Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
I never dreamed that I would one day become a coffee addict.
And yet, if I go one day without it, I know a headache will await me that afternoon.
I had no interest in coffee for the first 33 years of my life. In fact, I was worried about the negative effects from it I heard about as a boy: stained teeth, bad breath and most worrisome of all, stunted growth from caffeine (I’ve since learned that coffee doesn’t actually stunt your growth the way a lot of young people were taught). I probably didn’t have more than two cups of coffee during this time.
That all changed in February 2020 when our daughter was born. Like a lot of babies, our daughter woke us up a few times a night to be changed and fed. Sometimes my wife and I would be awake for a few hours getting her to drink a bottle, burping her and then getting her back to sleep. After a few weeks, it was clear that our days of sleeping through the night were over.
When I returned to work after my paternity leave, I dusted off one of my seldom used coffee mugs in the hopes of staying alert the whole day. By then, my fears about stunted growth were long gone, and I thought that as long as I was brushing twice a day, I shouldn’t have to worry much about the coffee staining my teeth.
In the nearly 18 months since Nayeli was born, I’ve consumed coffee almost every day. My current routine is to drink about 16 ounces with a splash of half-and-half, sugar and some vanilla flavoring.
I won’t pretend to be a doctor, so I’ll just speak to what coffee has done to me personally, which is to help me focus throughout the day. I’ve heard from some people that have trouble sleeping when they drink coffee, but I’ve never had a problem with this.
The only thing I worry about is that I’ve become addicted to coffee such that I can’t skip a day without the stuff. But as long as our daughter keeps waking us up before dawn to recite her ABCs, I’m going to need that cup of Folgers.