Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3 - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish



You might recognize that title to a Dr. Seuss book from childhood. It seemed appropriate for today’s post about two swimmy creatures that we call our pets.

The fish tank was an earned compromise for our son about a year ago. It was such a big deal to go pick it out, along with all the assorted goodies that make the fish’s house a home.

Then came the fish. I have lost count of the number of fish we had to sacrifice in the tank to get the water ‘ready’ to house the REAL round of pets. I had no clue about this process, until they kept dying and I did some research online to discover it is commonplace. You must first murk up your water with too much food, fish waste, high ammonia and ph levels and other sorts of ‘stuff’ that happens in a tank that needs to be broken in. This happens naturally, thank goodness, but at the expense of the carefully chosen pet fish that kept dying on us.

You might recall this OREO obituary that was written to honor the last of the fish that sacrificed his life for the good of the tank.

We are down to two now. Their colors are red and blue. Neon Tetras they’re called. These suckers won’t die! They must have become one with the once toxic water, and can now live in anything.

Let’s just say, the novelty of fish ownership has worn off, oh, about a year ago, when I stopped allowing my son to feed the fish because his “pinch” of food always ended up clouding the water and making a mess of the rocks and gravel. So now my husband and I feed the fish. We did not want fish. How do we parents inherit these annoying little things to add to our own To Do list?

I’m writing about this today because it’s time to clean the tank again. I feel like a child in the sense that I have put it off for weeks now. I am whining in my mind every time I glance over at it. “I Don’t Wanna Do It…” with a little foot stomp and eye-roll. But no one is listening. Nor would they care even if they were hearing me.

Our son wants a dog. We told him when he turns 11 we would get a family dog. That’s 3 years from now. Why so far off? Because I need that time to become one with the fact that I will probably be the one that takes care of this pet as well. And right now, collecting poop each week, wiping wet paws, vet bills and dog hair totally make the thought of three years away seem like mere days.

I’m reconsidering my love for the fish. No walks. A jar of food lasts 6 months. No vet bills. No pet fur. No puppy training.

I think I’m going to go happily clean the tank now.

I would hate for those two to die, find myself cornered in a weak moment and discover a dog in my house 3 years early...

1 comment:

John said...

Wow! Flash back to when I was 10 and had neon tetras. I really enjoyed my fish tank.