After returning to earth and disembarking Knott’s highest ride,
the stink of fish permeated my thoughts. I was in over my head with 2 new goldfish.
Ending this first day of Lauren’s 8th birthday celebration, my kids were exhausted! Usually I’d encourage sleeping on the way home. This time I kept conversation flowing, sang songs, “Fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads…” and warned that if they fell asleep dropping the tanks, the fish wouldn’t survive against zoobles and pokemons inhabiting our car floor.
After making it home intact, the fishies spent the night locked in the bathroom – safe from our cats, and me.
My son was anxious to add water, since my dad taught him the proper technique, but I reminded him it must reach room temperature first. I insisted I knew how to care for sturdy goldfish. Before bed, I found our old tank, rinsed it out (no soap – duh!) poured fresh water in to sit overnight.
Saturday morning the kids couldn’t wait to introduce the Pauls to their roomier home. I carefully scooped each fish into the bubble tank.
They swam, ate and napped – a familiar pattern in our house. Carson thought differently, “Is my fish dead?” I denied everything, “He’s sleeping! He’ll move, just watch!”
Instant panic washed over me, as my phobia stems more from dead fish than living. My mind flipped between pain I caused and flushing him too early. My vet tech sister said “Poke him!” Ew, I was definitely not touching him! Besides we had a date for part 2 of Lauren’s birthday.
After a night of sundaes, stage shows, prayers for fish miracles and beautifully restored movie theatres, we returned to the sad realization, Paul was dead. Being the horrible ichthyophobic mother that I am, I hid in the hallway avoiding seeing the corpse as Carson fished it out and dropped it in the toilet.
Carson said a few words of prayer, Lauren boasted her fish was still alive, and Carson reflected upon the somber moment.
I tried to comfort, “We did the best we could! Please hold the handle down for 5 seconds so he makes it to the ocean.”
The End, or is it?…
As with any good fish tale, this one keeps getting longer…
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