Thursday, February 4, 2010


 I was looking through old blog posts - searching for a post about the saga of Chicktable to link to my facebook status. Could it really be that I've never blogged about Chicktable? Ava - my new 3 year old exploring the depths to which her strong will could take her, decided that she would go on the potty when SHE wanted to - not a moment sooner. Yes, she held her pee for 6 hours when I would not let her have a diaper or pull-up. She sat on the little potty and did the pee-pee dance because she was absolutely NOT going to pee anywhere but where SHE wanted to go. Eventually, it came out. One day, I decided that perhaps it was better to let her decide when she wanted to go on the potty. After all, I didn't want to be cleaning accidents. I eased up and maybe 2 days later she woke up and declared that she was now ready to pee on the potty. We've been relatively accident free since - nights included. (Excluded: daddy making her laugh uncontrollably resulting in the unfortunate drippage that many women experience.) Now, we still had the poop issue to deal with. Most with little kids know that for some reason pooping on the potty can be viewed as a very tragic event. Is this a party of my body? Where is it going? Etc.,etc. Ava wanted a fish, so I created a sticker chart. If she pooped on the potty 10 times (which for her would be over the course of about 12-15 days), then she would get a fish. She did it rather quickly and off to Petco we went.
What a lovely fish. Yes, I let her pick it. I wanted the strong male - she picked this female. Being an awesome consultant parent, I let her get it to discover the natural consequences of choosing the "less healthy" of the fish. (I've had a few betas - all male - lived several years.) She was beyond thrilled. I instructed her on all aspects of fish care, including the most important: don't stick your fingers in the bowl. Don't touch the fish. Because we had a little one crawling around and climbing, I thought that the safest place for our new family member would be the upstairs bathroom. I was wrong. Chicktable I was quite dirty after his trip from Petco to our home. So, my dear little Ava decided that it was time for a bath. I was downstairs nursing Michaela (note to moms with a new 2nd baby - this is when most naughtiness occurs), I heard some noise upstairs...assumed she was playing. Never assume. Ava came downstairs and announced that she had given Chicktable a bath. Ava, the fish is in water. It does not need a bath. Indeed, she had taken a small washcloth and swished it around in the water. Or so I thought. Chicktable I survived approximately 3 hours after her bath. Nose first in the lovely lavender rocks on the bottom of the bowl. Confession is good for the soul, and I later learned that Chicktable had actually been removed from the bowl and given a tender scrubbing.
Back to Petco we went. I have no pictures of Chicktable II as he was not long for this world either. Taken by ick. No more fish from Petco.
This time, I will go to Petsmart. For some reason this always seemed to me to be the higher quality of the 2 Pet stores. Maybe because it has "smart" in the name. This time I picked the fish. A nice strapping male that had just arrived in the store. Chicktable III sits in my office so I can keep track of him. Ava comes in several times a day to feed her fish, talk to him about the wonders of the world and so forth. Chicktable has had many birthdays. In fact, I was told just a few days ago that it is his birthday in 39 days. Alas, I fear he will not make it. I came downstairs this morning to find this: Now, this fish "plays dead" on a pretty regular basis. It likes to just float or sleep on the bottom of the bowl. Now he's actually floating sideways...hmmm..... I've tapped the bowl and he does swim around. His swimming is sort of crooked - slightly bent. Can't quite figure it out. He was perfectly fine yesterday. He's been fed, talked to, etc., etc. Yep. just checked - floating again. Maybe I'll just leave him alone....Like I said, they just don't make betas the way the used to. Mine lived for years. This one has lasted just over 8 months. Should I flush him before she gets up? To be continued....chicktable 4?
Update: Chicktable is still with us. He floated on his side for the better part of that gloomy Thursday...the dead fish float. Ava talked to him & hugged the bowl. A short time later, Chicktable was back to swimming and doing whatever else it is that fish do to pass the time.