I am a fish murderer. Well, to be technically correct, in Kansas, it would be involuntary manslaughter at most...but in any event, Snack the fish is dead at my hand.
As is the case with many small animals, I'm not sure what the exact cause was, but he died immediately after I changed his water. The new water was at room temperature and properly de-chlorinated, so I can only guess that I somehow fatally bumped him during the transfer into his clean bowl.
In a quick, whispered conversation with Sweet Husband just after the death, I furtively asked, "Do we try to tell the Kid? Or do we just get rid of the body and see if he notices?"
Sweet Husband instantly replied, "This is one of those times that I think we just need to get rid of it. I'll take care of him after you guys leave for school." Accordingly, Sweet Husband gave Snack a secret burial at sea, and we vowed to never mention his name again.
I should have known better. That never works. Someone always notices, and this case was no exception.
Not every night, but probably every other, the Kid happily exclaims, "I want to feed Snack now!" pursuant to our former custom. And each time, we try to explain, again, that Snack is dead. But how do you explain death to a 2-year-old?
"Snack is gone," is an unsatisfactory answer. Where did he go? Will he come back soon?
And I remember those early days of poring over parenting books well enough that I quickly put the kibosh on Sweet Husband's "Snack is asleep." "Do you want the Kid to be afraid to go to sleep for the next 5 years?" I direly warned him.
Of course, my response was just as bad. "Dada flushed Snack down the toilet, bub." I've probably set his potty training back for months.
We've ultimately had the most success when we distract him. "Snack is gone, but Grammie and Auntie will be here for Spring Break very soon, and they'll take you to pick out a new fish, ok? Won't that be so fun?! Now let's go have a cookie!"
(By the way, Mom, you're going fish shopping when you come to visit. Hope that's ok? I love you! Let's go have a cookie!)