Elfun Safety

For a while now G has been down to two bottles of milk a day, from the five she used to get when Mrs J went back to work and had to stop breastfeeding her. G has one just before bed, so she only has one bottle during the day. I often take it with us when we're out and about, and give it to her while I have a coffee. Or a cheeky lunchtime pint, if I'm sure nobody from social services is watching.

I usually can't be bothered taking a flask of hot water around with me, so normally ask the person behind the counter in the coffee shop to give me some water along with my coffee so I can warm G's feed up. This never used to be a problem. But recently, more and more coffee shop people (I suppose I should call them baristas, but that's a bit too pretentious, even for me) have told me I'm not allowed any hot water. "It's elfun safety," they say, apologetically.

I've tried asking a few of them what exactly is wrong with giving me a jug of hot water, when most coffee shops and pubs will do it without thinking twice. Nobody seems to know. "It's just elfun safety," they say. They're all happy to put the bottle in a jug of hot water on the counter for me, they just won't actually give me the water.

Why giving me hot water could possibly be considered dangerous when they're also selling me a mug of hot coffee isn't exactly clear. Once, a coffee shop worker muttered something about how that was different, because I was buying the coffee, and they were just giving me the water. I offered to buy the water for 1p. Apparently I couldn't do that either, because the water was free. When I said I didn't really understand why it was all so complicated, the shop worker looked blank: "It's elfun safety, you see," she said. Of course, how silly of me.

Not that any of this bothers G. She's only a month away from her first birthday now, and that's when she's supposed to switch from formula to proper cow's milk. Given that it tastes a lot better than the powdered stuff, I'm sure she won't mind having it cold.


Anonymous said...

Cold milk! We were obsessed with the right temperature with baby #1. Guess how bothered we've been with #2.

That's right.

"Meh...she'll survive."

Hackney Hackette said...

Yes! This happened to me in John Lewis, with a jar of baby food. They will not give you hot water to warm it up with, but offer instead to sell, or possibly give, I can't remember, you warmed up baby food instead. After I learned this our conversation went: "Do you get a jug of hot water with a pot of tea?" Them: "Yes." "Can I buy a pot of tea, but without the tea, seeing as how I loathe and despise the beverage?" Them: "er....no." "Can I buy a pot of tea, then?. With the hot water." "er....Ok."