Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish. – Mark Twain
I ran 3.1 miles in the early sticky morning…who knew that would be the easy part of my morning?
Our son went to “bug camp” last week – where he learned about eco-systems, designed a fly-eating frog computer game, and came home with 2 walking sticks (the bug not the thing you can hit people with) and 1 goldfish in a terra-aquarium. On the day he took home the fish, our daughter grumped that she wanted a fish too. So – in a weak moment…we acquired a betta fish for her.
Things were fine for all of the last 48 hours of the goldfish’s life. “Goldie” expired on Saturday afternoon. In another weak moment, I promised a new fish on Monday.
So there I stood in front of a wall of fish with my son’s eyes getting bigger and bigger.
“Can I get one of those tiny sharks?”
Um…Let’s see…they prefer to be in groups of 6 – at $5 a fish that’s like $30 of fish to just keep them happy. (How do you know if a tiny shark is happy??) That and I don’t think they’ll fit in your one gallon tank so we’re talking another gazillon dollars for a larger tank. Not what I had in mind…
So I steered him towards the feeder fish….Goldfish (sm) at 38 cents a pop. Well with that deep discount, I started to think about how lonely one goldfish might be. And how it would be nice to have two so if one perishes – I don’t have to rush right back to the store. And boy those little Rosy Reds are cute tiny fish and don’t take up much space.
Before I know it – I’m heading home with 2 Goldfish (sm) and 3 Rosy Reds and 1 happy 7 year old. And I’m only out $1.90.
20 mins later – there was only 1 Goldfish (sm) and 3 Rosy Reds and 1 sobbing 7 year old.
Here’s a good idea for you to clip and put wherever you keep good ideas – never ever transfer fish from the store’s bag to the new tank right next to the kitchen sink. Well – if you do – for goodness sakes do not puncture the bag and assume the trajectory of the fish spilling out of the bag will be aimed directly into the tank. Because most likely the fish will take a left turn at freedom and swim for the kitchen sink drain. Or as our son screamed, “You poured him down the drain!”
Left a whispered voicemail for husband at work and then grabbed the car keys. Had to pick up 5 1/2 year old daughter at cooking camp. Sampled the food they made and then headed to the car. Her brother informed her of his “good news and bad news” about the fish. Her response? “Why does he now have 5 fish and I only have one?????” Umm….
So back to Walmart (don’t judge me) with 2 unhappy kids. Walmart lady had told me that I could get a new (free) fish with receipt should one perish over the first 90 days of ownership (does one really own a fish?). I figured swan dive into the kitchen sink is listed in fine print as not a way to get a new fish for free.
Thankfully I didn’t have to explain the quick return trip. A different employee helped bag up our new Goldfish (sm) and then the two new Rosy Reds (remember – screeching 5 1/2 year old daughter?). $1.22 with tax.
Our son demanded that I not cut open the bag but scoop out the fish. Not too surprisingly this worked much better than earlier transfer. And the two Rosy Reds were easily moved into an old betta bowl (from our last round of fish pets a few years ago).
And then I decided that the tuna steaks I was defrosting for dinner could wait a day. I’m a little fished out.
In all seriousness – I made mistakes in both and I love both – but running sometimes seems easy compared to parenting.