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Got Milk?

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July 28, 2011 by wcobserver

This morning I met my coffee pot with a hearty greeting. “Ehhughh” I said.

Oh sure. You morning people might not think that’s very “hearty.” But let me remind you. I’m not a morning person. In my book, a groan at 9 a.m. is tantamount to a full-blown conversation at noon. A groan also rates several steps above hitting someone with a nunchuck, which is what I’d like to do every time the alarm goes off. So believe me, I’m way ahead of the game.

But beyond that… the coffee pot and I have a language all our own. My unintelligible grunt says, “where’s my delicious hot cup of Joe?” The coffee pot’s smug silence says, “why didn’t you set the coffee to brew before you went to bed last night?” Then we sort of ignore each other indignantly, while I stumble about the kitchen looking for a coffee filter… and sadly… the will to live. Honestly, I can barely remember to brush my teeth before I go to bed… so setting up the coffee for an automatic self-start, isn’t even an option.

But back to this morning… I began the brewing process, while intermittently making waffles for my daughter, fixing a Lego piece for my son, unloading the dishwasher and letting out… and then in… the dog. Then I stood by the pot, my eyes half closed, waiting for the last few drops to fall into the carafe. The aroma filled the air as I poured the java into my mug. I could feel the elixir warming my hands through the cup… and I could almost feel it bringing me back to life… almost that is. I just needed one more thing. Milk.

I opened the fridge and found a large empty space… a gallon-jug sized, empty space, to be exact. In quiet despair I searched the counter… because that’s where my children think we keep it… and bold as brass… there it was. Sigh. It sat their defiantly… the warm, empty, plastic milk jug. Not so much as a drop clung to the sides.

Now let me explain that I could live with this if my children were avid milk drinkers… even if they were sort of milk drinkers. But here’s the problem. My kids wouldn’t drink a glass of milk if I sprinkled them with pixie dust and turned them into newborn calves. I’d literally have a better chance of being eaten by dung beetles than getting a single one of them to drink it willingly. So why do they have to cover their cereal in enough of it to fill Lake Michigan?

Nearly defeated… I trudged over to the table… where I discovered the remnants of my son’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch. A few soggy squares floated atop the only milk left in the house. And with that I crossed a line that should never be crossed.
I know it’s disgusting and I know that I’ve finally scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel… or in this case the bowl. But I did it anyway. Right there in front of my son’s, wide, disbelieving, horrified eyes, I poured the used, warm milk right into my coffee. And I drank it.

I’m not proud. But today I sent my kids a powerful message on behalf of parents everywhere. You can beat us down and dull our wits. You can spend our money and take our pride. You can even lay waste to our milk. But in the end… no matter how bad it gets… no matter how low we have to stoop… you’ll never… ever… take our coffee.

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