Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Different Kettle of Fish

Since Mom and Dad moved in with us last in March of 2009, my mother has been drinking tea she makes in the microwave.


My DH has been concerned that she might get it too hot and burn herself, but I’ve been more afraid of her using the stove. Mom has a cup of tea with her from the moment she gets up to the moment she goes to bed. She reheats her tea in the microwave many times a day. Many times we find it in the microwave, completely forgotten. My DH was considering buying her a small microwave for Christmas because she was getting upset whenever anyone else wanted to use it.

But within the last couple of weeks, Mom has decided that she wants to use the tea kettle on top of the stove.


It has a very LOUD whistle. And that is good, except if Mom isn’t in the kitchen, she can’t hear it. And if she is in the kitchen without her hearing aids, she can’t hear it . So, I’ve told her if she uses the stove to make tea, she must stay in the kitchen the whole time the tea kettle is on the stove. I knew saying this was rather pointless. Mom gets distracted and has difficulty staying with one thing for very long. She has done pretty good- but she has been switching back and forth  from the tea kettle to the microwave and then back.

But in the last couple of days- the tea kettle has become an issue. It has been left unattended and its piercing scream brings me running! And that is good- but what if Mom and Dad are here by themselves and Mom leaves it that way. Dad won’t hear it if he is asleep with the door closed and if Mom is not in the room or has her hearing aids out- then it could be a dangerous situation.  And when my DH is asleep he hears nothing either. So my DH decided to hide the tea kettle.

After waking up from a needed Sunday afternoon nap, I went into the kitchen to find a very small pan of water on the stove. Uh oh.

So I got out the tea kettle and then went in to talk to Mom and Dad. I told her the tea kettle was out again, but said reminded her she has to stay in the kitchen with it. Her reply was of course that she NEVER leaves the kitchen when making tea. Dad disagreed with her and that began a mini-argument. I told Mom it was a safety issue. She told me she doesn’t like making tea with the microwave.  She only likes tea made with the the tea kettle. I told her that was fine, but she has to stay in the kitchen- it’s a safety issue. She laughed.

Dad got mad and told her it wasn’t funny.

Then she started giggling. She put her newspaper up to her face and pulled it down like she was playing peek-a-boo and she started giggling. Dad got really upset and I tried to calm him down.

I said “Mom, if you leave it on and leave the kitchen we might have to take the knobs off the stove.” She said “Well, then I guess I’ll have to move!” And started giggling again. It was kind of…cute. Like a small child. It was better than the anger. But it cause Dad to be upset. And I almost burst out laughing- which would have made it worse for Dad.

This is a different kettle of fish.

I think its time for an electric tea kettle with an automatic shut off…


Mary said...

Unattended cooking is the number one cause of household fires. Your mother's reasoning button is broken; you can not reason with her. As long as she is in your home, you need to protect yourselves - here's a helpful guide: Good luck! Stay safe!

Linda said...

I think the electric kettle they use at HUMC has an automatic shut off. I know mine doesn't, and it doesn't whistle either, which "usually" isn't a problem. There must be some way! My DH was constantly reheating his tea in the microwave, which makes the tea pretty awful by the bottom of the cup, but you've mentioned your mom doesn't have good taste (you know what I mean - LOL!)

Mary Beth said...

We have that kind of kettle at work and it's a godsend.