I had no idea that I’d grow up to be a killer. I’m a pacifist … sort of.
I do my very best every time to keep the peace, but things don’t turn out the way I planned and I end up feeling bad about the whole situation. I mean I’m a parent, dude. I should know about surviving, and thriving. I can’t be on the most-wanted serial killer list.
But with my track record, I think I am.
Every year around spring time, I see them, young and high-energy, ready to rock the world until they cross paths with me. And then it’s over and I transform from The Guat, mom extraordinaire to … The Guat Goldfish Killer.
It’s been three years in a row that I had to explain to my kids why their goldfish had to be rushed to the fish emergency room at Petco and stay for at least 24 hours before returning home, looking a little bit different. More orange. Longer or shorter tails. Only then to be sent back to the ocean to be reunited with their family a week later.
I think I need an EKG machine. I never knew you could give fish heart attacks, but I’ve become an expert at that, no matter how long I leave the water out when cleaning the tank they always suffer the same fate.
But I thought this time would be different.
I was wrong.
This year when we brought our goldfish home from the church fair, my kids’ fish died on the third day, when we cleaned his tank. I hid the evidence, took my kids to school, and then replaced it with a similar looking one right before I picked them up. Not only was I killer, but a liar now.
But in hopes of ending the lies and deceit, I thought I’d take a different approach.
We got a 10-gallon tank, with pebbles, plastic green plants, and a SpongeBob Squarepants Bikini Bottom Pineapple House. With a turbo filter. But I almost killed it … again.
I thought it might have been lonely, maybe it was death by broken heart or loneliness syndrome. He might want a friend, it’s lonely out there in this world. And both my daughter and son agreed. So I asked the fish guy at the pet store if the small goldfish that my son liked, the one in the tank with plastic ferns, got along with the tiny goldfish in the tank next to him, the one that looked like the one we had.
And he said yeah … sure … of course. They’re both goldfish.
Never trust the fish guy at the Petco. He knows nothing of the delicate relationships and aquatic balance needed for two goldfish to survive. He’s no Aquaman. The tiny fish stayed in the top-right hand corner of the tank for nearly four hours, while the bigger fish roamed the tank and feasted of flakes.
Apparently there are all kinds of goldfish and it’s probably not a good idea to mix and match the varieties as they get stressed out, which can eventually lead to death.
In order to end my goldfish killing spree, I separated them, and the tiny guppy seems a lot happier. He’s swimming, checking out the whole SpongeBob Squarepants Pineapple House. We’ve decided he doesn’t need friends for the time being, he can be a loner for now.
And my son and daughter are both happy that this fish didn’t have to be reunited with its family in the ocean, we’ve had enough of that here. With this new plan, I think the killing spree has come to an end … the aquatic parenthood failure ceases to exist … I hope.