Thursday, October 04, 2007

One Fish, No Fish...

Well... Hannah died. I think it was Eric's and my fault for not changing the water.

The sad part is that we realized Hannah died last night, after the kids were in bed (Wednesdays are crazy, we don't get home until 9.) So Eric emptied the tank (and threw it out because it stunk).

This morning Aron apparently asked about Hannah and Eric broke the bad news. Aron was really really sad about - dispondent for a good 1/2 hour, Eric said.

I guess not being able to carry her around for a while and flush the toilet meant no closure for him.

Poor little guy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

One Fish, Two Fish....

This is the tale of two fish(es). I should probably start at the beginning.

For those of you who don't know, we live in Michiana (Michigan/Indiana) because South Bend is right on the border of Michigan. Directly across the border is Niles. For a while, when South Bend was on Eastern Standard Time and didn't go on daylight savings, we would be an hour ahead of Niles for 1/2 the year. There are many who live in Niles and work in South Bend.

Every year in the fall, Niles has an Apple Festival. I hear it's lots of fun. Like the Blueberry Festival in Plymouth. I've never been.

My next door neighbors, Keri, Greg, Ian and Gabe, went last weekend. They have carnival games and Keri and Ian each won a goldfish while playing one of these games.

Keri has a fish tank, and in it is a shark. I'm pretty sure the goldfish would have ended up shark food had they been introduced into the tank. So Keri thought for a minute and came up with, "Aron and Jordan love fish."

So Keri talks with Eric to find out if we want these two goldfish.

The kids and I were out playing at a friend's house and decided to go to dinner with them, so we called Eric to have him join us. Once he arrived he told me about the fish and asked what I thought. I said that Aron would really enjoy having the fish. So he takes the kids to the pet store to pick out a tank (plastic gallon bowl) and some food. I went home to clean the kitchen.

When the kids got home and set up the bowl, they got ready to go next door to collect the fish. Eric asked each of them what they wanted to name their fish. Aron said, "Alex." (Alex is a kid in his class). Jordan said, "Hannah, no Alex." (Hannah is also a kid in her class). Eric said, "Well, we have one Alex, so let's stick with Hannah." That was fine.

So Aron and Jordan, accompanied by Eric, walk next door to get their fish.

They bring them home and we put them in the bowl. We take the bowl to their bedroom (probably not the best option). We went through a few: "No, you cannot stick the net in the bowl." "Please don't put your hands in the fish bowl." "LEAVE THE FISH ALONE!!!"

Finally we got the kids calmed down, ready for bed and in bed. Eric and I watched some TV.

The next morning while Eric and I were in the bathroom getting ready for Church, Aron came in carrying his sister's pink plastic purse. He announces, "Alex is dead." I asked what happened. He said, "Maybe Jordan took him out of the bowl and stomped on him."

Okay, I have to stop the story now for a second to explain that Aron and Jordan are heavy into the blaming phase, and that lots and lots of their stories are make-believe. So Aron will blame Jordan, Thumper or KC for pretty much everything that happens, even if he is standing right there holding the evidence.

Jordan did NOT, in fact, step on the fish. As it turned out, nobody stepped on the fish. Back to the story...

So I go with Aron to his room and see that there is one fish in the bowl. I asked Aron where the other fish is. He said, "Alex is dead." I said, "Yes, but where IS Alex?" He responds, "Mom, Alex is SO dead." "Aron, tell me where Alex is."

He starts going for the pink plastic purse he's been toting. He opens it up and sure enough there is one dead goldfish inside.

I kind of gasped and then recovered. "Aron, we need to put him in the toilet and say good-bye."

Aron thinks, "Maybe, maybe, maybe..., maybe he just needs a drink." So he plunks Alex back into the fish bowl. I watch for a second and yep, he floats to the top. I think, "Alex is sooo dead."

I went to inform Eric that yes indeedy, we have a dead fish on our hands.

I go back to explain to Aron that we need to flush the fish. Once again I find a tank inhabited with one live fish. "Aron, where is Alex." He comes in carrying his camera case in his hands. "Um... Um... maybe Jordan took him." "I think he might be in your camera case. Aron, honey, we need to say goodbye to Alex. We need to put him in the toilet and flush him. He'll go see Nemo!"

Aron, in the bathroom, kind of has a meltdown. He tries to persuade me that we should put the fish in the trash, but I'm thinking I really DON'T want dead fish stinking up my trash.

By this point all four of us are in their [fish motif'ed] bathroom reasoning with Aron to put the fish in the toilet. He finally relents, but he has to "Do it MYSELF! Jordan, Don't TOUCH!" He does, he puts the fish in the toilet and flushes and we all say "goodbye, Alex."

Okay, so all-in-all not a bad end to the crisis.

Aron goes back to the fish bowl and looks at "Hannah" and announces, "I think this is Alex, Hannah died."

Later we had to remove the fish tank from their room and Hannah is now safely on the mantle out of reach of 4-year-old hands.

I was a little worried I'd get a call from their teacher on Monday saying something like, "Mrs. Stewart, your son keeps insisting that Alex is dead, it's really upsetting Alex and the other students. What do you people DO on the weekends??" But it never materialized.

So we now have one fish named Hannah, who, at least as of 7:45 this morning, is alive! And one dead Alex down the drain.