Raising Tots

Finding Nemo…Upside Down

Oh man! Major Mom fail!!

Colt LOVES water.  He loves spray bottles, aquariums, the pool… At the start of our 2017 Staycation Spring Break, Colt got to go pick out a pet fish for his special event that day.  After a few minutes of pointing to every single fish at PetCo, we decided on a pretty goldfish…poor thing.  

We sat his bowl on the table and Colt talked to him all evening, through dinner, he was the 1st thing he asked for the next morning, talked to him all through breakfast…. and of course he’s a brainwashed Disney kid and named him Nemo. (GREAT Marketing, that brand!)

…28 hours he made it in our home…. I had gone online to learn: pretty quickly we’d need a bigger bowl.  Ok.  He should have something to hide behind.  Done.  And due to the fact that the bowl had no filter, he should have the water changed every 2 days (false).  ALSO- a piece left out as I was reading, only 20-30% of his water should be changed. WHOOPS.  I had good intentions!

What I’ve now learned from my new friend Josh at PetCo (yes I know, big box.  It’s close by, sorry) is that I stressed him out so bad he cracked (buddy, I feel ya….).  He’s now permanently floating in fishy heaven….and THANK GOD Colt didn’t see!  For the next 1 1/2 days Colt asked (SOOO sweetly and earnestly) “Where’s NEMO? I NEEEEEED to see him!
ME: “Buddy, Nemo went on a Spring Break Adventure.  He’ll be back soon

{This same conversation went on over and over for a while…and then finally this:}

Colt: “He went to TX?
Me: “Yes…Sure, he just kept swimming to TX….


Cue visit #2 to Petco where Nemo #2 came with a new home and direct steps to make this more successful.  TANKfully (<–See what I did there…hahahaha) Colt bought the story hook line and sinker  (Man, I’m punny!!) that Nemo went out to find a new home. The resemblance is uncanny really.

In my #AdoredChaos adventure, here are my lessons learned:

  1. Every pet takes work.  We were charged when we were put on this earth to care for the created animals (Genesis 1:19-20 where Adam gets to name them all– we name what we care for)
    • Dear Nemo #1, Your life was not in vain. I’m so sorry, but your death is leading to education for those who come after you. RIP
  2. When you THINK you are getting something that takes little maintenance and is easy because you had goldfish as a kid, step back…and realize, it won’t be easy and instead of costing you under $10, it may cost you $50.  Account in your budget for “errors”.
    • ask questions and get the right supplies.  We now have a filtered tank.  Happy Early Birthday Colt.
  3. I’m sure the lie that this is the same fish is justified.  Even though the Bible is full of directives about NOT lying…. at 2 1/2, he’s not cognitively ready to understand the concept of death.  He can understand going away, and coming back.  That’s the lesson here people!
  4. We do for our kids what brings JOY to their life.  There’s enough chaos coming (shoot, we’re already dealing with plenty with Colt) that he can learn to walk through later.  I can barely write this sentence, but there is coming a time when another pet will die. Pets we’ve had for decades that will break our hearts and leave emptiness in our home.  Postponing the death conversation is ok with with me at this phase.  I have his whole life to help him learn how to deal with heartaches and disappointment.  Today’s not that day.

So cheer us on in our #AdoredChaos as we correctly care for Nemo #2 and we’ll cheer you on as you share similar stories you’ve experienced and how you walked through them!

Just Keep Swimming. – Dory, Finding Nemo (Disney)


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