Recently, I shared the story of how my son used his sneaky Law of Attraction methods to con me into buying him a Betta fish. What I didn’t mention is how I ended up with two pet Betta fish. Perhaps I should pick up where the last story left off.
You see, my son pretty much shouted it from the roof tops that he had a fish. When we picked up my daughter from her friend’s house after purchasing said fish, this little girl had a quiet meltdown in the backseat.
“You got him a fish? Why did you get him a fish?” she cried repeatedly. Keep in mind, this child has never once expressed even the slightest interest in a Betta. Ever. I could see offended tears slipping down her cheeks in the rearview.
“I didn’t know you wanted a pet betta fish,” I told her.
“I didn’t, but…”she began. “I want a puppy.”
“Honey,” I began, “a puppy and a pet Betta fish aren’t even in the same league. A puppy requires so much more care than a fish. We just can’t have a puppy right now—what would our own beagle, Reesie, think?”
’’But he got something!” she whined.
“Hey,” yelled my son, holding his plastic Betta bin protectively. “He is not a thing. He’s my pet fish!”
“He got a pet Betta fish and I want one, too!” she sobbed.
When we got home, tears were slipping down my daughter’s cheeks in rivers.
I felt so guilty. I am such a sucker, I thought to myself.
“So what you’re saying here is that you want a pet fish, too?” I asked. I mean, the whole set-up had cost around twenty bucks. I figured I could spring for another one to stop the flow of extreme parental guilt, and prove, once again, that I love both children equally.
She nodded slowly, knowing my defenses were cracking.
So I packed us all back into the car and headed for the store. When we got to the pet section, she selected her new pet with more care than I’m convinced my husband used to choose my engagement ring. Forty-five minutes later, we headed home with a red fish to complement my son’s blue one. Our fish were quite patriotic.
I hoped my kids, not me, would take care of our patriotic pet betta fish.
We brainstormed names. By the time we pulled into the driveway, they had settled on “Frank and Fred, the Filet Brothers.”
My husband, who is much less influenced by our children’s use of the Law of Attraction, was far less than thrilled by the joyful shouts of “Daddy, look what we got!”
“What did you do?” he hissed at me. “What the *&^% are we going to do with two fish?”
“Watch them peacefully swim around their bowls?” I smiled innocently, while our children thrust their fish bowls in my husband’s shocked face.
The Story Ends Peacefully
As it turns out, watching them has been exactly what we did do. Frank and Fred have become the stars of our kitchen counter. We all talk to them as we pass through, and the kids are both religious about feeding them breakfast and dinner. After more research, we’ve graduated them to bigger bowls, and they are both much happier. I do the cleaning of the tanks, but that’s because we’re all afraid the kids will inadvertently hurt the fish when moving them from tank to bowl.
All in all, we really enjoy our fish. I don’t give in to my kids’ every whim when it comes to toys and video games, but I’m a total sucker for books and small animals. Besides, giving kids something to care for helps them learn responsibility and understand that the world really doesn’t revolve around their needs alone.
The only problem is that my son realizes his proficiency at working the Law of Attraction. I was cleaning the fish tanks when I heard him ask his father, “When can you get me a pet snake?”