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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

For more Mondays than I can remember, I have stalked MckMama’s My Charming Kids blog. My goal is always the same: to be among the first 10 blogs listed in the Not-Me Monday carnival. Anyone who has participated in the carnival can confirm that this is no easy feat. To further complicate matters, MckMama has started opening the carnival at different times, sometimes Sunday night, sometimes Monday morning.

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!”

-Francesca

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8 comments:

Counselormama said...

I can't tell you how many fish funerals we've held. The kids actually look forward to the flushing ritual, eesh. Anyways, I heard cleaning with Oxyclean won't kill the fish, but I'm here to tell you there's no guarantee!

amanda said...

speaking of fish tanks...ours needs to be cleaned. amelya is convinced to buy them from pet smart, because 'those fish stay alived longer'. we've gone through a few fish in the past few months. :0) it's important to teach the 'circle of life' :0) and then go buy another 29 cent goldfish.

Willow Tree said...

All drains lead to the ocean my friend. :o)

About that blog carnival? Start watching her page around 11:00 or 12:00 the night Before. That's when WFMWednesdays go up, on Tuesday nights! She might post early too.

So, is Santa bringing fishies?

forever folding laundry said...

Do you know that after Nemo came out they had to issue some type of press release to tell people to stop flushing their fish to 'set them free' since all drains actually lead to the sewage treatment facility. Ewww. ;0)

We, too, have had to dispose of a good many fish before I finally figured out the trick to keeping them alive. We now let them stay at PetSmart. =)

(On a random note: my word verification for this post? 'uncysts'. Is that disgusting or is it just me??)

wendy said...

my mom killed my tadpool one time. it was funny later when I grew up.

Jill said...

So sorry to hear about your fish. I've given up on trying to be one of the first Not Me's. :)

Mainly a midwife said...

My son's fish bit the dust around Thanksgiving. The fish really haven't been the same since I had last changed the water. I have no idea what I did. We still have a beta that is hanging in there...

Wildwood Mama said...

I want to get a fishtank, but I'm afraid there might be some 'circle of life' discussions around here as well if we did!