Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's a killer

Seven-year-old desperately brave but sad this morning when I broke the news about his fish. He curled up on the kitchen sofa under the ocean creature duvet he had pulled down the stairs with him and said: "I knew he was going to die." I am now convinced both the others are goners and it is merely a matter of time. I took a friend's advice and rang the garden centre where we bought them. I explained we had done everything according to the book and asked what the problem could be because we did not want it happening again. The assistant explained that fish "get stressed" travelling from the garden centre to their new homes. "Fish get stressed" - try telling a two-year-old her pet is about to die. The seven-year-old might have been phlegmatic, the two-year-old was hysterical when I tried to soften her up for the fact hers is probably next. Apparently, at the garden centre they put something called "Stresscoat" in the bag of water they travel in which is supposed to keep them calm but he agreed "It doesn't always work" and there can be subsequent problems in the immune system. If they have lost a scale along the way then they can indeed end up dead. He offered me three free fish when we were ready - three free fish and family therapy is what he should have offered.

11 comments:

softinthehead said...

I feel I wasn't terribly sympathetic to what you are all going through in my last comment, so I will just say I am thinking of you all :(

Sarah said...

Are you going to have a funeral? At least energy can be diverted- sounds pretty bleak, at your place, at the mo'
Hope you all get through it okay.
I have an awful premonition:
'Remember the fish!'
Being a kind of totem, held up at the suggestion of pets brought into the house in the future...

Frankofile said...

The first deaths are the worst.

Iota said...

Three free fish, family therapy, and how many loaves?

Expatmum said...

I'm fairly sure you can replace them without little ones noticing.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

My two are still swimming. I'm keeping my eye on them.

Hope the children are okay xx

Miriam said...

I take it that husband is away at the moment?
When my kids' first fish died, we had a huge funeral, my daughter made a headstone from an old piece of floor board, painted the epitaph with nail varnish. It's still against a wall in the garden! Actually brings back fond memories now,6 years on,of an innocent era, but floods of tears at the time. Still, it's healthier than bottling it up, isn't it? mimi

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ooo, the three free fish sounds good. Kids are quite fickle aren't they? And the idea of new stuff always excites them, that could be the silver lining. I do think it's good for children to see death in this 'minor' way...it's tough, but it gently introduces them to mortality.

I'm cringeing a little having written that, but I'm sure my children have benefited from burying moorhens and a baby owl (that was tough), they've got to the point now where they're quite happy for us to toss baby birds over fence into the neighbouring field. See, harsh and sans feeling my kids ;-)
Pigx

spider said...

I am sure fins will get better...

wife in the north said...

re pig I am surprised only by the fact you did not cook the owl

tartetartan said...

My 6-yr-old lost his fish the other month. It was the first 'pet death' in the family and he took it very badly - he sobbed on and off for days. We sent little 'Tchoupi' to his watery grave in the river Aveyron, but according to my friends the water in my toilet bowl would probably have been cleaner! It was quite an exit, as when he floated away he became tangled-up in some weeds - I remember thinking to myself 'oh god, please don't let him get stuck, please don't let him get stuck!' When he finally managed to break free (dramatic pause over) my son had the most terrible thought,'but what if he gets eaten by a shark!' I reassured him that he wouldn't and, thankfully, he believed me.