Wednesday, September 06, 2006

E. & I. R.I.P.

Remember Ebony and Ivory? Yeah? Well, they both bit it today. I know, pretty freakin' fast if you ask me. How long did they live, like 10 days? I realize I'm being crass and nonchalant about death here. It made me sad, it made Hubby sadder, but I had to move on pretty quickly and deal with the damage.

When I discovered Ebony floating mid-tank and Ivory upside-down behind one of the plants I knew I had to move fast. I distracted Sam with Sesame Street (tv is an excellent distraction for a kid that watches very little tv) so that I could flush said dead fish down the toilet without a toddler seeing the heinous act I was about to commit. And so it was done, fish were flushed and Sam was none the wiser. Not a great way to start the morning, but not a total tragedy either.

Then it was time for breakfast. Unfortunately for me I had forgotten that Ebony and Ivory had become part of our morning ritual. Sam would watch them eat their food while waiting for me to finish making his breakfast. Then we all, including the fish, had breakfast together. So I decided to make his breakfast first and not put him in his seat until it was done, hoping food would deter him from the empty fish tank. No go. I put him in his seat and gave him his very favorite breakfast, scrambled egg with cheese and raisin toast (yeah, you heard me right - I fed him the breakfast I last saw spewed on the inside of my car in order to create a diversion. I was desperate) and yet the first thing he did was point to the fish tank. Crap. I panicked. I didn't know what to do. They're gone. The fish are gone and I have a toddler pointing to them waiting for me to make a big deal of feeding them and turning on their light and saying good morning to them so he can sit and wave to the fish while he eats his breakfast!

And so I did what any good, lying, conniving, petrified, desperate mother would do. I went and got the fish food and turned on the light and fed that empty fish tank. I sat back down and waved and said hello and good morning to Ebony and Ivory and joined my son in waving to "the fish."

I've spent the rest of the morning trying to divert him every time he points to the tank and starts walking over to visit them. We've watched a lot of tv as a result, which I hate but it does the job - "Look Sam, Elmo," eyes glaze over as he walks zombie like back to the living room. It's a choice between that and his discovering that the fish have disappeared and Mommy is a big fat FAKER/LIAR/FISH KILLER. I don't know how long I can keep up this charade. After this nap we'll have lunch and I'll have to sit and wave and talk to the fish all over again, displaying a gruesome performance of dishonesty for the sake of my son. And I know I can't put new fish in the water the dead fish were in because they'll just die and probably faster this time around. Which means I have to clean out the whole tank first and then cycle the fresh water for another 48 hours! I'd better go tivo some more Sesame Streets...


Blogger Alli said...

When our first fish died (apx. 10 days after we got him) I just told Stephen we didn't have him anymore and I put the tank away when he wasn't looking. THere really wasn't an issue after that. But I'm not sure he was all that attached to it to begin with (and he was 2).

AND I've heard that when buying fish and taking them home, that you're not supposed to take them through the security detector thingies at the store....apparently it's a death sentence. Not sure how much truth there is to that.

Our third fish lasted for more than 6 months, I think.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, sorry for your loss... but I do love your new profile pic!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

I had fish when I was a kid and they never lived. Never. Eventually we just quit trying.

Maybe while you are doing the 48 hour thingy you can get a lava lamp or something...

2:42 PM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

Thats what I worry about the most over any Pet I could get for Boo. I hope that the next fish you get will live longer!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Maybe you should get some new fish and some back up fish too. Sorry for your loss, I don't think fish have much of a life expectancy, the important thing is to remember what a happy and full life they did have, what with being waved to all the time by Sam, what more could a fish ask for.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

Oh no! Maybe I will stay away from the whole fish as pets idea.
Too funny that you fed the empty fish tank! Just tell him the fish went to work or are on "vacation", he will never know!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Man, this is why I couldn't have fish. I just can't stand the constant reminder of their limited mortality. :-)

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This wasn't your fault - the fish store people should have warned you that goldfish and small tanks aren't a good mix. One fish needs a 10-20 gallon tank. Oh, and you need to change part of the water every day in a brand new tank to prevent ammonia and nitrite from building up (after a while the normal bacteria in the tank break these down) Otherwise the fish poison themselves to death. Any good fish store could have told you this. I'm sorry they didn't!

If you decide to give it another go, do a google search on "new fish tank set up." Ask the fish store for an easy, hardy first fish (and if they say goldfish, head for the door)

Blah...this is probably TMI. I'll sign myself as anon to keep from revealing myself for the true geek that I am :)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

We had a Siamese fighting fish that likely would have made it into the record books for oldest living fish, if it weren't for my husband's clumsy fingers.

As Mommy held Kaelen over the kitchen sink to show him how even Bob the Fish gets baths, my husband drops the fish tank into the sink which knocked over Bob's temporary hold cell (bowl) and down went Bob into the drain.

Kaelen's reaction: "Oh No!"

Tears began to well up so Mommy comes up with an excuse that Bob actually wanted to go for a swim. For about a week, Kaelen would want to look down the drain to see if Bob came back and then he eventually forgot all about Bob.

Shortly thereafter we got a cat. :)

11:11 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Ah yes. Too bad that the fish had to go to the doctor/Disney World/visiting Nemo etc. Pick an excuse and stick by it. Say that they'll be back someday and when they come back, you'll put the tank back up again. He'll either forget about them, or you can pick them up after their vacation at the pet store.

2:50 PM  
Blogger kate said...

you're not lying--your teaching him about imagination!!!

i mean, have we learned nothing from sesame street and snuffleupagus??

2:31 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Too funny you fed an empty fishtank, pretty fast thinking too. Maybe you could make up a story about the fish needing to go to school and learn fish things. Or they needed more room so they now swim/live in a big lake.

5:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home