The Tovsky Tribe

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Go Fish!

Last week, in our mommy and me class, a mother of one of the kids brought in a pet fish. She did not mean to have show and tell, but the guy at the pet store had advised her not to leave it in the car, it was too cold. It was just a tiny fish, in a travel cup and yet Chase seemed to take a liking to the fish. He wanted to just look at it in the cup, despite the fact that there were toys and music and bubbles. So, I did what any {crazy} mom would do and bought my 18 month old sons pet fish.

I totally understand the boys' fascination with the fish. I happen to love fish myself. Their colors, their finesse, I am always amazed by the gilled creatures and love looking at aquariums. I even do (perhaps did is a better term here) some scuba diving so I can be amongst them in their own environment. I had an aquarium once too, it is a whole lot of maintenance and as we know me and high maintenance don't mix. But, a little bowl of betta fish that seems manageable?!!?!

We have one bowl, two fish, both female since male betta's can't live together. The males were prettier to look at but it seemed only right to have two fish. One is blue which is named cookie, the other is red and named bubble. The boys never refer to them by name, though they are two words both boys can say.

They love their fish, however. They wake up in the morning and they want to "see fishies," and as soon as we see them they both suck in their cheeks to make the best fish face they can.

Chase's fish face

Ryder's fish face

Ryder studying their movements

"Nice fishies" they will say as they pet the side of their own faces, imitating me telling them to treat fish (and all animals and people) nicely. It is now part of our morning routine to put the fishies on the island, they sit on the bar stools, and they watch their fishies swim. We feed them breakfast, I repeat "just a pinch" and rub my finger and thumb together. Both boys repeat the action. It usually ends up they dump too much food into the tank despite my trying to control it and luckily we have not killed the fish from overfeeding. Often times they will kiss the bowl, "kiss fishie," then bang on the lid like a drum. It's at the point that the ritual usually ends.
It was fun to give it to them for the first time and watch their eyes and smiles light up. It is nice that they want to see them every morning and say goodnight before bed time. And, maybe over time the will learn to care for the fish and it can be lesson to them that special things need to be taken care of.
I hope it does not complicate things, however, when I am cooking a fish dinner and letting them "help."

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