I caved. I didn’t give in. No, that would imply that I lost a battle. I simply saw things from another perspective.
Now that they are 7 and 5 years old, it is time for them to become a little more responsible. They make their beds and clean up their toys (sometimes!), but they have no other real responsibilities. I also want them to learn to love animals. They seem to like animals from afar, but they never want to go near a dog and they only pet our neighbors’ rabbits with great hesitation.
The kids were beyond excited when I told them we were going to the pet store to get two fish. I was a little surprised at just how excited they were. In mind, I’m thinking fish are not a very lovable pets. But, in their minds, getting a pet– any pet– was a big deal.
Since I like to shop local as often as possible, we went to a small pet store in our town. This may not have been the best idea. They only had one goldfish left in stock. I braced myself for a meltdown and started mentally calculating if we had enough time to go to the big pet store 20 minutes away. Luckily, my kids’ excitement made them surprisingly agreeable. They told me that one fish was fine, as long as we got another one next week.
I thought it was odd that the store only had one goldfish in stock. Then I saw the fish. It was the ugliest goldfish I’ve ever seen. It was hardly gold at all. It was more black in color, and kind of mottled. No one in their right mind would choose to own such an ugly fish. No, this fish is the kind that becomes your fish when all the others have already been taken. Naturally, my kids fell in love immediately.
Before the employee scooped our fish out, she suggested we choose the supplies we wanted. The kids picked a round bowl and green rocks. They told her they wanted a little castle for the middle of the bowl. Strangely, the store was also out of castles. We had to choose between a sunken pirate ship and a dragon. The kids happily agreed to buy the ship.
The lady helping us commented on well they got along. I pretended that my kids acted like this all the time. Meanwhile, I am wondering who these children are. They appear to be my kids, but they are acting like Stepford children.
While I paid for the supplies, Luke and Leah discussed names for the fish. They quickly decided upon the name George. Leah clutched the little bag to her chest like she was hugging George.
When we got home, the kids helped me set up the bowl and put the fish inside. We decided to keep him in the upstairs hallway. The kids must have checked on him 10 or 20 times in our first hour home. We watched a movie that night, and Leah asked if we could bring him downstairs so he could watch, too. The next day, George played dolls with Leah and listened to Luke read books. He is turning out to be a great pet.
I know that the kids probably won’t be as excited about the fish as the novelty wears off, but their behavior warmed my heart. Don’t tell them, but it almost made me want to get them a dog!
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