A stressful little goldfish

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that add stress to our lives and make me think, "No, seriously, I can’t handle this on top of everything else!"

taking care of a goldfish


Sometimes it’s the smallest things that add stress to our lives and make me think, “No, seriously, I can’t handle this on top of everything else!”

First, let me describe mornings at my house. I drag daughter out of bed, lay out her uniform, ask her 20 times to get dressed, and make her breakfast. Then I have to ask her 20 times to eat breakfast. I have to pack food for school, we brush her hair and teeth, get on her coat and shoes, practice piano for ten minutes, all before getting out the door. I’m exhausted by 8:10 a.m.

So you can imagine my DESPAIR when we recently received something that will only ADD more stress to our morning routine. Yes, my friends, we now have a goldfish. HELP!

Before you stop reading, thinking, “A goldfish? Big deal!” let me just say it IS a big deal, for a single mother who has way too much already on her plate, so much that I don’t even own a plant, because I know I won’t have time to water it.

My daughter received the goldfish as a birthday present from her nanny. (This is the SECOND goldfish she’s received as a present from a nanny. Is there something going on with nannies and goldfish?)

Yes, it is ONLY a goldfish, but shouldn’t parents be asked if they want/can handle a pet? (I’m looking at the bright side. At least it wasn’t a hamster or bird.) Even if it is only a GOLDFISH, parents still end up taking care of it. I would like to say I’m responsible enough to take care of one goldfish, but past experience has proved otherwise.

My daughter says I killed our first goldfish, Little Miss Rosie, because she was visiting her father for a couple of days and I forgot to feed her. I did forget to feed her, but in my defense, I had other things on my mind, like working to pay the bills! (Plus, the goldfish was in my daughter’s washroom which I didn’t use while she was gone. Out of sight, out of mind.)

I tell my daughter SHE killed Little Miss Rosie, because she also forgot to feed her, and didn’t keep her bowl clean.

We compromised and blamed my daughter’s friend for killing Little Miss Rosie. My daughter’s friend dumped a HANDFUL of fish food into the bowl, because she never had a fish and didn’t know fish only need a pinch of food. Little Miss Rosie was with us (bless her) for only two weeks.

So, now we have Little Miss Rosie II, and my daughter has already forgotten to feed her three days in a row. I’ve picked up the slack. But I want to know how to keep Little Miss Rosie II alive longer than two weeks, along with all the crap I have to do to keep my daughter healthy and alive. I spoke with the fish expert at PJ’s Pet Center in Scarborough. And, I was right! It turns out goldfish ARE a lot of work.

1. Apparently, a simple goldfish, if taken care of can live to a MAXIMUM of 25 years. Did you hear that? I now, potentially, have something else to look after for 25 YEARS!

2. You only have to feed a gold fish once a day, and just a pinch. You want to make sure that they are eating the food within three minutes. Why? Who knows.

3. What kills them most of the time is their waste. So you should clean the bowl at least three times a week. (SEE AGAIN HOW MUCH TIME THIS IS GOING TO ADD TO OUR SCHEDULES?)

4. A filter is best, as opposed to just a glass bowl, which is what we have. So, now, do I have to find time to find a filter? EESH!

5. You shouldn’t move your goldfish completely out of the water, because it could traumatize them. Take out ¾ of the dirty water and then add clean.

6. A fish, depending on its age and strength, can live up to a week without a feeding. (However, we know from past experience this is not a good thing to do!)

7. Did I mention that a goldfish can live up to 25 years??? And do you want to come feed my fish over Christmas vacation?

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