February 14, 2013

The one with caffeine overdose

Category: Being Parents

“Caffeine can be unhealthy for kids. It can cause them to lose sleep, worsen anxiety and raise blood pressure”

Source: my healthnewsdaily

And everyone knows that giving coffee to a little child, especially one that is barely 3 years old is a complete no-no…

…or is it?

OK. The thing was – towards the end of our Sunday brunch last week with the family, I decided to order a chocolate milkshake for both Spud and me to share. Spud loves milkshake, and every once in a while, she gets to enjoy the occasional milk shakes (and sometimes a few M&Ms and ice-cream) as a treat.

The moment the beverage arrived at our table, Spud pretty much polished off at least ¾ of the milkshake there was, in a rather decent sized glass. I had a little sip of the milkshake when she ventured away from our table and had immediately thought that it tasted a little “off”. By “off”,  I thought it tasted more like coffee. Thinking I could be wrong, I even asked Silver Bullet to taste it but he verified that it wasn’t. In fact, he convinced me that it could just be “chocolate chips”.

When the bill came, I almost jumped off my chair when I saw “COFFEE Milkshake” being printed on there – confirming that my gut about the beverage not being anywhere near chocolate as I ordered was right. I was already annoyed with our whole Sunday breakfast experience at the restaurant, and so, seeing things I hadn’t need to see on the bill tipped me off the edge.

I was appalled. In fact, I was livid.

“Chocolate chips” my foot!  I was convinced that those bits were actually hardcore crushed coffee beans and nowhere near any chocolate chips. So I asked for their manager and I complained. I told them that I didn’t know where to start and that their service sucked. I let it ripped, and told them that serving me Coffee milkshake instead of the chocolate milkshake I originally ordered for the consumption of my daughter was completely unacceptable.  How CHOCOLATE translated into COFFEE in their minds was beyond me.

They did not charge me for the milkshake and few other things on the bill – but in all honestly, it was not about the money. I was MAD that my hyperactive daughter had consumed a large amount of caffeine unbeknownst to us and I was afraid for our sanity that she might start bouncing off the walls in her most fashionable temper tantrums. I was anxious that my child who has a penchant for not liking sleep will now never sleep! 

We paid, and left. By then, there was nothing we could do but watch Spud like a hawk for any signs of the caffeine effect on Spud – something which we hadn’t witnessed before. We had to brace ourselves up for the inevitable.

The strange thing was, nothing actually happened. In fact, scarily enough, the opposite happened. Spud behaved really well after that. She was mellow. She listened really well and was pleasant to everyone. The best part of it all was that when we got home, she went for her nap when we told her to without any fight – a little unusual considering that she has been fighting sleep and had dropped her afternoon nap several times; one being just the day before!

She still woke up from her nap wailing that day, but otherwise, her temperament was even. When dusk set in, she had ants in her pants and was comfortably back to her old hyperactive self again. She was a little restless initially when we put her to bed, but had slept pretty well that night.

Looks like caffeine had no adverse effect whatsoever on our 2.5 year old Spud. We even joked that perhaps we should start giving her a shot of caffeine every now and then as it seemed to have a calming effect on her.

I googled on this several days later and stumbled upon several articles suggesting that caffeine do have an opposite effect on kids with ADHD.



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