Are you one of those people who tuts loudly when small children ruin your peaceful coffee break?
Well I am (supposedly) in charge of those small children. And when you tut it just makes matters worse (for you, not me, my coffee break was already ruined).
Let's see if we can't work out a plan and save us all from unnecessary tutting.
To avoid children you must first know what attracts children. Only then will you truly master the art of having a nice, peaceful cup of tea.
Do not think that just because a cafe serves fancy coffee and sandwiches on bread with unpronounceable names it will be a child free zone. Children are adapting and moving into new areas previously thought to be inhospitable to them. Hummus and pesto are the new fish fingers and beans to many families.
If the cafe has stairs use them to get to safety at the earliest opportunity. People with small children, like Daleks, cannot handle flights of stairs. (Why does Steven Moffat never return my calls?)
Look around for a box of chewed and broken toys. Try and sit as far away as possible from this box - if children do arrive this box will attract them.
Do not sit next to this box and expect to be left alone to catch up on all your emails. The box is a clear sign that this area is for children, it is also full to bursting with the dried spittle of every child that has ever entered the establishment. Avoid like the plague (literally).
Check the other clientele in the cafe. Dogs and people with amusing hats or facial hair will all attract the attention of small children who are incapable of ignoring anyone who looks out of the ordinary. It is imperative you sit a safe distance from these people but also know that any parent worth their salt will also do this so you need to choose your seat carefully. Think tactically.
If all the previous steps fail and you do find yourself in a situation where you are likely to be under attack from a baby try this simple but effective tactic.
Get up and move.
Remember there is only one of you and at least two of us armed with rice cakes and raisins. And a pram. And a massive bag. And a scooter. And some toys.
Honestly we don't mind. Just smile and go.
I spend all my waking hours with my children so it is of no surprise to me whatsoever that some people would want to drink their cappuccino as far away as possible from them.
As a rule parents do not want to take their children where they are not wanted, no one wants to waste time and energy trying to make small children behave in public.
If our children behaved nicely we would be at home with them.
But they don't so we have to leave the house because they have been getting on our tits since 5.30 in the morning and we just want to sit down and drink our coffee in chaos whilst trying to supervise a 2 year old with a juice box and explain the concept of time.
So do not tut at me in Caffe Nero because my children have been annoying you for 3 minutes.
Or I shall tell them there is a baby dinosaur hiding in your bag. And ignore your pleas for mercy.