When you have a child like Maury, you can't possibly remember all of the things you have to tell him to do or not to do before he goes somewhere unchaperoned. Case in point: meet Cameron the fish and his/her unpictured companion, Bruce.
Yesterday, Maury attended the middle school carnival during the after school, students only session. I'm sure Steve gave him a list of do's and don't's before he got on the bus yesterday morning with a pocket full of spending money. Nevertheless, Steve goes to pick Maury up and he is holding two goldfish.
Whoops. Forgot to tell him "Don't try to win any fish". I guess we're lucky he didn't come home with a rabbit. Well, there's another lesson learned.
Off to Pet Smart they go. Once there, just to add to the humor, Steve is told that these fish will grow to be a foot long (!) and they try to get him to buy a huge tank. He opts for the goldfish bowl, some gravel and some food, thankyouverymuch.
I arrive home and Maury proudly introduces me to Bruce, the gold and white fish, and his friend, who he has decided to let Lizzie name. She is thrilled when she gets home after dance to do just that. Cameron, she decides. (Because that could be a boy or a girl and who knows what this fish is.) We get them all set up in their new home, complete with a piece of coral Maury used in a science project last year, and go to sleep happy.
I'm the first one up in the morning and I peek in on Bruce and Cameron before waking Maury. Cameron has, of course, croaked overnight. I alert Steve to the tragedy and then wake Maury up. I hope he won't look in the bowl before we go downstairs but you know he does. He stares. He smacks the side of the bowl. Cameron doesn't move...just lies there on his/her side at the bottom of the bowl. Bruce is chillin' out behind the coral, not looking at the atrocity on the other side of the bowl. Maury is very unhappy, but not unconsolable. Whew. Oddly, he seems most upset because he thinks Lizzie is going to be mad at him.
As is my routine, I get Maury fed, finish getting my stuff ready to go workout, and then I go in to say goodbye to Lizzie. I hope she won't get out of bed before I leave. (Is that wrong to hope that stays on Steve's shoulders? Probably.) She doesn't. She comes downstairs and stands practically on top of me, hands beside her mouth, and begins this whispered conversation:
"Did you look in the fishtank?"
"Yes, sweetie. I'm sorry."
"Does Maury know?"
"Yes, he knows."
"He knows HIS fish is dead?"
Gulp. I had hoped at the start of this conversation that she was really OK and was just worried about her brother's feelings. Nope. Once she realized her fish was the goner, she gets really upset. Tears flow. Maury tells her she can rename Bruce if she wants. No good. It's sad, sad, sad.
After I left home, Steve and the kids spooned Cameron out and flushed him/her. Steve says Cameron may have just been faking...it may have been his/her plan to escape a'la Finding Nemo. Anyway, they fed Bruce once the crime scene was cleared.
Bruce didn't eat.