Well, I may have hit rock bottom – I’ve been reduced to monitoring the pooping activity of our fish. Ah yes, glamorous life I lead over here.
I woke up this morning to find our betta fish Dorothy lying sideways in his (yes, “his”) tank. My first thought was, oh dear, it looks like there’s a fishy funeral in our near future. But as I neared the tank, lo and behold! Dorothy started swimming. On his side. It was so sad looking, and just not right. So I immediately did what any good mom does – I googled.
And what did I find, you ask? Because I know you are truly captivated by this fascinating story at this point.
Apparently, bettas frequently suffer from constipation, which makes them swim sideways. And in particular, older bettas (ours is about 3 or 4 at this point) suffer from this ailment even more often. I kid you not – the family fish, who is now graying around the mouth as he ages, is lying on his side trying to right himself because he is full of crap. Literally. And it is my job to care for the elder member of our household now.
And what is the solution for said ailment? I found 3 options.
Option #1 involved feeding him some thawed out frozen peas to help get a little fiber in his diet. Go ahead and laugh, but Real OC Daughter and I busted out those peas and started thawing and peeling them! And what happened when we dropped them in his tank? Nothing. He wanted nothing to do with that green matter sinking to the bottom of his home. Total fail.
Option #2 was a bath of epsom salts. I don’t keep epsom salts on hand (come on, I’m well-prepared for most emergencies, but epsom salts?!?). And I wasn’t about to run out at 6:30 am to go buy them, so we tabled this idea.
Option #3 was to change his tank water, put him in his little cup he came home in for awhile, and monitor his poop. Yup, that’s right. I’m now at a point in my life where I’m checking to see if my fish is pooping.
And here’s the strangest part – by 11 am, there was a decent sized fish turd floating around in his little cup and I actually got excited. True, utter enthusiasm. I’ve really lost it now for sure – getting excited over fish crap?!? When did my life become this mundane?
But for all my initial excitement, he was still swimming sideways. And I’ll admit, I was worried that little guy wasn’t going to make it.
So, Daughter and I returned home from a girl scout field trip this evening around 6 pm. And what do you think the first thing we both did was? You guessed it – we checked on Dorothy.
And there he was, swimming completely upright again.
My daughter’s face lit up like it was Christmas morning. She was thrilled to see the little guy back to his old self. And then I realized why I cared so much about fish poop. And it’s really not mundane at all. It’s because I love my daughter, and I want to protect her from hurt, sadness, and loss whenever I can. I know I won’t always be able to, but today I did. And as I look in on her sleeping soundly, I want to do a little victory dance. For the peace in her heart, the smile on her face, and the sweet reminder that life, in every form, is precious.