The number of our household inhabitants has expanded. And contracted.
It all started with our annual October fundraiser for the school. We have a carnival, at which one of my girls won a free gold fish. I shake my head because nothing is free, is it? No.
I had to take her to the local store to pick it up and then spend a bunch of money to buy the bowl, water conditioner, food, gravel and duplicate all of it for her sister, who suddenly wanted one too. For the first day, these fish were all the rage. They wrote list upon list of name possibilities, arguing - of course - about who had rights on a name or not. They never did settle on a name for either of them.
After a couple of days, the fish were forgotten, the water murky and the transition into my domain complete. One of the fish was much spunkier than the other and I started to like it more than I would normally expect to like stupid little 25-cent feeder fish.
Then, as a reward for taking piano lessons and practicing the piano, my youngest daughter wanted a pet mouse. I know what you're thinking. Why would I voluntarily bring more mice into my house when I've spent so much of my time getting them OUT? The little white mice in the store are pretty cute and active and watching them run on their little wheel makes them look like circus performers. And besides, don't we do crazy stuff to please our children?
When we actually went to make the purchase, I got a bit freaked out by the clerk who made it sound like it was certainly going to escape the cage and go multiply in my house with some other mouse it would certainly find. Despite knowing that my cat, Killer, who just left a dead songbird on my porch yesterday would keep the mouse population in check, I decided to convince my daughter to go with a Dwarf Hamster instead. It worked.
This little guy is quite precious. My daughter has not lost interest and my other daughter is motivated to take piano lessons now too. Still no name though...
In the meantime, I cleaned out the two fish bowls and combined them into one. My daughter finally named them, Coke and Pepsi. The two fish together seemed so much happier and I felt better, too.
Until this morning.
One of the fish was dead and the other looked traumatized. I have no idea what killed the first one (the spunkier one that I had grown fond of) but through our morning routine, my kids didn't even notice. I removed it with a bit of sadness and have resolved that I will not buy a replacement. After all, I hate fish. Right?