A phone conversation from earlier this month....
Nice Mom: "Do you know that you have a fish on the Kid's wishlist? Are we really allowed to get him a pet for his birthday?"
Me: "Ohhh, are you guys going to? He watches the fish at school all the time, and I think he would love it! But I was also thinking about a hermit crab...."
Nice Mom: "Well, which do you think would be better?"
Me: "I don't know....let Sweet Sister decide and just surprise me."
For myself, I was a little hoping for the crab, but I was afraid it might scare the Kid. So, it was probably a good thing that--when they all came to visit a few weeks ago--Sweet Sister gingerly handed an awestruck Kid a traveling glass with this beautiful, blue beta fish inside.
They tried to talk him into naming it Tony Romo, just to annoy me. (No accounting for taste on their football team of choice.) However, a few hours after they left, I re-asked the Kid what he wanted to name his new fish. He may have understood, or he may have just been hungry, but he very clearly said, "Snack," and that's the name that's stuck.
While, of course, the grown-ups in the house are ultimately responsible for Snack's care, it's been fun to watch the Kid perform the tasks that he's able to do. We've worked on the idea that he can't pick up Snack's bowl or feed him without one of us, but he's getting better at pinching out the tiny bit of food and dropping it in the bowl. And the other day when school was closed and he stayed home with Sweet Husband, one of the first things he said when I got home was that he and Dada had cleaned Snack's bowl together that day.
It's only been a few weeks, but I think a fish is proving to be just the right level of responsibility for him. It's all made me think back to my first pets (hamsters) and the many that have come in and out of my life since--fish, hermit crabs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, goats, dogs, cats, birds, cows...goodness! Do you remember your first pet?
[And speaking of cute little creatures, the winner of the Little Woodlanders giveaway is Natali, but--if you didn't win--don't despair! Rachel is offering a discount in her shop for the rest of the month. Just enter BITOFEARTH15 at checkout to get 15% off.]