The fish tank saga started a few months ago when we mail ordered an African-clawed frog as part of our science project. Since then, we’ve raised a tadpole into a frog, lost that tadpole turned frog and its frog buddy we ordered; and gained 3 neon tetra fish, 5 snails, and 1 betta fish. These fish buddies were housed in either a 3.5 gallon tank or a goldfish bowl.
It didn’t matter that these fish were small. The amount of waste they produced was mind-boggling. We learned that the black long floating things in the water were snail poop.
When I mentioned maybe getting a larger fish tank, kids got fixated on the idea. The whole let’s-butter-up mommy with our art of persuasion, cuteness, spontaneous hugs and flattery, and promising to do lots of homework (I saw right through this one). I tried to ignore it, but they reminded me everyday that their life was incomplete without a larger tank and more fish pets.
I relented and got the starter set from PetSmart. The salespeople there recognize us and we don’t even own a big pet.
After the set up, Ellis sat down in front of it and said she could sit there all day watching the fish.
Ellis: “When I meditate, I’m going to sit right next to the fish tank.”
Ellis: “Yes, I sit down and close my eyes. Fishes are peaceful.” Then, she looks suspiciously at me and asks, “Wait, why are you asking me? Are you going to put this on your blog??”
Me: “May-beee? You say lots of funny things!”
Ellis: “Don’t do it!I don’t want it!”
Elliot: Big brother jumps into the conversation. “Why not Ellis? You say cute things and people like it,” he says trying to convince her to say yes.
Ellis: “Oh fine. You can put it on your blog, but don’t say I said it.”
One of the many things that drives my family crazy is that I don’t read instructions. I try to figure it out myself…this leads to lots of troubleshooting later. The new tank filter made some funky sounds and I was ready to call PetSmart to ask them about this when my neighbor, who owns the same tank, adjusted it to make a waterfall sound. I did not put water in the filter itself. Duh?!
Before bed, Ellis stands in front of the tank again and says, “I think that sound will help me fall asleep.”
Me: “That would be nice because you never want to go to sleep.”
Ellis: “I think it will help me go to sleep right away and you (pointing to me and then her back) massaging my back. Okay?”
It didn’t sound like a question but more an expectation. She may have realized how demanding that sounded, because she followed it up with a big smile, lifting her chin up to and moving her head side to side with both hands clasped in front of her chest.