It was my daughter’s 5th birthday only a few weeks ago. My hubby and I did not want to spend money on toys and she doesn’t really need anything. Then we thought about how she showed interest in having a fish for a pet. Yes, let’s do that. She will love it and she can learn responsibility too.
Let me tell you little about what our pets looked like growing up. The hubby – a dog, birds, and fish. He tells me stories about how the bird was smart and came to him when called and what a great personality it had. He tells me about his fish and how strong he was, apparently he lived through some kind of an electrical shock. He had a big fish tank with aggressive fish who ate little feeder fish. Me- we always had at least 2 cats and most of the time at least one dog. At one point our house was home to four dogs and four cats. When I was little I had a mouse once and a hamster once. My experience of birds were that they were loud and messy. And with fish you have to care for the tank and keep the water in perfect fish condition. I did win a goldfish at the fair once- had it for about a month… cleaned it’s bowl then it went belly up.
So when we decided to get this fish I made it clear that I did not want a tank that we had to keep clean. Just a simple bowl with some gravel and a plant – and the fish. When we told Elle that it was time for her birthday surprise we explained that we were going to the pet store to get her a fish. She was so super excited. We made the trip to the little pet store and about half an hour later we walked out with four fish (an oscar, 2 cichlids, and a sucker fish), a ten gallon tank complete with filter and all the stuff that goes with it. Yes, we got excited and one fish in a fishbowl turned into four fish in a fish tank. They really grew on me. I have found myself hanging out in the kid’s room just watching the fish. They are pretty cool little things to watch. And it’s even relaxing.
The first week my hubby added another cichlid and some guppies for the oscar to eat. That was probably not the best idea because the tank wasn’t set yet. We ended up losing one of the first cichilds then the sucker fish. It took a little while to get the tank to good living conditions, low ammonia and the right pH. We now have a new sucker fish- she helps to clean the tank. And everyone seems to be doing well. Want to hear about their names? Elle “gave” her brother the oscar fish so when we asked him what he wanted to name it he said “Owl.” He didn’t miss a beat. Elle named the yellow cichlid “Fasty,” the blue cichlid “Jesse,” the sucker fish “Alice.” The ones we lost were named “Lizzie” and “Theresa.” I have no clue where she heard any of those names… except Alice is one of her friends… but I love it.
What was your kid’s first pet?