Friday, August 8, 2008

fish mom

As The Fish Mom at Pook's school I don't have to feel guilty if I ignore the fundraisers, I can schedule the work to fit my own life and I am not on any committees. CD and I set a limit on how much was reasonable to spend on it, but the pet store has been more than willing to gain free advertising by donating items so I didn't spend even half of our limit last year. At home I have a ten gallon tank I've had since my 18th birthday (it's a few years old now, but in fine condition). But I've always wanted a big tank and never had the house for it. Now I have a 55 gallon tank. With help from the pet store I filled it, stocked it, dealt with a horrible algae/phosphate problem and then successfully maintained it every two months or so for a whole school year.

The custodian who feeds the fish called me a few weeks ago to tell me it "needed attention". Yes it did. One serious cleaning later, it looked good. I decided it needed more fish (I suspect a few have died in the past year although it's hard to count) so I dragged the kids to the pet store and bought more today. We agonized over which ones to get (all African Cichlids) and the guy had a terrible time catching them. Finally he got out his pen to write the cost on the bag and I realized we'd chosen fish that were $30 apiece! I hesitated, but I had him put them back and select the easiest ones he could catch in the $5 range.

Then I caved in when the boys found some pirate items for the tank. One had a pirate with a cannon and one was a skeleton with a treasure chest. I try to remember that it isn't my tank and "tasteful" is a term that means different things to elementary school kids than it does to me. They were kind of cool, but rang up at twice the estimated price. With the addition of some chemicals for the tank, I left the store with a receipt for $65.

We took the fish to the school and as I unwrapped the cannon I began to think about the reaction the school might have to a cannon. Technically it is a weapon, even if the fish are unlikely to shoot it off. I wasn't sure if this would be a problem but I went to see the new principal just in case. The cannon didn't bother her. But, no skeletons. I forget that I live in the Bible Belt and skeletons, while they don't seem to bother anyone while sharing their body with one, are "demonic" when shown in a Halloween-ish or, in this case, Pirate-ish way. So, I'll return them. I'll be $25 richer afterward. Or maybe I can find a cool castle...

1 comment:

  1. I had to click away in the middle of reading the last paragraph and the thought of the school being wary of a ceramic fish tank cannon cracked me up.

    I can see the headlines now: Fish Mom Arrested for Bringing Ceramic Cannon to School. "But it's only ceramic! It's only going to hurt someone if it's thrown! The fish don't know how to set it off!" She protested.

    Hee. Thanks for the giggle.