And then, she made cocoa…with the Keurig

18 Apr

There’s a shift happening in the household. One we see every so often, but not enough of. That shift where suddenly, Maura’s bursting with new skills and processing patterns. It’s an exciting and dangerous time in the household. Exciting because WOW! Look at her be even more independent. Dangerous because OMG! She doesn’t quite have safety concepts down yet.

Last week, she reaaaaaaaaally wanted to help me with dinner. Which is always fun while I’m trying to chop veggies and she’s hovering millimeters from me. One night I was trying to make BLT’s and let’s be honest – I shouldn’t be that close to the pan of frying bacon. Maura definitely shouldn’t be. So I explained how it was hot, and it wasn’t safe and she backed off. But a couple days later, when I was making chicken fajitas, she once again wanted to help, so I showed her how to stir the pan – my hand over hers, showing her how to hold the pan handle, how to gently stir and not just salad toss the whole pan of hot food. I’ve actually allowed her to start using the toaster to make toast. I hover behind her, but she knows about hot things, and how to wait, and hasn’t tried sticking a knife in there yet so that’s good. She knows to get me when it comes to using the microwave – thank God.

But then, she’ll do something I can’t foresee. Curse my lack of fortune telling skills!

Yesterday, I heard a noise. A noise I’m intimately familiar with. It was the sound of the Keurig coffee maker going off.

Except I hadn’t turned it on.

There were only three of us at home – myself, Sean, and Maura. Sean doesn’t do coffee, so that ruled him out. I hadn’t pushed the button. That left Maura.

Of course, it took me a couple moments to get to that point.

*hears noise*

Hmmm…that sounds familiar…


wait, sounds like the coffee maker…



<takes off running>

I got to the kitchen as Maura was entering it.

“Cocoa!” she announced.

She was trying to make cocoa. Which would be cool…but we don’t have cocoa pods. Or any pods for this coffee maker actually. I have reusable, fill yourself, pods. I’m environmentally friendly like that.

“Where did you get the cocoa Maura?” I asked.


“Where’s the cocoa Maura? Where? Where’s the cocoa? Can you show me the cocoa? Show me the cocoa!”

I realized that I sounded like a mad woman, blathering on repetitively about cocoa. And in doing so, I was just confusing the girl. So I looked around the kitchen. Found a measuring spoon coated in cocoa dust. Went through the mental file of if we even had cocoa in the house. I opened one cabinet, found nothing cocoa-like. Opened the next cabinet, saw the container of Hershey’s Cocoa, and a light bulb went off.

“Did you use this?” I asked.

“Cocoa!” she stated.

(This is the part of the story where Josh asked “Holy crap, did she read it?” and I said “I don’t know! Maybe?”)

“Oh honey, this cocoa has no sugar in it. It’s going to taste icky.”

She glanced over at her cup of cocoa – which was a hot steaming mug of second use coffee grounds as the reusable pod was still in there from that morning, and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

“You can try it,” I said “but it’s not going to taste good.”

The girl was justifiably disappointed.

The parental units were duly impressed that she tried to figure out how to make herself cocoa by observation and deduction. I mean, the thought process it took to make that cup! The care she took in measuring out just some of the cocoa powder! It was impressive!

Doesn’t mean I still don’t yearn at times for our Irish kitchen with the lockable door. But we are very impressed parents over here…who’ll just move into the kitchen. Because wow.

Like I said, these are exciting times. Slightly terrifying, but exciting.

I love you too coffee!


6 Responses to “And then, she made cocoa…with the Keurig”

  1. franhunne4u April 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    Moccachino – just needs some sugar … very impressed.

    • phoebz4 April 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm #


      • franhunne4u April 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

        Like a caffè latte, caffè mocha is based on espresso and hot milk, but with added chocolate, typically in the form of sweet cocoa powder, although many varieties use chocolate syrup. Mochas can contain dark or milk chocolate.

        Caffè mocha, in its most basic formulation, can also be referred to as hot chocolate with (e.g., a shot of) espresso added. Like cappuccino, caffè mochas typically contain the distinctive milk froth on top, although, as is common with hot chocolate, they are sometimes served with whipped cream instead. They are usually topped with a dusting of either cinnamon or cocoa powder, and marshmallows may also be added on top for flavor and decoration.

  2. Renee Anne April 18, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Oh, the joys of children learning new things they’re not quite ready for! Granted, Maura has disabilities and is older than Little Man but the idea is still the same.

    And now I want cocoa. Dammit.

  3. autismcuppa April 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    When my son who has autism, Kiddo, learned to use the microwave in high school to heat his own instant coffee, we were so, so, so, SO pleased. We had an express feature and taught him to press the 1 minute button for his coffee. He would fill the special red mug he received as part of his school’s co-op work program and put one and a half teaspoons of decaf instant in after the water was heated. Good, right? Well, mostly. Until we redid the kitchen and had a new microwave which is over the cooktop. The place where the former micro had the 1 minute express button is the place the new one has the popcorn feature…scalding mugs of water……and one old mug EXPLODED (we replaced it by begging his inclusion facilitator for another one)…sigh….no amount of explaining, modeling behavior etc. would get him to press the new button. Until I came up with the idea of putting a blob of red nailpolish on the 1 minute express button, THEN did the modeling etc. Worked like a charm. The nail polish has long worn off and he’s still using the right button!

    It’s great she’s figuring stuff out for herself. And you will figure out how to make it work for her after she does…….it never ends, does it?

  4. saracvt April 18, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Reading my email this morning, I actually said to my husband, “Oh NO. Phoebe just posted & the subject line is ‘And then she made cocoa’. I don’t know if I can handle this right now.”

    Because c’mon. Regular readers know who “she” is going to be, & there’s a high probability the end result won’t be pretty. I have memories of a bathroom (no idea why that room) coated in cocoa dust, with the sink bowl full of a flour, water & cocoa concoction. Took me hours to clean up.

    So I know. And so, apparently, did the Chinese, who had a curse as follows: “May you live in interesting times.”

    Yeah. Interesting. That’s one way to put it.

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