3.18.2004

Thursday's Child Works Hard for a Living...

Thursday's Child Works Hard for a Living...

Helped Kel clean Joe's vase today... it needed it! We do this as a tag-team effort. First she took out the plant and rinsed the roots good to get the debris and stuff off them and set it aside. Next I removed the sea shell from the bottom of the vase and she cleaned it while I scooped some of the water from the vase. Joe swam around frantically watching and freaking out, trying to avoid the scoop. (For those of you new to the Joe saga, Joe is a betta fish that we "won" at a silent auction at Kel's school last November...) When she was done scrubbing the shell, it was time to dump the vase and transfer Joe to the temporary pitcher of water while she cleaned his home and decorative marbles... this is always the tense/terrifying/tricky part. And Joe doesn't like it much either!

Keli held the collander in her left hand over the sink, the fish net in her right hand to catch Joe when he comes sliding out of the vase in her right and I picked up the vase and began to pour into the collander... He's impossible to just scoop out with the fish net - he's too quick and too big. This technique has been perfected over the months we've been doing it, but it happens differently every single time we do it. That's what makes it terrifying - the unpredictability of it all.

This time, everything happened in slow motion. We didn't think Joe was ever going to come out of the vase. And basically, he didn't. Pretty soon, nearly all of the water was gone and the marbles were creeping closer and closer to the edge. I kept freaking because I thought his lacy tail was going to get caught in them. My freaking was making Kel freak. And what did that do? It made Bear, who was standing down at our feet, bark up at us. He thought this was all quite a cool game. And gee, not to mention, wasn't it his dinner time? And what was that wiggly blue thing we were talking to? It looked like something fun to play with. Or eat.

And now there wasn't any water left to carry Joe out of the damn vase at all. How did that happen? That never happens. Usually he comes flying out of there so fast we don't have any time to react and he's lying in the bottom of the collander sucking air before we realize it. And then we're freaking for a totally different reason.

The net certainly wasn't going to work in this situation.

Keli: Mom, get him out of there!

I reached in with my hand and picked him up as gently as I could from his bed of marbles and put my hand into the temporary pitcher of water. He swam from between my fingers. Phew!!! She then went on to clean the marbles and the vase, replace the bed of marbles, the sea shell and refill it with fresh water, pour the pitcher and Joe back in and put the plant back. Then we fed him some of his favorite blood worms. He's so happy tonight!

Like I said, this job wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the unpredictability of it all...

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