Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I walked right into his clever trap

We were talking about birthday parties, really. That's how he set out to trick me. How he managed to lure me into that conversation is beyond me, but he did, that sneaky boy. Except I started the discussion. See, Big Dog is going to be 5 in just over a month, so I'd better get planning. We've decided on a specific location, and I was asking about a theme, you know, what kind of invitations and goody bags and all of that I need to buy. I was trying to explain a theme to a almost 5-year-old by reminding him of birthday themes past.

"Last year you had a monkey theme, for your third birthday we had a fish theme. remember?"
"I want a fish theme."
"Ok, but you could do a dog theme or a cowboy theme or a Hot Wheels theme, really, anything you want.
"I want fish."
"Great, we can do that. So we'll get invitations with fish on them"
"How about a fish bowl?"
"Sure, we could do a fish bowl."
"I'm getting a fish! I'm getting a fish and I'll name her Goldy," he says with real excitement.
"Wait, you mean an actual fishbowl? I was thinking invitations...hold on."
"You know what kind of fish I want? Clown fish," still brimming with joy over the idea of it.
"Wait, real fish?"
"Yes."
"Um, well...."
And now we have fish. See, he's sneaky that way. And I'm a pushover. At least I talked him down to goldfish, right?


Please welcome the newest members of the Followthatdog household, Goldie and Spotty. And no, they aren't that blurry in real life.

I should probably fess up and tell you that no, these are not the original Goldie and Spotty. Sadly the original Spotty took a turn for the worse when we brought them home. So yesterday morning, after making one trip to the pet store to buy fish medicine, a tank heater, tank test strips and a book on how the hell I'm supposed to keep an aquarium because I'm obviously a major fuck up in this department, I returned home to find Spotty was significantly worse. Adding insult to injury, Goldie had decided that floating listlessly at the top of the tank was one of her major talents. I tested the water and it was perfect, the tank temperature, although on the low end of the comfort range for goldfish, was still solidly within the acceptable range. At this point I rejected the pet store "Aquatics Specialist" assertion that the water was too cold and the heater would fix them right up (yeah, $30 later I reject this claim).

The outlook was poor, and I decided a second trip to the pet store was in order. This time I chose a different location, partly because I no longer had confidence in Mr. Aquatics Specialist and partly because I didn't want them to realize that, yes, it was me 15 minutes ago making the outrageous purchases to save my new fish and yes, those outrageous purchases failed to save my $2.99 goldfish. So I headed to the other pet store, found suitable lookalikes and headed home. When I arrived home Spotty had succumb to his illness, and Goldie was still lolling around the top of the tank.

As a sneaky mom who replaces fish instead of having uncomfortable conversations, I made sure the kids were safely away in the other part of the house, and I swapped fish. Spotty made his return to the sea, ok, more accurately, the sewage treatment plant, and Goldie was moved to a smaller glass pitcher for her final moments and hidden away on the kitchen counter, behind a screen of wine bottles. Yeah, that's how my house is run.

All was well when the boys returned to their room later. "Spotty is feeling better! Goldie said sorry and now Spotty is happy!" said Big Dog. Sure, kid. That's what happened. I admit, I feel a little guilty lying to my kids, but really, which is worse, having to explain that within 24 hours I can kill two fish without even trying or letting him believe that the magical heater and a fish apology is all it takes to bring his fishy back? (If you're going to say lying is worse, please don't answer.)

So this morning I went to check on the original Goldie, thinking I'd be doing another flush job before the boys got up, and guess what. She's up and swimming happily about. So now I have a third fish, currently residing in a jar on my kitchen counter while the newly introduced Goldie and Spotty luxuriate in the 10 gallon tank in the boys room. Here I am, liar liar pants on fire, stuck with an extra fish. Now I need to figure out if this one is going to keep on surviving, and therefore can be introduced as a long-lost relative of the Spotty and Goldie in the tank, or if this is just a ploy to get back into the tank so she can cause even more costly trips to the pet store.

I guess this is what that whole "oh what tangled webs we weave" thing is about, ending up with extra fish.

7 comments:

Mrs. F said...

I must be a cruel person, because my initial thought was "Flush her anyways. Hide all evidence at all costs." Geez I am horrible. Of course I am joking, but still probably a horrible thought...gonna go hide in shame now.

Stacy (mama-om) said...

Oh, fish!

My husband went out and bought the kids a tank and six fish! (four guppies and two other ones).

We now have TWO fish. Goldie, Blue-y, Flipper, and Fig bit the dust.

We now have Orange-y and Tiger.

They've lived a long time. My husband now changes the water every weekend. :)

fruitlady said...

That's hilarious! You could say, "Oh look! They had a baby!" Hahaha! Keep the lie train rolling! She'll probably live forever on the kitchen counter!

mamikaze said...

lmao! I would have done the same thing. "Goldy's Sister came for a visit!"

Living In a Girl's World said...

You're not horrible. We had fish. Over time we did lots of replacing. My trick to keeping them alive - don't try to keep them alive. If I neglected the aquarium, they seemed to last longer.

When we moved last from Idaho to Nevada, we still had 3 hanging on. Don't know how they survived. I guess this is what's called "survival of the fittest", right? Anyway, because the move was so far and we knew they wouldn't make the trip and nobody we knew wanted them, we had to dispose of perfectly healthy fish. I almost let nature have it's way and let the cats have them, but I couldn't feed one pet to another.

I don't remember what lie we told the kids about why the fish died. Probably something totally pathetic and unbelievable.

BoneFolder said...

I think you played it about right. Except for walking into the trap. I saw it coming. A surprisingly rookie move, my dear. Then again, I recognize that train cause I to have wound up on those same tracks.

Shit, you know this is probably the most consistently funny blog out of the couple hundred I follow.

chihuahua5 said...

dude you totally made the right call.

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