Mom blog: Because I Said So! The fish story continues…


This is not our tank.
It is my dream of an artist’s conception of our tank. I wish I was in Atlantis again. We all do.

Day 6 of March Break dawned darkly
And now, it’s back to the saga of our fish aquisition/education/adventure. It’s the sixth day of March Break, and we only have one neon tetra and one black sucker left. Luka is getting pretty sad to see his fish disappearing. I’m truly feeling like a fish killer and a bad consumer. We pile in the car and race to the Walmart, get the missing filter, buy five weird fish and a fake plant. And water conditioner. And rabbit food (we still have two bunnies whose first birthday is approaching). We race home.

At home, the last neon tetra has gone to the big fishbowl in the sky. We send Luka to play Bionicles.

Graydon and I wrestle the filter, the propellor, carbon things and white things and wires and three sheets of instructions out of the box and into each other, then into the tank. It works.


There is water all over by now, and it looks like a bad instructional film for how never to treat electrical appliances. Graydon picks up the hood and the light thingie, and realizes there is no way it’s going to fit. The filter is huge, and sticks up over the height of the tank and hangs over the back. We check the picture on the front of the big box the aquarium kit came in, and there it is, the filter and a snugly fit hood.

We consult the copious instruction sheets and booklets, and find that to “customize” the hood to fit one’s own arrangement of peripherals, one need only use a hacksaw to cut the desired shapes out of the hood.

Right! The hacksaw! What home is complete without one? So, I trudge down the stairs, grab my hacksaw, saw the crap out of the hood until yes, it very nicely fits around the filter.

We float the bag of new fishies in the aquarium so as to equalize both water temperatures. We clean away all the spilt water and plastic bags and put all instructional matter in a big Ziploc.



“Promise you won’t kill me.” I’ve heard this before. This is the line Graydon uses when he knows the news he’s about to deliver will finish me. Not just make me frustrated, or angry, but will finish me off for the time being. As usual, I say no, just tell me what you have to tell me and pay the consequences. I turn around and there he is, holding a white cardboard box with FILTER marked on it. There was a filter, and now he remembered setting it way up so it wouldn’t get broken. The we looked at the tank, and saw the black sucker sucking the intake part of the filter.

But he wasn’t sucking. He was being sucked. He was dead.

This “a couple of fish in a $10 tank” was spinning out of control. Why had I let this start?!?

In for a penny, in for a pound: the five new fish—two slimy loaches, two strawberry tetras and a little orange fish who swims backwards—floated into the water, now bubbling away with the filter and a swaying fake plant.

Luka came in and just knelt on the bench, resting his chin in his hands. “They’re so cool. It’s just what I always wanted. Thank you Mummy.”

Ah, yes. That’s why.

Have a thoughtful Good Friday, and I’ll see you on Monday!


One Response

  1. We were never going to have “pets” LOL yeah we started our marriage off with a cat … won’t go into that sad story … next several years later … the fish … large tank lots of fun … several years worth of fish stories ~ good luck with yours … moving so gave away fish to a neighbor and put away the huge tank (no real place to set it up in new home) …. in new home so now we had 2 parakeets(our youngest son’s pets) … finally a dog who we had for 16 yrs and lost her last August. No more pets … lol until the next one???
    Good luck with your pets. I think every child needs to have their pet memories for when they are adults.

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