Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here, Fishy Fishy . . .

Wednesday, I came home from work and was greeted by my six-year-old daughter shouting “Daddy! Come look! We have fish!” Indeed, swimming around in a bowl on the kitchen counter, were three goldfish. Now, if ever any other kind of pet were to enter the house, I figured it would be me the guilty party with the sheepish look on my face. But since it was Michelle who relented and let the kids bring these fish (Moby Dick, Ariel and Pongo) home from the credit union picnic, I was absolutely gobsmacked. The only way I would have been more surprised would be if they’d brought home a cat on their mother’s watch. (We’ve had two cats, Michelle and I. She and the cats did not get along. At all. Well, nobody really got on with Willy. He was a cat abandoned by its owners and rather freaked out by it. He would only emerge from hiding during the wee hours of the morning. We think he escaped from the house when we were packing for a camping trip.)

Fish are a new experience for our kids, especially for our daughter, who tries to pet them while they’re in their bowl. (She’s used to dogs, you see.)

I want through a fish phase as a kid. As with most kids, it didn’t end well for the fish. The only thing worse than the Dead Fish in the Fishbowl Incident at our hose growing up was when one of my older brothers’ turtles escaped from his pen and wandered off in the house. He was found a few weeks after his disappearance in one of my older sister’s shoes. When he was extricated, his head and legs fell off. Needless to say, the shoes were never worn again.

I have hopes that our kids will be more responsible for their fishy friends. Time will tell, of course. As parents, we’re already planning interventions.

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