No, it’s not a question about dinner. (Although if it were, the answer would nearly always be “sticks.” We’re not fancy when it comes to food.) It’s a question about my children’s new pets!
At 2.5 and 4.5, we are entering the pet age. The age when a caterpillar is not only endlessly interesting on the sidewalk, but where we also want to take him home and see him spin his chrysalis. The age where injured animals inspire sympathy, empathy, and a box full of soft cotton rags to keep him comfortable until he’s better. The age where polliwogs are fascinating and a snail virtually a companion. But also the age where the boys will hug creatures too tight, roughhouse too hard with a puppy, and step on the tiniest of critters by accident.
So what are we starting with? Fish.
A week ago, the kids and I bought their first aquarium. It’s a little thing, which I know full well will require frequent water changes and weekly testing (I kept a 30 gallon community tank for years — until it leaked into the apartment below us (and if you lived in a 1BR/1BA in Missouri in the 90’s and one day found water running inexplicably down your living room wall, let me sincerely apologize)), but it’s just the right thing for my office (MY office! how cool is that?), a place where the fish can find a little respite from the constant love of a two-year-old, and quiet enough that I can still work.
So we bought the aquarium, set it up, introduced plants and good bacteria, and began running the filter.
The only question was … what kinds of fish would we choose?