In May, I was ready to unveil our robin's nest
Mama and Papa robin had built a nest right under my bedroom window. We have a toy box that acts as a window seat, sowe all had perfect views of the babies that were soon to come.
The week I was going to write the piece, the nestlings had finally started hatching. The girls and I were super excited. The blue eggs had been beautiful but I was really looking forward to the girls being able to witness baby birds learning to fly. To be honest, I was really looking forward to me getting to see the birds learn to fly. I had never had a nest so low that I could see into before.
I was worried about the babies from the beginning because they began to hatch during the two weeks of rain. Instead of hunting for food for them, Mama just kept sitting on them to keep them dry and warm. It was cool to see the water bead on her wings. Wednesday dawned, the day I was going to write the little blurb about our closeness with nature. I looked out the window first thing as I had been doing for several weeks now (yes, you may call me a nerd!) and there was nothing but an empty nest. I was so sad! Uncle Birdwatcher has assured me that an animal probably got the nestlings since robins don't normally eat their own young (I was really afraid she had due to their weak state). So, that was our first brush with the harsh reality of the animal kingdom.
The rain finally ended just in time for the Kirby Karnival, S and A's school carnival. I was sure it would be rained out, but the day dawned not only bright but hot! We went and had a great time playing games that had Under the Sea themes. We threw rings onto dolphin noses and bean bags through shark teeth. The girls painted shells. S and I played a game to win a fish where you throw a ping pong ball into a bowl. They gave her two tickets to redeem for two fish when the carnival was over. I don't know if your 5 year old is like this, but as soon as S thinks that she is going to get something she is done playing and just wants her prize. She was like that at Disney World also.
Anyway, she wanted her fish and I didn't see any reason to wait since S usually had some sort of toy, be it a plush animal or a figurine-type animal like Littlest Pet Shop, in her hands at all times. She has been like that since she was a baby. We keep waiting for her to grow out of it, but I wonder now if she will. The point is, I didn't mind her carrying the fish around because I knew she would not lose it. So, we went over to the area indicated by the volunteer who was running the game and I got a SHOCK! They were giving away REAL fish. I could not believe it. Needless to say, I did not let her get her fish right away and high-tailed it back to the game area so that I could stop Eric from playing the game with A. I knew there was no way not to get the two fish we had already won since S had been BEGGING for her own fish/turtle/frog for two years now, but I did not want a whole load of these things.
At the end of our stay at the carnival, which by-the-way was much shorter, I believe, due to the excitement over the new fish, S got to scoop out two fish from the big fish tank and bring them home.
She named them Goldie and Swimmy. We went straight from the carnival to the pet store and bought one of those bowls. After a couple of days of 1. having to change water almost everyday and it still being cloudy and 2. feeling guilty because I would hate to have so little room to move around in, I went to a different pet store and bought a 5 gallon tank with filter and installed it in S's room. As you can see, both girls were quite pleased.
And so, just as I was beginning not to worry about the fish and their well being and the possibility that one or both of them would die because we did get them at a carnival, Goldie died. S found her one morning stuck under the filter. She cried the entire morning. I being the wimp that I am, took her to the pet store even getting there 10 min. before it opened to get her another Goldie. Unfortunately, or fortunately really, but you know, the pet store employee would not sell us a $0.13 comet goldfish because really a 5 gallon tank is two small for even one! Apparently, they are very cheap but can become very large. Instead of a new Goldie, I just had a very sad girl. Harsh reality of the animal kingdom strikes again.
S still talks about Goldie and we have checked out all the books on goldfish and aquarium maintenance from our local library. I have also researched other fish that remain small that might enjoy a five gallon tank just in case we end up at the pet store early one morning, again.
I am not sure that I do love NJ right now, but it sure is helping my daughters and me have those good ol' fashioned life experiences.