The unspoken rules of leaving baby outside coffee shops
An interesting question was raised today about when it is ‘ok’, and when it is absolutely not ok to leave baby outside sleeping in their pram whilst you run into a coffee shop to grab your caffeine kick and go …Or whilst you take a seat, sit down and drink your coffee in peace?
The hilarious thing about this is that depending on your context, some of you are already totally horrified that you just read that; others, in a better climate are wondering why you would ever need to go inside to order a coffee 🙂
In towns and cities all over Sweden stand what may appear to be abandoned prams, actually even (peacefully sleeping) babies, possibly droves of them along side walks. In a less observant moment you might not notice that they are up against the wall or window of a cafe – and as such (as any two year old will tell you – ”if I’m touching it it’s mine!”) ‘belong’ to customers there who have everything but abandoned it!
I have however finally deciphered the ‘written in stone’, unspoken rules (at least, in Sweden) about how to go about this:
Firstly, to get in and order your coffee – pram visibility…
1. If the door into the coffee shop is less than 50% glass – it’s a NO (even if you’re not putting your pram in front of the door; the transparency of the door insinuates no separation… so it’s still a NO)!
2. If there isn’t a window directly next to the door (max 30cm between) – it’s a NO
3. If space by the window is already over populated with prams – it’s a NO
If any of the NOs above are in place but you are ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE for coffee (so, any day basically), there’s a trick, but you need a moment when there aren’t hordes of people wanting to come in after you! – you hover in the doorway; you need to keep rocking your pram forward and back a bit – to clearly signal that there is a reason you are standing there and not coming in! – and you wait until it’s your turn to order; signal the personnel; place your order and only when absolutely necessary – leave your pram (wedged in the doorway) to pay – glancing back at least once on the way to the till, at least once while at the till and obviously all the way back.
Additionally, if you want to sit inside and drink your coffee:
1. You want a window seat, right by your pram – after all as we already established – glass is transparent, it might as well not even be there, so you are obviously ‘with’ your baby!
2. The available seat needs to be no more than two tables away from the door.
Lastly, a relavant question, are the prams locked? It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to do that… but that also insinuate that you have ‘deserted’ it, completely quashing the illusion that glass is equal to no separation at all 😉
Voila! Believe me – the social anxiety I have saved you by sharing this knowledge now, should you not already know – and find yourself in this predicament… After a bit of practice, the entire assessment takes only a split second; and like me, you too can be fully proficient in the door hovering technique!
But some of you are still wondering WHY you would ever not just take your pram in with you? A-ha… you have been blessed with an infant that while sleeping is oblivious to temperate or humidity changes; that is not stirred by the removal of hats or blankets (to prevent over heating); that is blissfully unaware of volume variations or background music; you have yet to experience the hypnotic click effect another child’s voice can have on what had appeared to be your infants ‘deep sleep’; you have been blessed with such a good nights sleep that you ‘dare’ to risk a wake up; you are actually not that desperate for caffeine; you’ve just never come across a ‘no pram’ sign!