Have you guys ever heard of Irn Bru?
It’s Scotland’s “other national drink” (after whiskey). It actually outsells Coke in Scotland, which is a pretty crazy accomplishment. If I remember correctly, that hasn’t happened anywhere else. But I might have made that up. Or a very proud Scot told me so and I took it for the truth. Either way, it’s popular stuff.
I only tried Irn Bru once. I don’t actually know what it’s supposed to taste like. It’s not orange, despite its appearance. It’s almost like North American cream soda, except way, way sweeter. Apparently, it may have a slightly ginger-y after taste? I think it burned my taste buds off. But that’s honestly not saying much; I’ve never been a fan of soda.
Anyway, I will never forget this one day in Glasgow. I was crossing a bridge in Kelvingrove Park on my way to university and I happened to pass by a young mother with a number of children. That in itself wasn’t surprising, but her youngest child was. The little girl, who could not have been older than 6-8 months, was sitting in a stroller, sucking on a baby bottle…that was filled with Irn Bru.
How can I be sure? It’s neon orange, y’all. It looks like toxic waste.
I have to admit, my first reaction was to think, “Only in Glasgow,” and tell like, everyone I saw that day about how horrified I was.
But lately, like in the last few months, I have seen so many parents buying their kids coffee that I don’t even know what to think. Just a couple days ago, when I was “working” at a Starbucks, I saw a dad buying his 6-7 year old son an iced coffee and I was kind of floored.
I know what you’re thinking. Starbucks has a lot of non caffeinated beverages that could be kid-friendly. Yeah, that’s absolutely true. But this kid was drinking one of these:
Straight up iced coffee.
I’ve heard lots of parents say their kids genuinely love the taste of black coffee. I just hope that when they comply to their kids’ requests, they’re at least ordering decaf. Because (A) kids don’t need an early start to caffeine addiction, and (B) who wants to parent a caffeinated child?!
Lesson learned: I may be one of “those” parents. You know the ones. They don’t let their kids eat sugary cereal or processed foods.
Combine this post with this article from Jezebel and once again, I’m leaning toward “NO” on the “Are you going to have children?” scale.