When I logged onto My Charming Kids this morning, I saw that the carnival had been open for at least 8 hours, which means that there were probably already around 70 blogs listed. Ugh. Rather than adopting a defeatist attitude and abandoning the effort altogether, as I often do when I make this discovery, I thought, what if I wasn’t one of the top blogs? What if I was instead dead last?
So here we are, at around #300 in the blog roll, that I offer my post for the week:
Last week, I did not channel the Ghost of Christmas Past and kill my son’s pet fish.
In order to understand this statement, there are many stories that must be told…
My brother, Andy, has long been one of the best gift givers I know. When I was in college, he gave me a fish bowl and a pair of goldfish. I did not know that I had ever even wanted pet fish until he presented me with them on Christmas morning. I loved them. Once the holiday break was over, I returned to school and left the fish in my parents' loving care. What could go wrong? Needless to say, I was stunned when I received a phone call from my Mom weeks later. The fish were dead. It hadn’t even been a month since Christmas. When I asked her what she might have done out of the ordinary, she responded that she cleaned the fish tank…with bleach.
After my son, G, was born, my husband thought it would be great to have fish next to the crib. It would give G something to watch, almost like a live mobile. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to take on the responsibility of fish maintenance. Geoff, my husband, assured me that would never happen.
Geoff was true to his word and cleaned the tank regularly in the beginning. However, like most good things, that routine came to an end and cleaning the tank became my responsibility. My husband does his best to persuade me not to clean the tank most of the time; something about maintaining the delicate, ecological balance of the aquarium. My response to this is usually along the lines of “whatever.”
Last week, I couldn’t stand it any longer. The slimy algae, moldy fish food, and other nameless floating scum got the best of me. I gave the kids some toys and, later that morning, the tank was as clean as the day we bought it.
Sadly, the fish was not as pleased with the outcome as I was. After about an hour in his new, crystal clear environment, I noticed that the fish seemed to be swimming a bit side-ways. More time passed and suddenly he stopped swimming altogether. At that point, Giancarlo started yelling, “Mama, the fish is broken! Fix it, Mama, fix it.” Try as I might, the fish couldn’t be fixed. When he started swimming into the sides of the tank, kamikaze style, I knew we were in trouble.
I did the only thing I could think of: I gathered the kids around the tank and we took in the very dramatic and tragic show.
I like to think that my kids learned about the circle of life this week. Here is a bit of pictorial evidence to that effect, as well as proof of just how very clean the tank is:
As I gazed upon the empty tank today, I realized that I used the exact same phrase as my mother when I attempted to explain the sudden demise of the fish...“the tank really needed to be cleaned!”