Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Kendrie -- Day 215 Off-Treatment

Blaine -- almost back up to working full-days (I think he figures working is more restful than being at home with the kids during summer break)

The day after we returned from OKC, the kids were invited to a neighbor girl’s birthday party. (Amy, if you’re reading this, thanks again for the invitation!) Even though the party started at 4pm, when the temperature outside was reaching a million degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s not counting the humidity or the heat index, I decided we would walk to the party since it was just around the corner, about eight houses away. I walked, Brayden rode her bike, and Kellen and Kendrie rode scooters.

We arrived at the party with the other guests, and merriment and frivolity began. There was pizza, and cake and ice cream, and silly string, and water balloons, and a prize box, and a piñata stuffed with candy. That was about the time Brayden made her enthusiastic observation, “Mom, this is the best party EVER!” (Too bad she didn’t realize all the Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Rolls would be impounded by me the next day, after the Receiving of the Spacers Episode at the Orthodontists Office.)

I did have one sad moment during the party, when the kids lined up to whack the zebra piñata. In typical birthday fashion, the birthday girl of honor got to go first, then the rest of the kids lined up shortest to tallest. Kellen was the tallest, so the last in line. One of the kids before him had managed to knock off a zebra leg, but overall the thing was still pretty intact when he was ready to take his turn. As he squared up, like a big league hitter at the plate, broomstick at the ready, I admonished, “Kellen! Don’t hit it hard --- the little kids might want another turn!” and the Mom of the party turned to me (Hi, again, Amy!) and said she wanted Kellen to hit it and burst it open, so the game could end. So, two good whacks, and candy went a-flying. The kids were scrambling, and happy, but I was feeling a bit nostalgic. Whatever happened to the good ole’ days, when my short, young kids were in the front of the piñata line? And since when did my son become the big kid, delegated with the task of breaking the thing open? Today it’s a piñata ….. tomorrow he’ll be shaving, and driving, then marrying, and before you know it, he’ll be applying for Social Security Benefits and carrying an AARP membership. OK, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but it was a wee bit sad for me.

Anyway, on to the BESTEST PART EVER of the party ---- the party favors for guests? Goldfish! In their own bowls! With fish food and colored rocks for the bottom!!! I’m using a lot of exclamation points because that’s how my own kids sounded as they were screaming for joy when they realized they would each get to take one home. (Of course, since we had walked to the party, and couldn’t very well carry everything while riding bikes and scooters, in the zillion-degree weather, I had to call Blaine and get him to come pick us up. Half a block away. How sad is that? Nothing says, “Honey, I’m a lazy fat ass who needs lift --eight houses down-- because the goldfish are too heavy” quite like that does.)

So -- The next day? Petsmart! To buy water treatment tablets!! And castles!! Which were too tall for the bowls so they stick out the top!!!!

My kids are Ob. Sessed. They are pooling their money to buy a bigger tank, and more fish, and bigger, more grandiose castles. They’ve named their fish, and spend lots of time every day watching them, and studying them, and trying to convince me their fish look hungry and need to be fed again, and then squealing and giggling hysterically when they see one of them pooping in the bowl as is inevitable because they’ve been fed so much.

As for me, quite frankly, I can’t take the pressure. It’s bad enough that our dog is fifteen years old and every morning when we wake up I check to see if he’s still breathing. Now my paranoia has extended itself to the damn fish. They’re goldfish --- of course they’re going to die! And my kids will be crushed. The best I can do is hope they all die at the same time, so one kid isn’t more devastated than the other. In fact, I think I’ll start setting my alarm so I get up before the kids. And then whenever the first fish dies, I’ll take a teeny tiny pillow and suffocate the other fish. Then I’ll blame the whole thing on a murder-suicide-goldfish pact.

If anyone has any better suggestions, I’m all ears. Just don’t suggest I flush them, because we’ve got three tiny fish castles that the kids are determined to use. And big prospects for expansion. I don’t know which is worse; to hope they die quickly and the obsession ends, or to hope they live, which means a bigger bowl and bigger castles might be in my future.

(sigh) Damn fish.

PS. Amy, you know I’m kidding --- the kids LOVE the fish!
PSS. Note to self: cross Amy off Christmas list.

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