Friday, May 23, 2008

Carpy Diem, or A Pet Covereth a Multitude of Sins?

I am first on the list to receive hand-me-downs from a nice woman in my former ward. I have sheets and toys and books and a stack of writing and spelling papers that should keep my kids more than busy this summer. She was the reason my kids had lots of presents to open at Christmas.

Recently, she called saying she had an aquarium that they needed to get rid of. Would I want it? My impulse was to say no. My husband's impulse was to say no. But I didn't say no. I stalled, saying we would call her back. I forgot (hubby out of town and migraines will do that to me), but she kindly followed up. I decided I'd go see it.

I made the mistake (?) of taking my kids with me. Need I say more?

Seriously, though, I think part of the reason I stalled is because I really was tempted. You see, we will never have a dog or a cat. N-e-v-e-r. (OK, not never. I told them they could have a dog when they had their own house!) But you know, my kids are kids and a pet is something kids like, and I know that and have always felt a little bit of mommy guilt about it.

So in a way, I kind of wanted to do this for them. My husband finally capitulated when I told him he could name the 7-inch goldfish that came with the aquarium. His choice? Carpy Diem.

And so we are carpy dieming it. (And, hey, it was free -- paraphrenalia and all!) We now have a bubbling aquarium in our family room. It actually looks pretty cool, and I love the soothing sounds it produces. We also have an algae-sucking something-or-another with a long name I can't remember. My kids call it cheetah (hubby calls it Leppy -- for Leopard, you know, to go with Carpy.)

I tried to ignore my husband's hesitant stares as we set it up (and try not to think about how much I don't want to have to clean it), because my kids were bouncing-off-the-walls happy. The littlest drew a picture of the water and the fish. She said the prayer at dinner and thanked Heavenly Father that we have a fish, "even though Mom said we could never have a pet." She went to sit by the aquarium after dinner.

As I tucked the little one in, I asked her her favorite part of the day (our nightly ritual). She said "Getting the fish." Ah, redemption?

"Except it's kind of boring becauase we can't hold it."

Oh, well. I tried.

(Anyone want an aquarium? Just kidding....)


  1. We're fostering kittens right now. It's my wonderful husband's compromise. Basically: we'll foster kittens, and if he (or I) proves to be too allergic, we just don't adopt any of them. If it works out, then we get to keep them. It gives me the animals I crave, without my husband having to sign his comfort away.

    So . . . if you want a kitten, next, I know where to get one. *insert evil laugh here*

  2. We have the same "you can have a pet when you move out of the house" rule. With six kids, neither my wife nor I have the energy to worry about a pet, and we kill every plant we've ever had in the house. Add in the barely controlled chaos that is the community "hotel" where we live (our kids friends regularly spend a night - or a few months at our house)...

    Nope, pets are not in our near (or distant) future.

  3. SilverRain, kittens are a no because hubby is allergic. Thank goodness....

    papa d...glad to hear I'm not the only one. Soooo, would *you* have said no or yes to Carpy? :)

  4. p.s. I kill plants, too...but we are trying our hand at container gardening this year. Go figure....

  5. My kids are 20-6, so I've had years of practice telling them no. *grin*

    My oldest son, however, thought you did the right thing - just because it gave you the chance to name something Carpy Diem. His immediate response was, "Brilliant!"

  6. Yeah, once he named it, it was like, "Well we HAVE to get it now."

    I'm still wondering if I am going to hate myself for doing this....

  7. We have one cat, and this is because hubby is a cat lover. Unfortunately for him, though, I do not really like the idea of pets, and so one cat is all we will ever have at any time in our lives. Of course, I say this, knowing full well that I'll probably be eating my words as the kids get older.

    But just remember! Fish are fairly easy. Yeah, you have to clean the tank, but...I don't know. They just seem easier and less "hairy". :) I'm sure it could be fun! Good luck!

  8. you can always turn around and gift it to someone else who will think they are getting a deal...assuming your kids will let you!!!