I painted my daughter's room while she was in Fort Myers. It was supposed to be a surprise. She figured it out even though I tried to play dumb and Elle wasn't the least bit surprised that I had actually done it. She was surprised, however, by the little aquarium I put in her room. Of course, there were fish in it. Guppies. Three gorgeous guppies.
One morning, about two days after she returned home, I was awakened by the sound of my bedroom door being blasted open (seemingly by bombs, but really just by a panicked little girl who tends to throw doors into walls) and the following statement being shouted into the room: "Mommy, someone chopped Tiny's tail in half!!!!!!!!"
Tiny had developed fin rot and rather than allow my daughter to feel guilty that she hadn't been a good enough Fish Mom, we took Tiny back to the pet store and exchanged him for Superman. It was Elle's first major life-or-death decision and she handled it very well. Sure, she cried. But she was promised that Tiny would receive medicine for his tail and, once he recovered in approximately two days, he would be put back into a tank and ready to be sent home with another Fish Mom.
Elle: "Will he get better if I leave him here with the Fish Doctor?"
Elle: "Will he get better if I take him home with me?"
Me: "Probably not."
Elle: "Okay, he should stay here with the Fish Doctor."
Tears. Broken heart. Time to take Superman home.
Superman is rooming with two other guys named Manny and Happy. Those two guppies love swimming where they can be seen and they eat like they're related to cows or something. And they poop unbelievably long strands of poop that Elle and I have constantly joked that if fish could be walked around the block then they have already provided a leash. I know, gross. But the worst part is watching Superman hanging out at the bottom of the tank, getting crapped on and missing out on the comaraderie between Happy and Manny. Even when I feed them, Superman just sits in another side of the tank with his back turned to Manny and Happy while they eat and eat and eat and eat. Then poop.
I'm not quite sure what to do about Superman. And after the very recent emotional decision Elle had to make regarding Tiny, I'm concerned that something may also be wrong with Superman. His top fin looks a bit mangled and I'm convinced that he has also developed fin rot. So I've explained to Elle that Superman might be sick and that's why he isn't eating or trying to make new friends with Manny and Happy.
And if that isn't enough misery for a child, throw on top of that a stomach flu that results in three separate loads of laundry, her best friend moving away to Virginia, and not being able to go to Adventure Landing with her Uncle Buck because, well...I can hardly get her to move fast enough to make it to the toilet. So now she's back in her bed watching VeggieTales and worrying about her half-dead fish.
Oh, and school starts Monday.