Saturday, March 18, 2006

On goldfish, monkeys, and the right to be boring

It seems we may not be having a goldfish funeral this weekend after all. This morning, Dorothy was upgraded from critical to serious condition. She remains in her isolated bowl, which is now just a watery ICU, but she's perky, she's eating, and her eyes don't seem as filmy as they were. Maybe she just needed a break from crazy little Stevie.

Whatever the case, Bud has not made mention of Dorothy since yesterday's promise that she'd "feel better soon." She is not on his radar, and he is not at all concerned about her. So, my preparations for the possibility of her passing have all been internal. I'd left a question about it for Mrs. H in Bud's school-home notebook, and she wisely suggested that it will be important to read Bud's feelings about it in the moment: "Quite often, kids can be matter-of-fact and have an "oh well" attitude. Sometimes they say "oh well," but are truly distressed about it. And sometimes they say "oh well" today, but three weeks later it may come back as nightmares or random sadness." So perhaps there is a danger in being too prepared as well, as it might lead to imbuing the moment with too much unnecessary fanfare.

I do think we'll avoid the ceremonial flushing of the carcass when the time comes, however. Bud already has enough tricky issues associated with toileting; we just don't need to complicate that any further. But I don't have a plan beyond that - a burial? a private flush? I'll just have to figure it out when the time comes.

Since we didn't need to spend any time last night talking about Dorothy, I spent the evening badgering poor Bud about today's activities instead. Bud and I are both fans of the Curious George books. We both adore Jack Johnson's latest single Upside Down, which comes from the Curious George soundtrack (in fact, now that we've downloaded it from Itunes it is the only song that Bud wants to hear when we are in the car). So, I thought, what could be better than a Saturday trip to see the Curious George movie? Bud did not agree. He adamantly refuses to see it. We've seen movies in the past and he has enjoyed it, but the last time we tried to see one we had to leave the theater (in tears) during the previews. (What rocket scientist thought it was a good idea to show a dark Harry Potter preview before a movie with a G rating?) And, it seems, that was that for Bud. He's through with the movie-going experience.

I really would like to see Curious George, though, so I pushed a little harder than I normally would and continued to bring it up throughout the evening.

"Come on, Bud," I said, finally. "Let's see Curious George tomorrow. I know that it would be fun."

Apparently that was what it took to fray Bud's very last nerve. He spun around to face me, and with a mix of exasperation and anger he shouted "I DON'T HAVE TO BE FUN!"

Point taken.

So I'm not sure what we'll be doing this fine Saturday. I don't think we'll be trying to dig in the frozen ground of the backyard to bury a lost goldfish. There's not much chance that we'll be seeing any movies. But there's one thing for certain: we will definitely not be having fun.

4 comments:

Kristina Chew said...

Maybe Bud just wants to keep things quiet after the odd changes in the fishbowl situation?

Boring is hardly bad!---Charlie woke up at 3am and we've already had a mess in the kitchen (cleaned up by him), played a new game, took out another one, went for a short walk and a game of catch, went on a longer walk to the hardware store.......naptime!

Lisa/Jedi said...

We have dealt with both the dying fish & movie issues with B (who will be 10 soon)... he really wanted to bury his dead fish "so it could make the flowers grow" so we put it in a small box in the freezer until the ground warmed up & we could have a proper funeral :) Movie-wise, B went through a phase, from ages 4-8, when we could not take him to movie theatres. It was too loud, too intense, just too much. He kept trying to leave the theatre, so we decided it wasn't where he wanted to be... The movies he was dying to see we rented when they came out on video. We still fast-forward through the scary scenes in HP's 2 & 3... When he hit 8 1/2 some sort of change occurred & he decided he really wanted to go to theatres to see movies. His first movie back was "The Incredibles" & he sat through it twice in the theatre (& numerous times on dvd :). We still choose carefully- no way would we take him to HP 4 (even though he begged us- & we were glad we stood firm when we parental units went to see it...). We've seen Madagascar, Charlie & the Chocolate factory, & Chicken Little, but nothing more intense than that. Don't know if this is helpful... but I'm really glad you're listening to Bud & looking at things from his point of view :)

Eileen said...

We took the boys to see Curious George a few weeks ago and I don't think we will be bringing both of them again for a while. I spent much of the movie out walking around in the lobby with the little one while my husband stayed with the big guy in the movie.

Oh and by the way, we have already had to replace our gold fish. Thankfully the new ones have been going strong for a few weeks now though. We buried the other 2 for the same reason you wrote. I didn't want to freak anyone out about the toilet.

gwuinifer said...

Whenever you do get around to seeing Curious George, I have a strong feeling you will adore it as much as our family did. Little George is the non-verbal epitome of Not Even Wrong... and embodies all that is by turns exasperating, fascinating, and ultimately loveable and endearing about our little Frenchmen.

:)

We cried, and Ethan has a new protagonist with which to empathize. It was so refreshingly innocent and full of wonder. (Plus Jack Johnson rules! Soundin' goooood, turkey man...)