Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Farewell little fishie

Well, the fish has gone to the big fishbowl in the sky, so to speak. 

When I came downstairs this morning it was floating on its side, but thankfully not at the top of the bowl.  We had Y Neighbours this morning, so we were in a bit of a rush to get out the door and I didn't want to deal with the situation, so I just ignored it for the time being.  Thankfully Annika didn't notice that anything was wrong (since the fish had been pretty listless lately anyway) and she didn't ask to feed it.  I wasn't quite sure how to handle the discussion, so I wanted to wait until I could gather my thoughts a bit and would have time to try to answer any questions she had.  But I did feel like sort of a crummy mommy for not telling her about it right away.

After Y Neighbours we went to my parents' place for lunch, and I told her about the fish when we got there (I thought maybe it would be good to have the discussion away from home, and away from the fish).  I didn't actually tell her that the fish was dead, but just that it hadn't been feeling well lately (which she had noticed already since it wasn't doing much swimming and wouldn't come to the surface to eat), and when we got home the fish would be gone, and it wouldn't be our fish anymore, but we could get a new fish if she wanted (the fish was still on 'warranty' so Petland would replace it for free).  Or something like that - I don't remember the exact words.  Part of the reason why I avoided telling her that the fish was dead was because we've really only talked about death in regard to the Easter story, and I wasn't sure if she would then think that the fish would come back to life, like Jesus did.  Also, I wanted to avoid a bunch of death-related questions.  Yes, I admit, I chickened out a bit, but I think just addressing the situation, rather than just trying to replace the fish without her noticing, was being brave enough.

So, Annika was sad when I told her, but she didn't say much else at the time.  It was good to be at a place with lots of other distractions, so she didn't think about it too much. :)  After supper we went back to Petland and picked out a new fish, and she had a few more questions (especially since I had to bring the dead fish back - I kept it hidden in a sour cream container in a bag though so she wouldn't see it), but overall she seems to be okay with the whole thing.  I guess we'll see in the next few days if she has any more questions.  This was her first time at Petland so she was pretty excited to see all the little animals and fish tanks.  We decided to name the new fish "Rainbow" because she has lots of pretty colors (the picture doesn't really do her justice).  Let's just hope that she lasts longer than the last one!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I don't think you chickened out at all. Sometimes it's okay to not give kids the whole story about something; just tell them what they need to know about the situation and not all of the gory details.

Sort of like "the birds and the bees" stuff. :) They don't need to hear it all at once!