Before I left for 5 days in New York City, I made sure Dave was fully prepared for man-on-man defense with the baby. I wrote out her schedule, made a list of healthy snacks, I grocery shopped for him, and spent hours explaining how a vegetable needed to be included with both lunch and dinner. I bought back up Tylenol and Oragel and, even though we use cloth diapers, I bought back up paper diapers just in case.
Diaper bag? Prepared.
Zombie apocalypse? Covered.
Mentally equipping my child to observe the suicide of an animal? Not so much.
The Dave and I had been thinking about getting a fish. Something easy to take care of. His mom gave us a bowl, some rocks and food. But, I needed to do more research on the appropriate fish for our family, species, water needs, and pull together an exhaustive list of fish names. (NO! YOU ARE TYPE A!) Perhaps, I told Dave, we’d get a fish after the holidays or for Ellis’ second birthday. I shoved the tank and the food into the basement, until I had some time to fully prepare.
Saturday, I squeezed in a mid-day call to Dave and I babbled on about the people I met, the panel I spoke on, the food I was eating and when it was time for me to go, he said, “Oh, I bought two fish.”
“Yeah, a Beta fish and an Algae eater. But the Algae eater kind of freaked out when I put him in the water. He tried to jump out, hit the side of the tank and then died.”
“Don’t worry,” Dave assured me, “he didn’t cost much money at all.”
“Dave, you bought our first pet and then our daughter witnesses a suicide and you’re worried about money.”
“Eh, she didn’t really see much.”
“What if this next fish dies. What then?”
“I told you, they don’t cost much at all, it’s like you’re not listening.”
I’m gone five days. FIVE DAYS. And my daughter witnesses the suicide of her first pet. RIP Bubbles.
Dave and Ellis named the Beta fish Juice. At first I was really upset, because I kind of wanted to name a fish “Fillet.” It’s been a dream of mine since High School, when I asked my parents for a goldfish. Instead, they gave me these cheap, wind-up, mechanical fish and then laughed and laughed when I expressed my teenage outrage.
Plus, naming a fish Juice is a little complicated when that’s precisely what your kid loves to drink. But then I saw this video of Ellis meeting Juice the fish and well…what the hell, you can’t argue with the adorable.
Welcome to the family, Juice.
Juice the Beta fish enjoys fighting, weightlifting and telling kids not to use steroids.