Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I've been meaning to post the names of the fish in the kids' aquarium. I figured that we'd want to remember someday and that in a decade or two the blog can help to settle questions about who or when something happened when Rob and I are in the twilight of our lives and our brain cells are all jumping ship.
So here are the fish. Each child had two and I named two.
Maddie: Antigone (a Mollie) and Gumball (a bright pink Danio)
Will: Poseidon (green Danio) and Ares (neon Tetra)
Sebi: Greenleaf (green Danio) and Orangeglow(neon Tetra)
Ours: Amarillo and Platano (both yellow/orange Danios)

Unfortunately, after a month of happy swimming about, Antigone gave up the ghost. I thought as the largest, she would be a bully and would outlive all those other fish (the Danios are about as big as nail clippings). She got along fine with everyone, but perhaps she was older than we knew. Maybe she missed gossiping with the other Mollies. Who knows? Poor Maddie feels it keenly and only perked up when Rob told stories about how I scream around fishies, dead or alive.
He related the story about the time that we were housesitting as a favor to Mike/Warren. The family goldfish had died on Mike's watch, but he thought the kids might want to bury it, so he popped it into a ziploc bag and tucked it into the freezer. I can't remember if he warned us about it or not, but it didn't matter -- when I looked in the freezer for something edible and came upon its wee frozen carcass, I started shrieking to beat the band.
My mom could have told her about the time she was cleaning the fishbowl and the fish leapt out of the back of the temporary quarters and flopped down the drain. Mom had to feel around the disposal and pull the fish out while I screamed and did one of those housewife-sees-a-mouse dances.
Rob's favorite, however, is when we visited Hanauma Bay on Oahu when I was six months pregnant with Sebastian. We went to snorkel, but as soon as I realized that there were actually fish swimming around in there, I jumped on his back and clawed his shoulders until he took me back to the beach. From then on, I was his snorkel partner from the sand only. I watched him dive into the deep and stay down for two and three minutes with nothing but his goggles and immense lung capacity. I did stop squealing when my feet touched terra firma.


Lois said...

I'm with you. Any creature without fur creeps me out (this includes fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians and birds -- I love bats, but hate birds).

Karen said...

Fish are creepy. Growing up in Minnesota I was fine swimming in large bodies of water right up until the time anything, such as giant Carp, brushed my leg. That right there is what you would call a deal breaker, people.

Zina said...

I relate to so many things about this post (except our fish names have never been nearly so creative and erudite). Dean had to rescue Betta Bob from the disposal flap one time while Mabel and I shrieked helplessly. In my defense, I was wearing rubber gloves and lacked the requisite coordination to save the fish--but it didn't occur to me to pull them off. Dean and I also went snorkeling in Hanauma when I was pregnant. I do love looking at the fishies, but being face down in the water scares me, and I can also always hear my breathing speed up when I spot any fish, which scares me more. So at Hanauma I wanted to train myself in the shallow water over sand where it's okay to stand up if needed (b/c if you try to stand up while you're over coral, your ruin it, not that there's any left in Hanauma that's not ruined) and Dean wasn't patient and ditched me to go snorkel in a more interesting area. Rrrg. But I persevered and I'm pretty proud that I managed to snorkel at all. Later that evening Dean snorkeled right off an Oahu beach and said he saw many more fish than at Hanauma.

When we lived in Amman we visited the Red Sea and I watched Dean scuba dive, and it was totally terrifying to me to watch my newlywed husband go deeper and deeper under the water until out of sight. I'm kind of glad he's let his certification lapse. I did get to snorkel while he scuba dived and it was scary but AMAZING. But it was winter and I didn't have a wetsuit and I think I almost got hypothermia.