How dead is dead?
For mother's day I asked for a small fish bowl with a couple of guppies. I was feeling nostalgic. As a child we always had a bowl of guppies located in the kitchen. It was a tiny cirle of life that sat next to the drying rack. Spend a few moments feeding them every now and then and you were rewarded with life lessons. Life, death, reproduction, and cannibalism (one must never underestimate the important lesson cannibalism teaches) all on display and offering cheap entertainment day or night.
What I got for mother's day was a big plastic 1 1/2 gallon bowl with a lid, 2 feeder goldfish, and 1 measley little plant.
The kid and I put the thing together and I immediately decided it wasn't right. There was no way these critters would last without more. The bowl of my childhood was practically a self sustaining environment. This plastic tub with its tacky gold inhabitants (which cost a hell of a lot more than my original request) wasn't about to last out the week.
So the spawn and I headed to the pet store to get a snail and some more plants.
As we perused the wall of aquariums it was feeding time. Right on my son's level sat the crabs. A mob of clawed wrestlers began pulling half nelsons and figure fours on their roommates to get first dibs on the morsels that floated down.
My son was thrilled.
So, of course, I got one.
After all the main point of the damn tank was to create together moments. That crab was my ticket to keeping his attention focused on the great well of wisdom that was about to be revealed to us.
And then it happened, the first life lesson.
The crab died.
Problem was, that the kid wasn't home.
Wasn't due home for 2 more days.
He isn't quite four...so we debated on our next move.
Choice 1: Toss the corpse and hope he doesn't notice the sudden drop in population. If he does notice, we tell him the truth. And he learns that death is completely mysterious. You leave the house and those precious to you dissappear without a trace and no one talks about it unless forced to.
Choice 2: Replace the crab. No way he'd notice the difference.He eventually learns that immortality is attainable if you live in a small tank of tap water.
Choice 3: Leave the little corpse until the kid comes home.And he learns that...well...death stinks.
In the end we decided to toss the little corpse and wait it out. He noticed.And for the first time in my child's life, I told him a bald faced lie.The crab missed his mommy and went home.
I am a spineless saccharine soaked loser.