert?”
Me: “No. No more. Oh, my tummy is full. (Point to stomach) All my coffee here. All here. I have coffee tummy.”
Andy: “You happy?”
Me: “Yes, I’m very happy. Thank you Andy.”
That was back in November. Today, Andy still serves me coffee.