Monday, April 28, 2008

Chip’s Fishing Expedition

Only, this one did not involve a creel or a bait or a rod. Maybe I am wrong about the bait. I was the bait. Chip loves fish. In every way. To watch, to eat. Mostly to eat. The first time he saw live fish swimming was over a year and half ago in a store that old adventure gear and clothing. The store has a huge stone aquarium filled with, I think, Koi fish. Chip ran excitedly to it, he was only 18mo then and I pointed the fish out to him. Chip saw them for a bit, then promptly asked to eat them.

A few days ago, bolstered by the wild birds coming to our back yard, I decided to give in to Chip’s demands for getting a fish tank at home. We got a small plastic one, a live plant to put in it, some gravel, water conditioner, some food, a thermometer, a net and of course some live fish. We set up the aquarium last Sunday, put the fish in and Chip promptly asked to eat them. As he had asked a few days ago, to a rather chubby bird sitting on the fence, “Birdie, will be you be my dinner?” He was asking the same question to the fish now, his mouth watering. “Chip”, I explained patiently, “Remember those bushes with red berries near you school?” “Yes.” Chip answered. “Do you eat those berries?” Chip shook his head “No.” “Why don’t we eat those berries, Chip?” “Because they are for show only. No eating them.” Pat came the reply. “See? These fish are for show only. You can’t eat them. OK?” Chip agreed. “They are your pets, you have to talk to them, feed them. Not eat them.” “Let’s give them pear to eat.” Chip was excited. “They don’t eat pear. They eat this fish food.” I said showing him a jar of stinky fish flakes. Chip sniffed them. “Mmmm.. they are yummy, Aie.” Before he could grab and eat a few I dropped some for the fish. The fish came up to the surface and gobbled them up. “Isn’t this fun?” Chip wasn’t impressed. He walked away bored.

The next day, when we got home from school, he did not glance at the fish tank. “I want to go out and ride my scooter.” We went out, he rode his scooter, got back home, I fed the fish, Chip was still not interested. Wednesday evening, one fish died. I was upset. Well, not a whole lot upset, but just a little.. I had no idea why it died. It could have been old or diseased, it had been eating well. I did not want Chip to see a dead fish, so I sent him out to play while I cleaned the tank. Two days later, I caught him looking intently at the fish. “Do they have ears?” “I don’t think they do” I replied. “A mouth?” “Yes they have a mouth.” “Look they have eyes also, Aie. And hands. They don’t have legs.” “That’s right Chip. And those are not hands... they are fins. There, that’s a new word for you.” Chip sat looking at the fish as they played hide and seek. I went inside the kitchen to fix him his dinner when Chip came rushing in, excited. “I just gave them their dinner.” He ran back out and got the jar of fish flakes. “I gave them this. Not pear.” I ran outside to the aquarium. There was more than a teaspoon of fish food in it. I cleaned it out, changed some water to decontaminate the tank and explained to Chip that the fish were so tiny, they needed only 1 flake per fish. Not more. He wasn’t buying it. “They were very hungry.” He insisted. Yesterday morning, same thing. He ran down stairs and dumped some fish food into the tank. I did the clean and explain routine again but he was too fascinated watching the fish eat the food.

He probably is too little to care for the fish himself, but he remembers to feed them everyday. And he watches them and talks and sings to them. That’s saying something. Perhaps we can graduate to getting an iguana in a few years!

And now for something entirely different. Nobody asked me what the last post was all about. Not even BigGeek or my dad or other people who I assumed read my blog. Either they don’t read or are convinced I have finally gone out of my mind. But I shall still give an explanation, nevertheless. This is what it is all about. Over 70+ bloggers gave an online virtual shower to 10 bloggie mothers-to-be. Spearheaded by Tharini, the idea was carried forward by Gauri to include a treasure hunt and she along with Altoid (who I met for the first time yesterday and what an amazing person she is, so gentle and the personification of nice), Sue and Kiran came up with these Potteresque rhymes (They are giving Rowling a run for her money, I am telling you). MayG designed the amazing website and DDMom, a signature book. We all helped and posted riddles and wishes and gyaan and it was the fun-nest Friday ever. I think kids went unwashed and hungry, deadlines set aside as the 70+ of us watched with bated breath the treasure hunt unfold. A lot has been written about this, so I am going to link to one that summarizes it all and links to others as well (Sorry, I am down with a cold again and the posts are uninspired, so please bear with me)


Anonymous said...

You go girl!! Get that iguana and tell me how that goes ... I cannot even get a plant to live long enough, so totally dreading the day Kutie says "lets have a pet"
*** shudders***

K 3 (lazy to sign in)

rayshma said...

u know.. .chip cud have been my kid! i also used to think that fish were only to be eaten... till what age i refuse to let u in on! :D
even now, if i stare at birds for over 5 secs, i want to eat them. there's just this URGE to pounce on them... i better shut up now.

but tell me something... iguana? no cat/dog/horse/wolf/tiger... iguana, eh? hmm...

Gauri said...

Dottie - careful when you feed the fishes. Fishes die when overfed. Cos they keep on eating and their system just shuts down.

Feed the fishes just as much as they can consume in one minute. That way you can feed them thrice a day too.

And just check with the pet shop - they have these high protein pellets which are really good for the fish. Much healthier for them than flakes.

Maggie said...

LOL! Who really wants the iguana - Chip, or you?

DotMom said...

K3: I am fascinated by iguanas, but am also a lil grossed out!

rayshma: OK, then he is normal. WAIT. No. Maybe you both are not normal, yeah? :)

gauri: I know.. but I always thought fish died of over feeding not becase they don't know when to stop (because then they would die at sea as well where food is plenty) but because excess food put in tanks remains uneaten and decomposes and contaminates the tank... Is it really true that fish can't stop eating? I have always cleaned the tank when Chip dumped more fish food.. Will ask abt protein pellets.. the store gave me fish flakes (tetramin)

maggie: hehehehehe. I really want a dog.

Altoid said...

:), great meeting you too! and about time.

Alright, enjoy the fishes :).

Vinita said...

You girls got to meet each other..Now I am really jealous..


Anu said...

Hi Dotmom,

Wow! u are managing so well with the pet thing. I shudder everytime hubby or A makes a mention :)

Kodi's Mom said...

my cousin graduated to a tarantula by the time he was 4! thank god, K is not showing any such inclinations.

"remembers to feed them, loves to watch them, plays hide and seek.."
thats a lot for Chip's age, no? only a matter of time before he actualyl feeds them flakes instead of pear-sized flakes :)

Mystic Margarita said...

Went LOL at this - “Birdie, will be you be my dinner?” Glad that Chip is taking care of his pets - I always believe having a pet teaches kids responsibilities. I want to get a dog, but R is super-scared of them. Maybe, I should start with them little fishies! :)

I love Lucy said...

Chip sounds like my husband.Everytime I bring up the topic of getting a dog as a pet,he wistfully comments on how it might just end up being his dinner if I went through with my plan.
The devil!
Yes yes,we all know now of your(you and the other 69 wonderful bloggers) amazing endeavor about which you refused to divulge any information despite my grilling, the other day on GTalk.If I could get that curious,then I can only imagine what the ladies for whom the mega event was organized,went through!
Great job!

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

I was wondering why you did not mention this in your other post I know why!! It deserves an exclusive post!! Still laugh when I think about "Birdie, will you be my dinner?" Cho cute!!

on the shower - I was trying to figure it out, and got some hints from other blogs...but did not realise you guys planned an event!! How nice!!

Usha said...

This little boy seems to have a very original approach to everything. Looking for flushes behind trees, wanting to eat the fish from the aquarium - "littel birdie, will you be my dinner?" where did that come from. I bet some book he is reading.
My god, I feel so dumb that I am a bit nervous to meet these little kids.

DotMom said...

altoid: thankyou

vinita: come here, na!

anu: fishes are low maintainence compared to cats and dogs..

kodis mom: tarantula?? tarantula?? and your uncle/aunt let him. Wow. What cool parents. I want a tarantula now :)

mystic: I don't know how long the novelty will last! you should get them though. they are fun.. sorta.

lucy: hehehehehe. you be on watch if you get a pet :) yeah the shower thingie was nice.

gnd: He is abominable. it was a mega event. I think we should be in guiness book.

usha: you know I had a dream - we have this karge tank of fish and crab and eel and every evening Chip points to ne and tells me to cook it for dinner for him. Shudder.

rayshma said...

no, no.. .he's normal! and i'm his fan! he made me feel normal for a while!
go read the post on the other blog when u have d time! :P

bird's eye view said...

Chip sounds like he's learning to be really responsible. it's wonderful how quickly kids learn that - I have my not-yet-two year old trying to feed the dog with water from her bottle! After I awwed, of course i rushed to throw the bottle away :)

DotMom said...

rayshma: hehehe. send me an email about the otehr blog, pliss? I did not add it to my reader...

BEV: Awwwww.. that's soooo cute!