Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fishy, Flappy, and Stripey

I will begin by saying Batman feels terrible about it. Just terrible.

The day before Father's Day we had a mishap with our aquarium. We lost all of our fish.

It was a true accident. The aquarium had been quite successful for many, many months. Each child chose two fish of their own to keep in the 55 gallon tank. We had an interesting variety of semi-aggressive fish, and they all got along very well. The kids chose a Silver Dollar fish for Batman, since silver is his favorite color. Julian chose one of those little catfish-like sharky-looking things, Maddie had a colorful catfish type as well, and Gabriel had two large goldfish.

And Stripey.

Gabriel was so very excited the day he picked out Stripey at the pet store. He showed the helpful lady the exact one he wanted, even though they all pretty much looked the same. When she went to scoop him with her net, Stripey leaped out of his tank, and fell, like, seven feet to the floor. He flopped around while we searched for him. Gabriel spotted him, and the very nice lady offered to get us a different fish, just in case. Of course, Gabriel was SET on this one, and started talking to him in his little plastic bag right away. He thought the whole incident was hilarious, completely unaware that his new pet may have a concussion, or worse, and may not make it throughout the week. I thanked the woman, and told her we would risk it. She reminded me to keep my receipt in case I should need to make an exchange.

We never needed it.

Stripey thrived and grew and had his own little personality. He became the biggest fish in the tank! Gabriel took very good care of the fish, and enjoyed his responsibility. Fishy, Flappy, and Stripey were Gabriel's actual pets. He fed them twice a day, talked to them every morning, told them to be nice to each other, and really loved them.

The unfortunate fish incident seeped into our planned grilling time. By the time we broke the news to the kids, it was getting a bit late. The older two were disappointed about losing their fish, but Gabriel was truly heartbroken. He cried, I cried, Batman felt just awful. We decided to forgo the grilling, and distracted the kids by taking them to IHOP as a treat. Batman and I exchanged amused glances when Maddie thought she might want to order fish (he convinced her otherwise). And the most touching moment of the evening was when Gabriel put his hand on his stepdad's arm and said, "I'm really very sorry that your fish Silver Dollar died."

So we are taking the week to get the aquarium cleaned out (again) and ready for a new family of fish. We explained to the kids that of course it wouldn't be the same, but it would still be lots of fun. We are all looking forward to it!

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