Thursday, November 8, 2012

Growing Family

Last Saturday DH called me while I was running errands with Baby R during S's dance lesson. "The neighbors are selling their 20-gallon fish tank in their garage sale. Ok if I buy it?"

I've only ever had one fish. It was a beta. I got it from my sorority big sis (we were the BETA gamma chapter - ha!). It lived in a typical fishbowl on the shelf of my dorm room above the heater next to the window. Not sure if I fried it from the heater or froze it from the open window, but it died overnight.

DH has a heart for animals. When I met him, he had a 65-gallon tank of fish, a bird, two cats and a dog.

I think big fish tanks look cool in doctor's offices and such. But everyone I know who owns one has a fishy smell to their house. I wasn't overly excited about the idea of having one. But it was cheap, and fish are good first pets for the girls. And DH knows all about it since he's had them before. And I was distracted by Baby R trying to push the cart through Hobby Lobby and not take out shelves of glass decor. So I said yes.

Sunday, DH went to the pet store and got pink, green and purple rocks, and a rainbow of plants. And four tiger barbs - two white with black stripes and two green. He set up the tank, let the bag of fish sit in the water to get adjusted to the temperature, and released them. The girls were thrilled! They both wanted the green fish. S named hers Peanut Butter, and R named hers Nemo. DH named his Popcorn. (Baby R had gotten a stuffed horse at Grant's Farm in St. Louis this summer which she named Popcorn but then changed to Mint.) Baby R didn't like that he took that name, so she changed hers to Popcorn, so DH changed his to Caramel Popcorn, LOL. I was very unoriginal and went with Jaws.

The next morning, DH told me not to turn the light on the tank and to tell the girls the fish were sleeping.

Uh oh.

 I try very hard to be open and honest witht he girls about everything. We've discussed the circle of life before. But it seemed too cruel to have their very first pets die less than 24 hours after getting them. So I went along with DH's fib. He planned to pick new ones up on the way home from work.

While getting ready, S kept asking why they were still asleep. Since Sunday was the first day after daylight savings ended, I told her the time change had affected them. (Though it had had an opposite result with the girls - ugh.) She kept commenting about it, so I told her they weren't used to our schedule yet. The pet store didn't open until 9am, so that was when they were used to getting up. That finally satisfied her.

Ultimately, we ended up telling them, and having a fishy funeral over the toilet with a little prayer. The girls handled it better than I expected. Daddy brought new ones home, but we lost most of those as well; down to only one. Hoping we can iron things out soon.
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