I was sick and Caroline talked me into a fish. We all remember that. But did I tell you the rest? No?
Well, first we brought home Skye, the betta, who is undeniably pretty.
And quite spunky. See the way his little jaw sticks out in that belligerent, eat-your-face-off kind of way? Yes. Well. We brought him home and put him in the small tank we had leftover from a carnival goldfish and turned on the filter and discovered our first fact about bettas: their beautiful fins make them highly susceptible to currents. Within seconds Skye went from cruising around his new home to being flattened against the intake grill.
I swear he looked quite startled.
I turned off the filter and considered leaving it like that until I contemplated how often the tank would need to be cleaned. So I packed up the children and we went back to the pet store where I found a betta friendly tank. And then we had to get some gravel and a couple of plants and some hidey-hole rocks and a fuzzy green moss-like thing called a betta buddy. Oh, and a pagoda because Caroline asserted - and Patrick and Edward agreed - that the tank needed a little... zen pizzazz.
Five times the price of the fish later, Skye was established in his elegant, low-current abode and we settled into our new fishy normal.
(I really cannot get over how pretty I think he is)
Then Edward said, "Can I get a fish too?"
And my first thought was: are you kidding, of course not. But as I struggled to find an age-appropriate way to explain that the only reason we got Skye is because Caroline conned me into it, I realized it was hopeless.
Introducing Edward's fish, also a betta, Darvit Mor, which is a wordy nod to both Artemis Fowl and the dark banshee (plus the Gàidhlig for big because he's big.)
Which brings us to the second fact we learned about bettas: they cannot share a tank or they will murder each other.
So a return trip to the pet store and now we have two tanks, two betta buddies, four hidey-hole rocks, four plants and two fish. Still only one pagoda, though, since Patrick talked Edward into whatever that weird black statue is in there.
It's like Sea World around here.
PS Skye is SO much more interesting than the other one.
Caroline called, "Mom! Mom! Come look at Skye!"
And when I came over she pointed and said, "See? See how he's trying to look all innocent?"
I agreed that he did.
Later I confided to Steve that, in comparison, I think Darvit Mor might be a little S-L-O-W and the look of incredulity he gave me stung.
"What?" I said. "You haven't noticed that Darvit Mor isn't exactly the sharpest fish in the tank? Tanks, I mean?"
Steve suggested that it was too soon for me to be assessing their respective intellectual capacity but clearly he's just not a fish person.