Last month, the family said goodbye to our beloved family pet, a 3-year-old Beta fish named Kelme. Kelme lived a shit-ton longer than any fish I’ve ever had, but yet, he too inevitably met the same fate as countless goldfish from the County Fair before him. As Kelme swam over the rainbow bridge to that great toilet in the sky, I promised the kiddos we could get another fish when we came home from vacation.
Unfortunately for me, the kids cashed in their fish chip today.
Look, I’m not a horrible mommy, I want my kids to have a pet. But I am completely allergic to anything with fur – besides my husband – and while a fish is the lowest possible maintenance for a pet alive, there still is some maintenance. Maintenance that gets added to my plate because I know my kids would completely fuck it up and I really don’t feel like throwing money down the toilet (pun intended) on buying a new fish every month because they can’t figure out how to correctly clean a bowl.
So off to the pet store we went. Once there, my older 2 kids couldn’t decide on a fish unanimously which was
a pain in my ass not much of a surprise. As we needed a new bowl too – because I threw out all reminders of Kelme upon his death – I realized that my best option would be to pacify everyone. 2 fish, for 2 brothers. Yay. Problem solved. Happiness ensued. The end.
Nope, not that easy.
After purchasing everything it would take to keep 2 overpriced fish alive for as long as possible, we settled into the car and started the trip home.
“So guys, what do you want to name your fishes?” I questioned. The 4-year-old spoke up first, “I’m calling mine Dog. Because I wish that’s what he was.” Touché, kid. “Dog… nice. Good name. How about Fido? That’s a dog’s name.” Then he rethought, “Actually, I think I’ll call him Sushi.”
Sushi? OMG, the laughter came from my gut in waves. “A fish called Sushi! That’s an awesome fish name. You are so funny, buddy!”
The 10-year-old was holding back his laughter as he said, “That’s a terrible name. It’s so offensive.” I laughed even harder at that. Something about offending a fish seemed a bit hysterical.
“It’s not offensive,” the 4-year-old balked. “I like sushi and I like my fish.”
“Dude. Sushi is fish. It’s made from raw fish.”
“Is that true, Mom?” I looked in the mirror to see wide 4-year-old’s eyes, filled with horror.
“Yeah, buddy, that is true. But that’s what makes the name super funny.”
Once again my 10-year-old’s voice of reason cut me off at the pass, “That’s like getting a pet pig and naming it Bacon, or a cow named Cheeseburger. OFFENSIVE!”
At this point, I didn’t even want to look at my preschooler’s face. I could just picture our next family meal. He’s not currently a good eater and now that he’s been introduced to The History of the Origin of Meat, Part II, I couldn’t see that stage coming to an end in anytime soon.
I shouldn’t have been worried.
“Wow, Mom! So we can get a pig?”
PS. The fishes are very happy in their new home and have been nameless for 12 hours. I’m really pushing for Bacon and Cheeseburger.