I try to be a fun mom every once in a while.
I try to not just jump to saying no before I’ve even thought about the request.
Don’t get me wrong. I say no. A lot. Like 8,749 times a day.
A good day.
But there was the time we were shopping at the Mart of the Walls, and the kids asked me to buy them a fish.
A blue Beta fish.
The one with the really long fin that had green swirling through it?
The biggest one. The third one over. Next to the sickly looking peach one.
I immediately said no. I didn’t even look. No.
I took a big, long, deep breath.
Look, I have four kids (okay only 3 at the time…Owen was still on the inside). Two dogs. A cat. A husband.
And plenty of other responsibilities.
The last thing on Earth I need is another mouth to feed. Another creature to keep alive. Another version of poop to clean up after.
Owning a fish is kind of a kid rite of passage. It’s part of childhood. Memories and all that.
Besides, I had an idea.
“You can’t get one of the blue fish, but…stop whining, let me finish…you can pick out TEN of these fishies!!!!!”
Excitement. Cheering. Jumping up and down.
I was a hero. The voice of a generation.
Ten cent feeder fish.
“But wait. You guys need to listen very carefully. These fish don’t live very long. They will all die pretty soon. And I don’t want you to go crying about it. It’s just the way it is. So you can only get them if you promise me you won’t freak out when they die. How long? Oh, I don’t know…about three days. Why? Because that’s how God made them. That’s why they’re only ten cents.”
There were ten goldfish. Henry named them all.
The black and white ones were named Tess. The orange ones were Abraham.
I have no idea. But just go with it.
Literally within about 3 HOURS of coming home, 9 of the 10 fish died.
Leaving only one lonely Abraham.
I was stoked.
My plan was coming along perfectly. And much faster than anticipated.
Oh you know…the one where I get cool fun mom points by saying yes and letting the kids get a pet even though I know that they’re all just going to get flushed to fishy heaven in a few days’ time so I really don’t have to deal with taking care of them?
Yeah. That one.
Because that’s how I parent. With as many cheapy tricky ways to make memories and get cool mom points and not have to really do anything.
So, we flushed the Nine down the toilet with great fanfare and farewells, and I continued on with life counting down the days until Abraham would join his scaly friends.
And the stupid fish didn’t die.
As in, he is still alive.
And it’s been close to a YEAR.
How on earth, of all the dumb feeder fish in that tank did we end up with the one Navy SEAL fish????!!!
Because God loves laughing at me.
And watching me clean up poop.
Learn from me, friends.
Nancy had it right.
Just. say. no.
Don’t go getting all fancy with your trickster ways. Because they will backfire. And you will be feeding and cleaning out a bowl of stinky, cloudy fish water for over a year. At least.
Now if you’ll please excuse me.
I have water to de-chlorinate.