We’ve had a loss in our household. It actually happened several days ago, and I’m just getting around to sharing. I’ve been battling what’s turned out to be a sinus infection since the end of October. I finally went to a doctor this morning and am on antibiotics and steroids. I love steroids. They ought to make them over the counter. I could do 12 loads of laundry right now and bake a pie. I could write 15 blogs. But I won’t because that would be obnoxious.
Anyway. We lost Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss was the fish that Stella picked out back in January. He was just one of those standard betta fish that don’t do a whole lot. Still, he was part of the household and Stella’s world, if for no other reason than I frequently yelled at her NOT to bop his tank wall.
I was rather torn as to how I should handle it. Dr. Seuss died while I was home sick on Monday, so I had a choice: should I suck it up and let the whole death cat out of the bag or sneak out ninja-like and buy a new blue betta fish. Potential grief or sneaky switcheroo?
I suppose I should mention here that the death talk unnerves the hell out of me if for no other reason than we’re not religious in our house. We don’t do the whole “don’t worry, you’ll see them again in heaven.” While my kids may ultimately decide that’s their belief system, that will be their choice. In the meantime, I don’t have the carrot of a big beautiful fishbowl in the sky for dearly departed Dr. Seuss.
Maybe it’s because I was sick and just didn’t feel like running out to the pet shop. I crossed my fingers, gritted my teeth, and went to pick my kids up from school. Maybe she wouldn’t notice?
Don’t you know that the same 2 kids who wouldn’t know it if the couch was upside down noticed immediately that Dr. Seuss’ bowl was “different.” I braced myself and responded to my daughter’s inquiry:
Me: Stella, something kind of sad happened today. Dr. Seuss died.
Stella: Why? What happened?
Me: Well, I don’t know, sweetie. Some animals – such as fish – just don’t live as long as others. We had Dr. Seuss for almost a year. That’s pretty good for a fish.
Stella: Can I get a new fish?
Me: Um. Sure?
Stella: I want a yellow fish. I want to name it Fifi. Can we go to the store now?
Me: No, but maybe this weekend. I have to cook dinner (scowling commences). And besides, we have a bowl that’s designed for certain kinds of fish. I’m not sure Dr. Seuss-type fish come in yellow.
Stella: It won’t BE Dr. Seuss. It’ll BE Fifi.
Of course. Later she asked me if I thought Dr. Seuss looked like he would taste good after he died.
So much for grief. Dinner, anyone?