January 5, 2011

Wednesday Morning

It is lucky I have my watch alarms set to remind me when it is time for kids to get coats on and head for the bus stop, because this morning that's what caused me to realize I hadn't yet seen Rob. It was five minutes before his bus was due. It was a long shot, but I risked it: I RHINOCEROS-STAMPEDED down the stairs, burst into his room, said, "Honey, wake up, it's late, it's time to go to the bus, don't take a shower, just get dressed and come up and I'll make your lunch" (worst way to wake up EVER), then I raced back upstairs, looked at the hot lunch calendar and saw it was something he liked so I wouldn't have to make a lunch after all, peeled him a breakfast bar, shoved everything from his homework area willy-nilly into his backpack, found his coat and shoes and put them next to the breakfast bar and backpack, and peeled him another breakfast bar because Henry was eating the first one. He came running up the stairs, put on his stuff, grabbed the breakfast bar, ran to the bus stop and made the bus. Whew.

Also, the second guppy died in the night. (The first one died the night before.) Those of you who thought I was being a little over-worryish can...can...RE-EVALUATE THOSE THOUGHTS, that's what! I don't know what happened, but I feel very discouraged by this setback---a little inclined to return the minnows to the store and then drain and clean and Freecycle the tank and stuff. Instead we will hang tight with the two minnows for now, wait a bit, and then go back and talk to the fish store peeps. When a hobby involves living things, it's hard to know how long to persist, resolutions or no.

Also, guess who was heading downstairs and stepped on a toy dinosaur and not only re-injured her gradually-healing buttular region but now has a coordinating bruise on her ankle? Thaaaaat's right.

(I have a suspect in mind.)

22 comments:

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Oh no! I'm sorry about the guppies! That must be very upsetting. I hope that the fish person has some thoughts, and that those thoughts are, "Oh, those were very elderly guppies who had lived full lives and just died of natural and not unexpected causes."

Annika said...

Oh my! I would have just thrown up my hands and declared it a day off for Rob. Instead you managed to have a story so funny that I read it aloud to my sister.

Marie Green said...

I know very little about fish and fish tanks, but maybe after your tank is set up for awhile, running away, the next fish will be more likely to survive? Anyway, I'm sorry the guppies didn't make it!

Also, I haven't checked on my butt bruise in awhile. I'll have to do that soon. But I FEEL better, and my elbow is no longer reminding me it's injured everytime I rest it someplace, so that's good, right? Though, due to our recent "twin lives" thing, I think I'll be extra careful watching for dinosaurs (or other toys) on my stairs for the next couple of days!

LoriD said...

I can't believe he made it! My kids are up a full 2 hours before they need to be at school (we drive them now) and it still seems rushed some days!

Sorry about the guppies. We did the whole fish tank thing a few years ago and eventually gave up. We can't keep plants alive either, so there's that.

Hotch Potchery said...

I'm sorry about your fish--weird thing about fish is that they are very hardy, yet fragile at the same time.

My son won a fish at the fair that lived 3 years, and I got him a buddy that lived for one day.

Lawyerish said...

I felt all stressy and hand-flappy just reading about Rob's late wake-up. I'm so glad he made the bus!

I'm sorry about the guppies. Total fish buzzkill.

Colleen said...

Whew! Talk about morning RUSH hour...I'd probably try to do what you did, but man, it's hard to rush girls and they're not even at the caring about their appearance stage yet. You should be commended, Swistle!

If Hallmark made a card for people recovering from a buttular region injury(ies), I would send one to you.

Sorry about the fish situation. I have no experiencevor advice on that topic, though.

d e v a n said...

Phew. That was a close one on the Rob/bus situation!

Nicole said...

Ooh, ouch. My kids are constantly leaving their mittens/toques/neckwarmers on the steps to the back entry and it is just a matter of time before buttular bruising!

M&Co. said...

I'm interested in what you are calling a minnow. Do you mean a Goldfish?

My recollection is that the teenager at the PetSmarts said that you can't put a GF with a tropical fish because the GF excretes something toxic to other fish.

Maybe you should put the goldfish in the smaller bowl and put the guppies in the larger tank. But you know, sometimes those fish from the PetSmarts are already stressed when you bring them home and just die.

Kristin H said...

Eesh, I'm sorry about the guppies. We are also in a midst of a new fish experiment. At first I sort of wished they would just die already, but now I'm sort of attached and would feel bad if they died just because I suck at keeping fish. Right now we're struggling with ammonia levels. Who knew keeping fish was so involved? (uh...not me)

Jess said...

AUGH, the FISH. WHY? I hope the pet store people can provide some answers. This happened to us back when we had a fish tank and I think they asked us to bring in a sample of the water in the tank so they could test it. So you may want to consider bringing in a tupperware of it when you go? Just to be ahead of the game? And the worst that will happen is that they don't test it and you throw it out.

Clarabella said...

Being one of those people who said maybe you were overreacting, I humbly apologize.
Also, being a person who has had fish my ENTIRE life, I have to tell you that sometimes these things just happen. Sometimes all your fish (12) die within 48 hours; sometimes you have a goldfish that lives 5 years, both of which have happened to me.
Most recently, the only fish that survived a new tank we set up were a couple zebra danios. We grew a bunch of real plants in the (heated) tank, & they started breeding like crazy. We now have about 15. I say about, b/c there are so many, we can't really count them. They are not notoriously easy breeders, so...go figure.
Finding out everything you know from the fish store people & setting up the best tank you can is obviously the best thing to do.
Consider living plants perhaps...
But know that sometimes fish just die. They are somewhat delicate creatures. AND, what they may not tell you at the fish store, often their fish are already traumatized & being transferred to yet another tank is just too much for them.
Good luck. I shall never question your level of worry again. Promise.

Firegirl said...

I think my favorite part is "because Henry was eating the other one." Of course he was, he's Henry.

I think the guppies might be too little for that tank/filter and I think the minnows would be happier with lots of other minnows. I think they're "pack animals", if you will.

Might try the dreaded goldfish next time...just get a sucker fish to help clean up after them. The kids will probably like the sucker fish...he's very dinosaury in appearance.

I think I'm going to send you a helmet and pillow for your next stairs excursions.

Swistle said...

M&Co,-- Our fish store has two tanks: one of goldfish, one of "rosy red minnows." It's the rosy red minnows I'm referring to as minnows.

Swistle said...

Clarabella- Worrying wins! ...Oh wait.

Anonymous said...

we had lots of tanks of fish years ago so i will tell you what i remember about the set up stages.. set up the tank and let it run 48 hours or so with no fish. then i believe they sell stuff that adds the right kind of 'bacteria' to the tank that fish need to survive. it might be called a starter solution or something (maybe conditioner solution). then..buy lots of the cheapest fish you can because even with all that they are most likely going to die until the tank water becomes 'conditioned' and the only way for that to happen is to have real fish in it... after a couple weeks of that fish will begin to live.. then buy the fish you really want.. slowly.. watch your temperature and try to buy fish that don't eat each other..

Jen said...

Mollies. Mollies. Mollies. Hard to kill and cute. Plus you can get two that are different colors and they make pretty babies.

Christina said...

My mom teaches piano out of a studio in the bottom floor of her house and has a waiting room w/ a huge fish tank in it. For w/e odd reason when I was about 17 or so I bought a large tank and filter and all that for my room.

The two of us had many, many dead fish. We just could NOT get it right. Eventually hers ended up w/ just 2 sucker fish in it and mine ended up w/ 2 FREE goldfish I'd won at some fair years earlier I moved from another tank.

I called it quits and drained and got rid of mine, putting the goldfish in w/ hers. Do you know that those goldfish are STILL ALIVE!? And I'm 26!!! They're easily 12 years old. And HUGE - like 4" long.

The only other fish we had luck w/ that lasted more than a week or so was a school of neon tetras (think that's the name) in my mom's tank. She started w/ like 10 and it dwindled to 5 or 6, but they stuck together and lasted a few years. They're shiney and flashy and like to swim in schools around the tank, so might be fun for the kids vs. the ones that hide all the time.

jac said...

Psht. That sounds like my normal weekday morning. My personal best is from bed to train in 10 minutes (including what would normally be a 10 minute walk), and I fully admit I was sitting there seeing stars and feeling sick from adrenaline. BUT I MADE IT.

Stimey said...

1. Nice job on getting Rob out the door in time for the bus. I love that one of them slipped by you and you didn't notice that you hadn't seen him until it was almost too late.

2. I am very sorry about your guppy. I started out last year by killing small, helpless frogs, so I know how you feel. Also, tread lightly—it only takes a few small animal murders before you get a reputation.

3. I hope your butt continues to heal. When I had that injury, it took a long time, but eventually you will be able to sit comfortably again. I promise.

4. My crowning moment as a parent was the day that Sam stepped on a Lego. Payback feels good.

CARRIE said...

Rhinoceros-stampeded---excellent. Can totally visualize. I am amazed he made the bus.
Sorry about your butt. Again.