Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

In our house of blues

on March 3, 2014

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My daughter is nearing her tweenhood, which essentially in our house means that she shrieks a lot. Shrieks that should only be reserved for home invasions… or the appearance of a mouse.

So when I heard one of these shrieks five minutes before my children were supposed to be on the school bus one day last week, I immediately begin to wonder, what in the name of time, had happened. Even though I knew it was most likely a tweenhood shriek, part of me suspected there might actually be a non-human entity involved. But alas, it was not a mouse, but a fish. Her beloved (I use that term fairly loosely) betta fish, Blue, was no longer, er, well, blue. He was zombie white. That may not be a Crayola colour yet, but believe you me, it will be some day.

Poor Blue had been on his last legs for quite a while, figuratively speaking, because of course, he was a fish. He had been suffering from issues with swimmers bladder according to my husband, the paramedic, which apparently is a bad thing for a fish. I had been under the assumption that swimmers bladder would be the equivalent of putting a one year old in a community pool without a swimmer diaper, but for fish it is actually just the opposite. Unfortunately no amount of intervention, essentially a fair amount of peas, on my husband’s part helped. The peas didn’t help with his pee (sorry, I work with 5 year old boys all day). I confirmed time of death to be “5 minutes before the bus arrives,” but in my heart, I knew it had been much earlier in the day…or week. I’m no forensic anthropologist or pathologist so time of death wasn’t an open and shut case.

Knowing that my husband would be home very soon, I left the remains of Blue in the tank, and being a modern family, I sent my husband a text, notifying him of his death. The bus was coming and there was no time for tearful phone calls or face-to-face interactions. Ok, that and there was no way I was sticking a net into that tank and trying to retrieve a dead fish while that untrustworthy algae eater was in there looking for any opportunity to escape his fish mansion.

Fast forward three minutes and I had the girls getting their boots and coats on for school. The mood in the house did a complete 180 and they began to talk about getting a new fish after school. How quickly poor Blue was being replaced. Sniff, sniff, flush, flush.

Please don’t think my children are heartless, little brats, but by the time we actually made it to the bus stop, 30 seconds away from our house, my oldest had begun to make up a song about her dead fish. It wasn’t a ballad either (her mother might have grown up in the age of the 80s power ballads, but she didn’t), and the word “zombie” was definitely in there somewhere.

Several hours came and went, and my husband took care of the remains while the girls and I went to school/work. Later that day, as I was leaving work, I received a text from my beloved, informing me that he was taking the girls to our local pet store. He was in the process of shopping, and I quote, “buying a colony.” So we went from one small tank containing a betta, an algae eater and a tetra to the same tank which would now be home to three goldfish, and the fore mentioned algae eater and tetra. Blue (the third), the new betta fish, came to our house with a new small betta bowl. So somehow we went from losing one fish, to gaining three more and a tank. At that rate, I was thanking the good Lord above we didn’t have rabbits.

After the fish got all settled into their new digs, my husband thought it would be appropriate to have a little moment in memory of Blue (the second). He played “Say Something” by Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World. Sometimes there are no words for the things he does.

The next day my youngest child asked me if her friend could come over to see our new additions before they died. This might just be saying something about the life expectancy of our family fish.

Well, here’s hoping Blue (the third), Orangy, Goldie, and Bubbles like their new homes. I even turned up the heat in one child’s bedroom so Blue could be comfortable (for those of you who know how much I detest paying more money for hydro, you know this is killing me). The goldfish have a heater, so all is well in their world too.

And some of you may be wondering what ever happened to our original Blue. We’ve had leftover tuna casserole longer than he lasted in this house. He was the unfortunate victim of our fish ignorance and didn’t survive the longer-than-it-should-have-been transitioning period from store to home. Hmmm, maybe Blue needs a name change.

Oh snap! I just sent my husband to the Walmart to buy Goldfish for $1.67. I forgot to tell him I meant the crackers.

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