Well this morning at work was, in a word, crazy. It usually is, but I won't take you down that path. At one point I declared that I might have a panic attack, to which Millie requested, "Please don't." (I didn't.) I'll spare you the overhaul of details, but the highlights included the deep slicing of a finger, the spilling of cold milk/hot milk/water, LOTS of customers, and...I'll stop there.
But there was one hilarious moment.
There is this little boy, who we'll call "Toby," who just makes my life every time he comes in. The first time I met him he walked right up to the counter, resting his chin on it, and spoke to me even before his mother did, declaring, "I'd like a kid's hot chocolate with peppermint." I was immediately taken. I will always have a bias for people who awkwardly and loudly declare their feelings to strangers; no one likes to be alone in their questionable habits in life.
There was no way I would forget his name after such an encounter, so about a week later when he came back to the register I greeted him and said, "Toby, would you like a peppermint kid's hot chocolate?" Duh, of course he did. He gave me a big grin, watched me write on the cup, explained that he would like whip cream on the top and the bottom of his drink, watched me scribble additional whip cream notes on the cup, then split to the other end of the counter to wait for his cup of tastiness. His mother smiled and said that, "We're working on him being too friendly." She said this with genuine affection, expressing that she didn't want her kid to be a bother to others, and I tried to control my passion in expressing to her that her kid is awesome, and not to ever let him lose his flamboyance.
And encounter number three, you guessed it, happened today. Third times a charm. No no, TOBY's a charm. Today during our crazy rush he marched right up to me making drinks and shouted, with the charm of the five year old that he is and the casualness of the adorable seventy-five year old that he inevitably will be, "Pretty crowded today!" Huge smile as always. He all but elbowed me, you know, one of those middle-aged man jabs to the rib cage, accompanied with a hearty "Heh?" sound effect. I chummed it right up with him, "Sure is! Are you going to school today?"
Bailey: "Do you like school? What grade are you in?"
Toby: "I'm almost in first grade."
Bailey: "You're in first grade?" (It's pretty loud inside Starbucks)
Toby: (completely polite, no snobbish childish snickering at my mistake) "No, I'm almost in first grade."
Bailey: "Ohh, you're almost in first grade, you're in kindergarten?"
Bailey: "Are you excited for first grade?"
And to answer this question, Toby knelt down a little bit, began his "yes" with a build up of Y's, and punctuated the whole word with a jump off the ground:
Needless to say, I'm pretty excited for the first grade myself now. That enthusiasm is downright infectious. Thanks, Toby. Keep it up, we love you. Whip cream on the top and bottom, got it.