Saturday, March 28, 2009

She Always Bounces Back

This was Lael on March 1st.

She named it Blueberry and insisted that is was a girl even though I know that it was a boy.

It had been over a year since our last Beta fish "Boots" had went down the toilet to join Nemo and Flounder in the Potomac River. Boots had been with us for 3 years and when he got "sick" and needed his friends to get better she had taken it fairly well.

This time around I decided to wait to get another fish because we are busy around here and I barely remember to feed Lael. Kidding. No really.

But sometime Grandma's do what they want. I haven't even touched on the subject of my mom, or what Lael calls her Nana. But that's another post SERIES in itself.

I digress.

On March 1st, Nana brought Lael back home from a fun weekend with Blueberry. Hubby was a little upset because naturally he ends up being the one to take care off all the animals in the house so felt we should have been asked first. Good luck to him trying to get my mother to do anything besides what she wants to.

I decided that I would use this opportunity to help Lael become more responsible. You know what peeps? She did AWESOME. Every morning before school she would feed her/him a few pellets and the same right before she went to bed at night. The water stayed clean and she never overfed him.

Even when she was home sick a few weeks ago she reminded ME to feed her new pet. I have never been so proud of her.

Now backing it up a little. Blueberry had been a little odd from the first day. He/She didn't like to swim much except when it was feeding time so I never thought much of it. Just our luck to get a lazy fish.

This week Lael was on Spring Break and because she was out of her normal routine I found myself asking her is she fed Blueberry and she always said "Oh I forgot!" and I would tell her that I already did and then I would remind her that is was her responsibility.

I came home yesterday from work and asked her if she had fed her fish when she got up that morning. She told me she didn't. Now this is where I turn into the worst mom in the world.

I fussed at her. Not just a, you need to feed your fish because it's your job, kind of fuss. No, it was the, Lael, if you don't feed Blueberry she will die. You have to take care of her like I take care of you. I knew she would forget to feed it so I told her I had already done it but she needed to be more mindful.

A few seconds after our conversation I took a peek at Blueberry. And she.was.dead. Laying on her side on a marble at the bottom of the tank. Shit. I whispered it to Hubby and her gave me the most severe stank eye.

How could I tell her that Blueberry was dead after I had just chastised her? She would completely think it was her fault and it so wasn't. Shit.

We decided to leave it be for the night and I sent her upstairs and tried everything I could to distract her. She continued to ask to feed it that night and I told her I already did. She tried to feed it this morning and I told her I already did, you know, trying to buy myself time.

We had a busy morning with Gymnastics and a visit to the Vet (I'll post about that later) so I had time to come up with a game plan.

Pawn it off on Hubby. Sounds good to me. We came home from the vet this afternoon and her broke it down to her. Kinda.

He told her that Blueberry was sick like our dog and we needed to flush him in the toilet to be with him mommy and Boots and Bingo (my friends Beta that recently passed). She freaked out because I had totally forgot to tell her Bingo was gone. Shit.

She calmed down and decided she wanted to scoop it out and put it in the toilet herself. Yeah right. Daddy did it for her but she insisted on flushing the toilet. Sigh.

When the water swirled around and Blueberry disappeared my little girl collapsed in my arms. She cried her heart out and talked about how it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that people have to live out of the water and fishes have to live in the water because she loved Blueberry and now she only has 3 pets instead of 4. She cried. I cried. And she cried some more.

I don't think I can do that again. I mean like ever. I can deal with cuts and bruised. I can deal with punishment cries. But my child's heart being broken is not a cry I wish to hear again.

I cheered her up by offering anything that would make her happy and she decided she wanted to visit one of my friends and her kids. We did and she seemed to be happy again.

My friends daughter came over for a sleepover and they were watching the Kids Choice Awards and she decided to tell me that "all the single ladies" was going to be coming on soon. And she even gave me a preview.


  1. OK~~what I forgot to tell you is when Aaron's Beta "Alex" died, I went to 3 pet stores to find one that "matched his". I did this so he would not be sad! He came home from school to feed Alex and said "Um Mom that's not my fish" Me~ "Yes it is" His response "No it is not did he die?" I just didn't have the heart to see him sad and he would have been just that sad. :( And the single Ladies dance~almost as good as mine! :)

  2. So sad! That's what would happen over here if I told Miles the fish would die if he didn't take care of it. I'm sorry it happened that way! But she sure is one happy girl, even if her heart breaks sometimes-look at that dancin! What a hoot!

  3. Wow, what a coincidence! When my daughter was younger, she had a fish she named "Blueberry" lol. I left on the windowsill, in his bowl, while I was cleaning her room one day, and forgot to sit him back on her dresser. I remember a day or two later. She was at her Dad's house for the weekend, and I think he froze to death. It was the dead of winter. That and/or starvation. She never lets me forget it.


Those laughing with me...or at me.