After I finished yesterday’s post about Woody the Whiny Friend, the two boys scampered upstairs to play in Tonka’s room. Finally, I had some blissful silence.
When, oh when, will I learn? Silence from two five-year-old boys is not bliss. Silence from two five-year-old boys is ominous.
After a few minutes I heard Woody’s Tattle Voice coming down the stairs. You know the Tattle Voice, right? “Mamadragooooonnnnnnnn, Tonka killed his fiiiiissshhhhhhhh!” Oh, that boy. He’s always exaggerating. I heaved a sigh and headed up the stairs to see what was going on.
Woody was not exaggerating. Tonka had killed his fish. He was holding it in his hand.
I think it happened this way: Tonka had decided to show off to his friend how he feeds his fish. Now, Tonka has been expressly told NOT to feed his fish because he always pours too much food into the tank. Mr. Fixit and I have to scoop extra food out of Tonka’s fish tank so frequently that we have a little net sitting beside his aquarium for this purpose. However, it was just too tempting for Tonka to win Woody’s admiration by feeding his very own fish in his very own bedroom. So he carefully tipped the container of fish food over the aquarium and – oops! – far too much food fell into the tank. The water was cloudy with fish food. This was not good. But Tonka has watched me and Mr. Fixit rectify this very situation several times. He knew just what to do. He started to scoop the food OUT of the tank with the net. From experience I can tell you that Tonka’s fish did not try to avoid the net. He was not what you would call a clever fish. At some point Tonka realized, “Hey, I can net the fish!” And if Woody was impressed by Tonka tipping food into the aquarium, and then swishing a net around the aquarium, he was going to be REALLY impressed when Tonka caught the fish and held it in his hand!
So there I was, standing in front of two five-year-old boys, one of whom had a dead fish in his hand. All I could think about was those magazine articles you read – you know, “Is your seemingly-innocent child a future serial killer?” One of the early signs of future sociopathic tendencies is always, “Kills family pets at a young age.” I was looking into the innocent, trusting eyes of my beloved son, wondering if he was a psychopath in training. I would have liked to see remorse from Tonka at that point, but all I saw was confusion. I don’t think he had any idea how things had gone this far.
I know how it happened. I know it was an accident. Part of my brain, however – the superstitious part – thinks I brought it on myself with yesterday’s post. Be careful what you wish for. You wished for an end to the whining, and you got it. Maybe I should be more specific in the future.