Friday, August 19, 2011

Tale of a Goldfish

Back in June, my husband tried his hand at winning a goldfish for our son at the local Fair.  Money was lost but no fish were brought home.  When the next local Fair rolled around a few weeks ago (the one where I won a blue ribbon for my knitted scarf), I thought I would try MY hand at winning a goldfish.

(not the actual game we played---image source)
I won!!!  My 3-yr-old was so excited.  He immediately named the goldfish Dorothy (those of you with children will know why)  and we took it home.  I felt proud I had rescued the fish from the Fair. I had some goldfish bowls left over from Noodlebug's first birthday party so we simply bought some rocks and fish food.  The fish did not like its new bowl.  There was a weird magnification effect going on.  So, in my attempt to give this fish a better life, I invested in a 1 gallon tank with a bubbler and live plant. Everything went along swimmingly (pun intended) for a few weeks until the fish started to get white spots last Friday. Yes.  It had the dreaded "ick" along with finrot.  I cleaned the entire bowl thoroughly and put the fish back in. It got worse.  On Monday, I skipped lunch and went to Petco for help. I bought water conditioner, fish medicine, another plant and a 5 gallon tank. I called in to work and said I was taking a long lunch and drove 18 miles home  in my "Hail Mary" attempt to save the fish. I left the poor sickly thing in its new tank and returned to work.  I could not stop thinking about this fish.  I became consumed with saving it---spending money and time that I do not have. When I went to pick up Noodlebug at his grandmother's house on Wednesday, my husband called to say that Dorothy had passed.  We chose to tell Noodle that Dorothy was on a playdate.  After work yesterday, I stopped by a tropical fish store and picked up a new larger goldfish.  And some better advice on how to take care of it.  Dorothy 2.0 is now swimming along in the tank. Happily, I hope.

I felt real grief at the death of our goldfish.  I am such an animal lover and I wanted to do right by that fish. It felt like some sort of negative commentary on my life that I couldn't manage to keep a goldfish alive.  I struggle a lot with envy.  I get really angry sometimes that I don't have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I get frustrated that other people are raising my child while I head to work each and every day.  I got it into my head that things with the fish would have been different if I could have been home to take better care of it. I know that is kind of weird but I guess it's the place where I am right now.  I'm hoping that this new fish will survive my lifestyle.  And I'm hoping I will learn to make peace with it myself.


lindsayb said...

you're at 99 :) new follower from mom bloggers club.

TigerEyes2001 said...

Wow, that's sad. :( But, those fair/carnival fish are usually not well taken care of, and are bought in bulk. I've never had one last more than a few days. I think it speaks volumes about your character that you tried as hard as you did. Kudos!
New follower from MBC. Please follow back. Thanks!