We recently did a behavioral sticker chart with the kids. You know, where you target a specific behavior you want to work on with your children, and for every day (or half day, if it's a particularly rampant behavior!) that they do what you've asked them to, they get a sticker. And when they get a certain number of stickers that you've set as the goal, there's a reward. I know there are some who don't think this is a good way to parent, that children should learn to obey for obedience's sake and not learn to expect rewards for every little thing. I see their point, sort of, but I know that *I* do better sometimes in certain areas of my life if there's an incentive I hold out for myself. For example, because I worked out really hard the other night, I treated myself to a ice cream sundae. It's nice to set small goals and then meet them. Plus, it's fun for the kids to watch that chart fill up with stickers--they're proud of themselves for doing it. I think we should all just relax a little bit sometimes about this parenting thing, don't you?
Anyway! So, when the kids got all their stickers, we'd promised them they could each get a goldfish. This is as far down Pet Avenue that I am willing to travel at this point in my life. We are not ready for a puppy. We said no to a guinea pig that our friends offered us. Goldfish are just about my speed. Dogs, cats and other small mammals? Nah. I do not need to scoop anymore poop than I already have to right now, y'know?
Yesterday was the day to get the goldfish! It was the first day of our 2 week break between Term 2 and 3, and goldfish selecting seemed like a festive way to start the holidays!
Fish-in-a-bag! I was more than a little nervous letting Ava carry it through the mall, but she did just fine, and no fish were harmed in the making of this blog post. We went on from here to get the tank and got it all set up and the water ready before the little guys got too uncomfortable in their ziploc home.
It's funny--I was apprehensive in the whole getting them and bringing them home process. On a much smaller scale, it's the same feeling of responsibility you have when you bring a new baby home from the hospital. (Yes, a much smaller scale--I already said that!) Except, I'm reasonably confident in my ability to care for and nurture a newborn human. Having done it a few times now. Fish, however, are new territory for me. Fingers crossed we keep them alive for awhile at least!
Folks, meet Goldie and Sunshine. Personally, I was hoping for some more exciting names, but Ava and Nate christened them before they were even out of the tank at the pet shop! The kids spent at least an hour last night just sitting there, watching the fish swim around. It was very cute. Ava kept saying, "I can't believe we really have pets now! This is the most exciting day ever." The fact that she was so excited over a little goldfish made me feel a twinge of guilt over not getting them a puppy. (But just a twinge.)
And Ava is already preparing for any outcome of this whole fish ownership thing. While I was making dinner, she spent about 5 minutes typing this into Google:
Worried about the end before the beginning even begins: just like her mama.
It's been about 24 hours, and I'm happy to report that Goldie and Sunshine lived through the night! So far, so good. But in the interests of full disclosure, I must confess. As the kids watched the fish swim last night, I made dinner. It was getting late, and my people were hungry. Without even thinking about it, I made something that would be quick and easy, and that was sure to be eaten. What was it?
Oops. The kids laughed a little about that, but then gobbled it up.