The ramblings of a woman,
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The Rules for Having a Fish in Our House

October 26, 2007 - 8:54 AM

I am not a pet person and I know this comes as no shock to any of you, but even my cold-hearted, pet-unappreciating self, I have told the kids that when age appropriate they could get a fish, and even a fish is in grave danger in our house.


Josh took the boys to the pet store a while back and they told him to keep a goldfish they needed, this that and the other and we got totally turned off on the idea.  What ever happened to just a bowl and a fish?


Zeke had an exciting conversation with our friend Leslie, who said that Betta were really easy and liked little bowls.


Zeke really wants a Betta fish.


Just like all pets, I am not going to take care of this fish, so Zeke has to prove his responsiblily and I told Zeke he had to bring it up at a house meeting.


Zeke proposed it at a house meeting, saying he would pay for the fish and whatever it needed, but as Leslie said, "It's just a small bowl."  Josh, being the ever so wise half of our union started asking important questions to Zeke about the care of a Betta fish.  Zeke, taking on the ever so smarts of his father said, "I will go to the library and check out a book on how to care for a Betta fish and then I will make a list of all I need to do."  


Again, my ever so wise husband then throws out the scenario, "But what if when you (Zeke) are cleaning the tank the old water spills everywhere?  Do you think you are capable of cleaning up a big water mess?  Can he do that?"  I think for a moment, "I don't know but I do know that I am not going to do it."  My ever so wise husband says, "Then how about we find something that Zeke can practice cleaning up so he can show he could clean up a poop filled fish water mess?"  "He can clean up after his sister pees on the floor?" I reply. "Ok, Zeke, you have to clean up your sister's pee messes for 7 days to get your fish, and even after those 7 days, if she ever does have an accident, you still have to clean is up."  Zeke, "Deal!"


Zeke got his book about Betta.  And they do only need a very small bowl because that is how they live in the wild in the Thai rice fields, who knew!  He made his list of things he needed to get and remember to do to make his fish survive.  And he knows that if at any point he neglects this fish it is *flush* down the toilet.


Sure enough, his sister did not make it to the toilet in time that day and sure enough, he cleaned up the mess, washed the floor and was joyful the entire time... Then when she got into the bathroom but had an accident on the rug instead of in the toilet so he picked up the rug and washed it in the washing machine... then when she had an accident on the carpet, he got out the carpet cleaner vacuum and cleaned the carpet... all with joy and proudly proclaiming, "I am going to have my fish in no time!" 


Lucky for him, his sister's messes are getting less frequent every day. 

Response to The Rules for Having a Fish in Our House

  • Elise said on October 26, 2007 - 9:27 AM

    That is fantastic. You're a highly creative mother! (That gets results, no less!) And, of course, you're blessed by wonderful children, too. That has to help. ;-)

  • Leslie said on October 26, 2007 - 11:12 AM

    This is brilliant! :) I was soo surprised last night how joyful Zeke was as he was cleaning up, he was great!! Way to go, on training your kids and I am excited for him too! I love your kids and your family! :)

  • Alicia M said on October 26, 2007 - 11:42 AM

    I agree- Very creative way to teach Zeke responsibility! Good job!

  • Holly said on October 26, 2007 - 2:35 PM

    Oh wow! What dedication! I'm impressed! You have such adorable children! Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

  • Dana said on October 26, 2007 - 4:06 PM

    Thanks ladies! And of course I couldn't do this without my cohort in crime, aka Josh, :)! And of course none of this is possible without our glue, aka Christ, :)! If only life was always so carefree... today has definitely not been one of those days. Thank God for His grace!

  • Rob said on October 26, 2007 - 4:57 PM

    Methinks I'm picking up a few pointers from Josh on how to handle situations like this when Ben gets a little older. If I don't get a chance, thank him for me and thank you for posting about it!

  • leah said on October 28, 2007 - 4:44 PM

    wow! great story and great ideas! we have decided no dogs at our house until the kid is old enough to take care of it. i like the idea of working towards that goal! i had a betta and attempted to change the water, but apparently the water was too hot and he had a seizure and died within about 30 secs! so, you might want to watch the water temp!

  • Dana said on October 28, 2007 - 9:22 PM

    Leah - check on the the temp, I will have Zeke add it to his list! And Ben - Your comment, "Love the blog, it's good to know what the other is thinking." is erased do to thinking you are spam, so if you are not spam, please let me know, :)!

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

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   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
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