The Fish

Once upon a time (read: this weekend), my family visited Petsmart.

But lo, this was more than an errand. Given the level of animal love in my children, any trip to Petsmart is a full-fledged event, complete with shrieks of joy at the presence of actual hamsters and tears of devastation when, once again, the children are informed we are not adopting a cat.

(I've had a cat before. I don't need that much condescention from a creature that sheds more than me.)

Technically, the purpose of our visit was to buy fresh dog treats. But the real agenda was to see the wild critters.

Kieran ran into the store, head down, arms pumping and then stopped and shouted, "Let's DO dis ting!"

Then he ran to the birds, shrieking, "WOOK MAMA! BIRDS!" Because who would expect to find the same parakeets at the pet store every time you go?!?

The kids wandered from section to section. A kind employee, who was tending to the reptiles, let us hold some geckos and a small bearded dragon. Natalie, Connor and Teyla eventually took up residence in the cat jail, where rows of adoptable cats (oxymoron) sat peering through the bars with suspicion. Kieran entered the room and was so overcome with joy ("CATS! MAMA! KITTIES MAMA! MEOW! MEOW!") that the cats went into full arrogance mode, glaring at the loud intruder. One even jumped up on its litter box and glowered.

Kieran and I left to visit the fishes.

He was equally enamored by the wall of blue. He peered and laughed and pointed to each little tank.

And then I had a flashback:

Kieran, last spring. Same wall of blue. I turn, to ask an employee a question. When I turn back, Kieran has both arms fully submerged in a low-lying tank. "FISHES MAMA!" he yells with excitement.

Me, horrified, running in a slow motion. "NOOOO BUDDY! You can't catch the fish!"

Minuscule goldfish in a frenzy, swimming away from gigantic chubby hands.

I scoop him away from the tank. Dry his hands on my shirt. "Kieran! No! The fish need to stay here."

"Dis one?" he asks innocently, holding out a little fist that has A TINY GOLD TAIL STICKING OUT OF IT!


Me, running in slow motion, back to the tank. Opening chubby fist, shaking tiny goldfish back into the water.

Me, running out of store with wet-handed, sad little boy, vowing never to return.

End flashback.

Gather the family quickly. End Petsmart trip.

And the cats rejoiced.

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  1. Tee hee! I totally, totally get this. And that's why my family has never been to PetSmart :)

  2. I LOVE EVERYTHING about this post : )

    P.S. I live with that condescension every day. My parents were here this weekend, and my dad told me Zambezi is obviously going through the terrible twos.

    1. I can't believe you actually got a cat, after hearing all my stories.

  3. That is AWESOME! I love that he straight up grabbed those suckers!

  4. oh i love it. just today, i was telling my husband how much i love that he's so uninhibited. i have a hunch your son will enjoy a life free of inhibitions as well, & i say good for him! ;)

    1. Yes. Kieran is all joie de vivre!

      My husband often says, "I want to be like him when I grow up."

  5. That is too funny! This is one of the reasons I am hesitant to get a fish for my little guys. I can just see my 3-year old clutching it in his hands or trying to stuff it in his pocket. Nobody wants that.

    1. No, nobody wants that. :)

      I'm waiting for the day when I find a dead frog in my wash, after it's gone through a cycle in one of my sons' pockets. I just *know* it's coming.

  6. Best story ever!!! I laughed out loud... and I can totally see my little boy doing this exact thing. He got bit by a chicken today because he wouldn't keep his little hands out of the chicken coop... a fish would have nothing on him! haha

    1. This made me laugh! Yes, sometimes these live wires just have to learn the hard way.

      I just hope the chicken - and the fish - survived them. :)