Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Additions

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.


  1. Oh Ava, so excited about the fish. Bless her! I got all choked up reading that. I kind of really want you to get them a dog. Don't get a puppy--it would be like having another baby. Get them an older dog like Percy, it really wouldn't be that much trouble.

    And I'm sure Goldie and Sunshine will have long happy lives. Now, when we got a couple of fish a few years ago, we did keep them for about a year, then one day we came home and they were both floating. I think someone added water straight from the tap to their bowl. Anyway, I was really sad. We buried them in the back yard.

    Not that this will happen to your fish.

    The pic of the kids holding the bag is so cute!

  2. Yes, I'm not into sticker charts much but I do use them occasionally! I will need to tell Rebekah about the new additions, she'll be excited!

  3. Very, very cute. Say hello to another family of three kids who just own pet fish in a tank. At one point we had 2 cats and 2 dogs but we raised them and are done for now!
    LOVE the photo of the 2 of them staring at the tank.

  4. Welcome home Goldie and Sunshine!

    I think the sticker/reward system is great. Parents who are not into that did not have children like me :) I remember loving it as a kid. It's kind of like just putting things out in the open, right? I mean, you want peace and quiet and I want a goldfish, so lets make this easier on the both of us.

    Eating fish for dinner. Priceless!

  5. I love the chart idea, I think kids learn to "earn" things in a sort of quantifiable way, they're not just given to them. I mean look at the "build up" over these goldfish.

    And even though puppies are a lot of work, they're so darn cute!!!

  6. Oh,how exciting! They are so cute holding the fish bag. I love the thought of Ava Googling how long gold fish live. Isn't it priceless that "the most exciting day" can be achieved so easily? They are so sweet and cute! I always love reading your account of your days down there in Oz!

  7. I'm new to your blog but am so enjoying it! I actually began blogging when our goldfish, Spacefight Lemondade Cool Shark (that was his name) died -- not that your goldfish are going to die or anything.

    (I'm really not this weird, I promise!) There's just something about children and fish that cracks me up --

  8. Hi Elizabeth--thanks for reading! I must say, YOUR fish's name was much cooler than ours are. That shows some creativity for sure! :)

  9. Our kids got coupons for "goldfish" for the library's summer reading program. If you were thinking crackers, you would be wrong. Actual, live goldfish. Our cat just died, so it's good timing; we aren't ready for long-term pet commitment for a while.