Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mom-of-the-Year.... The fish died.

We suck as parents; fish and otherwise.  My poor Teddy has lost every pet that’s ever been only his.  First there was the gecko; supposedly the easiest animal to keep as a pet.  I don’t even remember his name, but you have to feed the gecko live crickets, which is fine.  But that means you have to keep a cage for the crickets you haven’t yet fed him and feed the crickets.  Yeah, ok.  So we bought this gross gel stuff and fed the crickets and fed the crickets to the gecko.  Great, right?  Yeah.. well, we are useless.  That’s all I can say.  We didn’t read the bottle of gel cricket food.  It has to be refrigerated after opening (come on, seriously we have to refrigerate cricket food?)  Anyway, we didn’t do that and the food became “bad” and we fed the crickets anyway and then we fed the now tainted crickets to the gecko and he died.  Oops.  Teddy was heart broken.

Then there were the hamsters.  Two dwarf robo (I think) hamsters who he named “Dwarf” and “Robo”.  He’s very creative, our boy.  Now, I’ve got to tell you, Teddy is a space cadet.  He’s one of these kids that’s book smart, but wouldn’t know common sense if it hit him upside the head.  He was just not gifted with an understanding of how life works – how things fit together.  Things like… you need to give your animals food and water in order for them to live.  On the one hand we were preaching to him to check their food and water, but on the other hand we were thinking… he’s 11, he should be able to handle the responsibility himself.  Well… we suck.

One night I go in there for bedtime and check the hamster’s water; which I would have said I did regularly (maybe he gets his space cadet-ness honestly) and it was empty.  So what did Mom-of-the-Year do?  She started in on the lecture about how if you don’t give your hamsters water they will die.  This is your responsibility, Ted.  You convinced us you were old enough and mature enough to handle this…. you get the idea.  One of the hamsters was sitting there at his nearly empty food bowl shaking.  Ut oh.  They need water and they need it now!!!  I went to fill a little tray with water to put right in front of their mouths telling Ted to find the other one and see if we can get them in the same place.  I’m on my way back when Ted comes barreling into my arms hysterical. 

Yup, Mom-of-the-Year here.  None of you can claim the title.  It’s mine.  I had just asked my kid to dig around in his hamster cage until he came across the dead hamster.  OMG.  I know I haven’t survived that trauma yet, Ted seems to have faired a bit better.  What the hell was I thinking?  Anyway, the 2nd one died, a slow and I’m sure painful death about an hour later with Teddy and Brad looking on.  It was not a good night.  We did our best to back peddle and take all the blame so he wouldn’t be scarred for life, but, it was just another banner day in his life with pets.  Jackson’s are still alive and well.

And now it’s the fish. 
This time I do, in fact, think it’s totally Brad’s fault.  He desperately wants to care for a pet of his own.  We thought…. How hard could fish be?  Brad took him to the pet store and they came home with a tank too small for a heater and 2 balloon mollies; Tom and Joey. Of course the pet store people knew what they were doing and told them it was probably going to be ok.  But mollies apparently do much better in heated water.  And if you leave the light on all the time (in a non-heated tank it’s the only source of heat) then you encourage algae growth.  Yadda yadda yadda.  Whatever!  First Joey died and then Tom didn’t look so good, so Brad cleaned the tank and somehow Tom survived that and looked a bit better and then I went to the store for more supplies and this is when I learned that mollies are considered tropical and should be in a bigger and heated tank and yadda yadda yadda.  I bought the tank and Ted and I set it up last night.  I was told to let the filter and heater go for 24 hours before you add the fish, but we decided we’d just wait till morning because Tom didn’t look so good again.  Well he was dead this morning.  Teddy said he didn’t care at all in the way only a pre teen can manage.  We suck.


~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

Trust me - we have ALL earned "Mom of the Year" when it comes to pet stuff!! Don't get me started on the year that I accidentally whacked the hamsters with carpenter ant poison spray! My boys will be in therapy over that one for years to come!

Tina said...

you cannot win the mom I see it there are three choices and all of them set you up to fail:

1. you get the pets let the kids fail and the pets die.
2. you get the pets pretend that the kids will take care of them. They don't you take care of them. The kids do not learn responsibility.
3. No pets.

guess which one I went with...thats right. No pets. the downside is even as adults they give you hell because you did not let them have the animal love they winning on this one.

Amy W. said...

Ah, little critter death. Let me tell you something...all three of those things are death prone. Fish...worthless...they don't have hair! Hamsters and gerbils...they die a lot...and a gecko...well...also worthless.

I KNOW! You should get him a pet rock! They can't die!

I think it sounds like you are doing a great job...

Justawallflower said...

We only did a pet once, a fish, and yep, it was dead before we got back from the store with the tank to put him in (he was a carnival fish my daughter brought home). Beat THAT!

Jess said...

Oh my gosh! That's freakin awful!!!! I had a little pig named Snooky years ago when I was about 10 years old and he stayed outside in a large metal pin. We fed him dry corn. Well I got busy with school and stuff and just plain lazy and forgot to feed him half of the time. One day I went outside and found him laying on his side, completely famished and dying from starving to death and it literally KILLED me. He was dead within a couple of days because by the time I tried to feed him it was too late. I can barely think about it without crying still. I have never in my life felt sooo awful. I hated myself. What an awful, devastating way to die. From that day on I have given my full attention to each and every pet I have ever had.

I feel for you!

Sandy Lee said...

Would you like a cat?

(OK, that was just mean to my cat!). I'm on par with losing wildlife-had to flush fish down the toilet. Guinea Pig died and I wrapped it up and put it out in the garbage since it was garbage day. Got a bird from a friend and she said to open the cage so it could fly around. Yup he flew out of the cage and promptly bashed into our metal railing. Died the next morning probably of brain trauma. So my daughter's cat has survived for some time, although the food bowl has empty a few times. But if you'd really like your kids to try again...NOT!

Christina said...

Okay, sorry, but this is hilarious. I'm laughing out loud, actually. But I am sorry for your loss :)

I had a 10-gallon aquarium when I was about 10 years old. It was me and my dad's "thing", and for some reason, we never read any books about caring for tropical fish. I think at one point I had 13 fish in there... apparently that was too many because they soon went all "Lord of the Flies" on each other and most of them ended up as fish food.

Joey said...

You mean when my parents told me that my gold fish went to live on a farm where he had lots of space to run around...that was a lie? Sadness....