Some celebrations seem to go on forever. N’s birthday fell into that category this year, with three birthday parties and a sleepover spanning an entire week. And the presents? Well, this year will go down in infamy.
Never mind that we did ourselves in to some extent with his Roboraptor. The thing is pretty cool (although it doesn’t walk well on anything other than a completely smooth surface), but trying to keep the younger brothers from killing it while he plays with it? Yeah, not so great. The same goes for the tiny remote control helicopter that his Grandpa Tom got him.
Ahhh, Grandpa Tom. Sean’s dad is responsible for most of the interesting presents this year. It started two weeks ago when N~ had a sleepover at Grandpa’s house. The next morning, they went to a church carnival. And do you know what they have at church carnivals?
N~ came home with the fish inside of a child’s sized water bottle. He was thrilled. I was less than, but I said I would go buy a bowl and food. Grandpa tried to convince me to wait because “they always die after a day or so, anyhow.” Um, yeah. If you leave it in a tiny, sealed container and don’t feed it, it will die.
So I got the bowl, the food, and two other fishy friends to keep the fish company. The bowl has been sitting next to my kitchen sink, and I have enjoyed watching them swim as I do dishes.
Grandpa Tom was also responsible, a week later, for the drum, maracas, harmonica, and tambourine set that his father gave to N~. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but he will pay for that one.
Last Sunday was the final birthday party. Elaine and her family made the trip down from their new house. Oh, and do you know what they have in their new yard? A pond. And what do you find in a pond?
Yep, N~ is the proud owner of two little tadpoles. Of course, they were so tiny when he got them that we’re pretty sure he thought he had just gotten a birthday present of two slimy rocks and pond water. The confused look on his face was priceless. The tadpoles are now in their own bowl, next to the fish, where I can watch them obsessively. They are self-sufficient, only eating the rock slime, so I can’t do anything for them. Which causes me to be neurotic since I’m not actually doing anything to keep them alive.
If you look at the very bottom, that skinny little dark thing is a tadpole.
Of course, life is full of irony. During a break from writing this post, I went out to the kitchen for a snack. N’s fish is lying on the bottom of the bowl in a very unlife-like manner. Crap. That’s going to be a great way to start the morning tomorrow–with a ceremonial fish flushing.
So what’s that tell us about what my responsibility is worth? I care lovingly for the fish and it kicks off. I do nothing more than stare neurotically at the tadpoles, and they’re as happy as can be.
And the worst part?
Grandpa Tom was right.