Thursday, February 11, 2010

Buying bagels

We have been frequenting Lawley's Bakery Cafe in Shenton Park almost as long as we've lived here. It's pretty big and quite amenable to kidlets (though no easy access bathroom is a big downside), so we're regulars. At first, we went there in the mornings sometimes for toast with jam and a babycino. It wasn't long before Ellie figured out babycinos come with cookies in the afternoon. Now, Stephanie loves babycinos too. Just about every cafe serves babycinos (usually with a marshmallow or maybe two), but at Lawley's, the babycinos are only 80 cents, and as I said, they come with a cookie. Hello.

Ellie often asks if we can go to the bakery after school. We used to go as a Friday treat for reaching the end of the week, but once she started going full days, she asked more often. I've noticed it seems to correlate with tough days or when she's extra-tired. It helps her handle the peril, so often I acquiesce. Today was one of those days.

When we arrive, the girls make a beeline for the toy basket. In the past few weeks, some stuffed bunnies have turned up in there, and the girls love them! Those are always claimed first. Then, we have our usual table in the corner along the wall where tables back up to a wall-length bench/booth seat. The girls are very polite and nearly always remember to say "thank you" when their treats arrive. The cookie is then devoured with gusto; the babycino may be consumed or not.

Then, there is the big finish: buying bagels.

For over a year, Ellie has liked to go to the counter at the bakery after her treat and buy two plain bagels, one for herself and one for baby Stephanie. I give her exact change, and I am supposed to remain in my chair but within sight. At first, she was often overlooked, the worker assuming she was a kid waiting with a parent in the queue, which often resulted in tears as Ellie was skipped over time and again. By now, almost all of the girls at the bakery know her/us and they know what she wants when she walks up. They even let her jump the queue, though Ellie doesn't know this.

Within the past month or two, baby Stephanie wants in on the action. Now, they each buy their own bagels. Ellie walks up and waits at the counter, and then she asks for "One plain bagel, please." She waits for the girl to get it, hands over her money with a "thank you" and comes back to me. Baby Stephanie puts her coins on the counter and runs away. I usually have to remind her to go back to get her bagel. She is always extremely proud that she was able to "pay the lady."


Anonymous said...

I love rituals like this. With my oldest it was going to the french bakery near us. Now we all go to a take out place - when it was my 4 year old's birthday the lady behind the counter gave her a free Coke :)

I don't think my 4 year old would be able to go up to the counter alone...I'll have to try that!

Anonymous said...

Heart warming!! x

Karly said...

How awesome that you have a regular place like this to visit and that you do! I think it's so very sweet that Ellie and Stephanie buy their own bagels!

Anonymous said...

They are so grown up! Can't wait to come visit and see my two "big girls"!!