I love my kettle.
Last week my ex-husband boiled milk in my kettle.
This wasn’t some bizarre act of vengeance against me for some perceived or actual wrong doing on my part, it was an act of pure numptiness. How or why you might wonder would a 34 year old man come to boil milk in a kettle? I shall tell you…
My daughter likes to drink warm milk, I usually make this in the time honored lazy mum way with 75% cold milk and 25% boiled water. My ex-husband makes it by warming milk in a pan on the hob. Both ways achieve the same end but my daughter prefers mum’s way because that’s what she is used to.
While I was out one day my daughter tried to explain to her dad how I make warm milk, there was clearly a miscommunication because when I came home and went to make a drink I poured from the kettle freshly boiled milk and water.
I was speechless; believe me that doesn’t happen often.
When I asked him why there was milk in the kettle he said;
“Because Isa told me to do it!”
Yes, a 34 year old man trusted the word of a five year old on how to use a kitchen appliance. Now you may be thinking, but he’s French, they don’t use kettles, they use pans on hobs and coffee makers. Yes, all of those things are true but he lived with me for four years and saw me use a kettle on a pretty much hourly basis – at no point in that time did I ever put milk in the kettle!
Here were my almost simultaneous thoughts in response to Kettlegate:
“It’s not the kettle it’s the principle!”
“It’s totally about the kettle, that’s a £40 kettle, I love my kettle!”
“I can’t even have a cup of tea because he’s put milk in my kettle!”
“MILK. BOILED. IN. KETTLE!”
Naturally I took to social media to vent my frustration, social media was incredulous at the situation and don’t get me wrong I can see the hilarity and absurdity in the situation and I could even as it was unfolding but at the same time it seemed to represent everything I find challenging with the actions and decisions he makes as a father.
It sums up his attitude to parenting.
That he can’t work out how to do something and when the child helps him he can’t work out what is logical and what is not. Fundamentally; he boiled milk in a kettle because he thought a five year old told him to. He didn’t take a moment to think through that this might be, y’know weird or COMPLETELY FREAKING WRONG!, but just went along with it like a dog chasing a stick. Why on earth didn’t he just heat the milk in the pan and tell her that was how things are – sometimes that’s how life is – take it or leave it, like it or lump it, just don’t boil milk in my kettle.
The kettle as representation of my financial struggles as a lone parent.
The kettle is blue, it is pretty and overpriced, in short it is a luxury and I could have just got a £10 one from Argos. After four years I’m just getting to the point where I can chose what I buy for the house and that choice isn’t based on something being the cheapest or in the sale or free and so to be able to buy an overpriced kettle because I love the colour of it represents something important to me. Something I don’t want to articulate to my ex-husband because it is none of his business. Also it matches the toaster – the toaster didn’t need replacing, but that’s how far I’ve come that I can just willy nilly buy an overpriced toaster because it matches my overpriced kettle and yes, I do have my eye on the overpriced hand mixer.
Look they’re blue and they’re pretty and I love them.
And lets not forget the very fundamental fact that;
MY EX HUSBAND BOILED MILK IN MY KETTLE!
Just take a moment and let that sink in.
But you know what, I didn’t say any of the things I thought or felt, I bit my tongue and washed out the kettle (it is fine by the way) and got on with life because he wouldn’t have understood. I could have tried to explain till I was as blue in the face as my pretty kettle but what’s the point? Our lives are so different and we are so far removed from our interpretation of what parenting means that I felt it would have been futile.
The problem here is he thought he’d just boiled milk in a kettle and I saw it as meaningful, even if it wasn’t it was still boiling milk in my kettle and whichever way you look at it, that’s just plain stupid.
By the way, if you’re wondering the kettle is a KMix from Kenwood and comes in all sorts of funky colours, I got mine at John Lewis as that was cheapest. If you are admiring it then the only thing I would point out is that it is a small capacity but that suits our small family. Oh it is also a bit noisy when it boils water, I’m not sure the noise it makes when boiling milk as I was out at the time and I’m not going to find out for you, because remember folks;
DON’T BOIL MILK IN MY KETTLE!