Children: they are the future. (In as much as this planet actually has a future, and the jury is still out on that.) Though they may be toddlers now, stumbling around and drooling all over themselves, they’ll one day be in their 20s and later their 70s and 80s, where they’ll be stumbling around and drooling all over themselves. But this time with way more power.
And given that these youngsters will one day be the rulers of the world, a world we want coffee to be a part of mind you, we must ask ourselves but one question: should we get them addicted to coffee now while they are still toddlers? The answer, at least for the parents of 15% of these little scamps is, yes absolutely we should.
This frankly amazing statistic comes courtesy of Mashed, who brought to light a Boston Medical Center survey finding that 15% of all two-year-old children who were part of the survey drank coffee. And we’re not just talking “oops my baby took a sip of my iced latte” here. The kids were consuming at least four ounces of coffee on a daily basis. The same study found that 2.5% of one year olds did the same.
Giving caffeine to children—or proffering any opinion on how another person should raise their child really—can be a bit of a hot-button issue. A lot of that may stem from the already disproven folk wisdom that drinking coffee at a young age will stunt your growth. Per Mashed, the American Academy of Pediatrics holds that kids younger than 12 shouldn’t have any caffeine at all. Interrupted sleep, nervousness, caffeine dependency, and the fact that most caffeinated drinks kids would consume come loaded with sugar are all given as potential reasons for abstaining.
I mean, I started drinking little bits of coffee at the ripe old age of five and was slamming sodie pops like they were going out of style shortly thereafter and I’m (mostly) no worse for the wear. But now, many years later, I’m on the other side of the equation with two young ones of my own, and while I don’t know that there is any real health-based reason keeping me from giving them caffeine, I can’t help but wonder why in the world I would ever do such a thing.
Children, perfect little clusters of joy and pizzazz vibrating with boundless energy, and you want to supercharge them with caffeine? At normal speed my old bones can barely keep pace. Daddy’s tired. He just needs to phone for two minutes. Please children, I’m begging you, let daddy phone for just one minute and then we can resume playing beauty shop, Candyland, Go Fish, chase, and coloring. And you want to put your thumb on the scales in favor the world’s cutest fission reactors? Perhaps you have lost your mind. Do you need help finding it because this, to me, seems like a terrrrrrrible idea.
To the parents of the souped up toddlers, you’re either saints with infinite patience or you are masochists of the highest order. There is no in between. Either way, thank you for your service. Hopefully your sacrifice—or sick pleasure, whichever it may be—will ensure the necessity and very existence of coffee, thanks to the tireless work of your caffeine-addled offspring. Your methods may be weird, but your results can’t be denied.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.