Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is So Much Better

I had a goldfish once. It was one of those things you do at the county fair - throw a ping pong ball at a series of tiny glass fish bowls full of colored water, and if your ball is (un)lucky enough to land in one, then you get your own goldfish in a little colored-water-filled plastic bag. I can't even imagine how the poor fish must have felt, being carried around the rest of the fair in that little bag, nor can I imagine that he/she even lived beyond the first five minutes, but goldfish must be a hearty species. My little fish not only survived, but lived on for a couple of years in a glass bowl in the kitchen. Even when I forgot to feed him, or didn't keep his bowl as clean as I should have, he survived to a ripe old fishy age. But as a pet, he wasn't really so interesting, just swimming around in circles...

And of course, the kids have been begging for pets for ages, and the discussions about why we can't have one are endlessly repetitive - what do we do with it when we travel; wouldn't it be lonely all day alone; we don't have a fenced in yard, etc, etc. Everyone says a dog is almost like another child, needing to be walked, fed, bathed... and I just can't imagine adding one more thing to my to-do list.
So for Benjamin's birthday, we decided to take the first tiny step towards pet-hood, with hand-holding all the way. We went with a leased aquarium - which seemed to solve all our problems in one (expensive) solution. They take care of the cleaning, and the health of the fish, and all we have to do is feed them and enjoy. They can even put in an automatic feeder if we are out of town. They turned up the day before B's BD, and within an hour, we were completely set up with an aquarium full of fish, plants and even a sunken ship.
So far, it has been a big hit. Everyone is mesmerized by it, and both Annika and Benjamin have been found in front of the aquarium, reading to the fish and showing them pictures from the books. The only disappointment was when I had to tell B that he couldn't catch fish from the ocean to bring home...

No comments: