Why My Children’s Goldfish Scares Me

I have to confess, I am terrible at keeping things alive. Since I have two small children, I know this may sound scary, but I assure you, I am great with the kids. Plants and high maintenance pets on the other hand are a completely different story.
I once had a fern. It died. Ferns are supposed to be super easy to maintain and extremely durable. I inadvertently killed a cactus. They don’t even require water! People give me plants as gifts a lot. Despite my best efforts they never make it more than a week.
So, one day, not long from now, when one of my kids brings home a pet, unless it is a kitty or a puppy, I am terrified of the outcome. I can just see the tears and screaming when their goldfish, which they so carefully named, and loved, goes missing. How many times am I going to have to replace it in the middle of the night? How similar do hamster look? Will they know Buttons is an imposter?
Aside from cats and dogs (of which I have my share), pets can be a lot of maintenance. And even though I know my kids will absolutely promise to take care of them, I know from experience that the duty will fall to the parents. Which is why I pray my husband’s green thumb translates into a purple thumb and he will be better equipped to understand the complex filtration and temperature system which comes with a fish tank. I hope he knows about overfeeding small rodents. I hope he knows about the temperature requirements of iguanas. Because I thought I did. I had done all the research, spend meticulous hours adjusting and readjusting the living conditions for my various pets (and mind you I was not a little kid at the time, I was in college). I would check water alkalinity and even make sure there were enough bubbles. I may have even counted the grains of sand at the bottom of the tank. All for nothing. My fish never made it to the end of the week. My mice passed out and died. I never had a bird, but if I had, it probably would have suffered a similar fate. Which is why I am terrified of my children’s pets.
How do you feel about pets your children brought home?P.S. I had to amend this post, because my husband brought it to my attention that I did not specify that after stating my mice passed out I did not follow up with their untimely death. Poor little Blackie passed out and died.

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