This past weekend my boy & I rearranged his bedroom. It's been the same since we moved in, so for about 3 years. He had a plan for where he wanted everything to go, so I told him that as long as it was clean, we'd do it. The furniture in his room consisted of his twin bed, his bookshelf and his dresser. However, on his dresser lives his fish tank. It's a 10 gallon tank and he had 3 goldfish living in it. He's had these same 3 goldfish for over 2 years. I've been impressed many times by the fact that they were still alive. So we had to empty most of the water out of the tank in order to move the dresser, and decided we might as well clean it out really good at the same time. We started with moving the fish to another bowl, and then set in on the emptying and cleaning. We moved fast, and as soon as we got the dresser moved, we started filling the tank back up and moved the fish back in. They were dead within a couple of hours. I think that their age combined with the move and the differences in water temperature probably all contributed. My boy was sad, but held it together pretty well. It didn't hurt that he LOVED the new arrangement in his room. We got stuff hung up on his walls (no we never did that after moving in...) and even moved an old telephone table into his room for use as a nightstand. It doesn't look like a kid's room anymore. He just kept lying on his bed and looking around at his new room. He did a great job.
So, back to the fish, or lack of. I told him that I would take him to the pet store on Sunday and he could pick out some fish. Luckily, the tank was squeaky clean now and unoccupied so it was like starting over fresh. Once we got to the store however, things started changing fast. The goldfish didn't look as appealing as the tropical fish. But he has a cold water tank. Again, changes... He bought a heater to solve that problem and came home with a snail (for algae control), 3 Neon Tetras, a little frog and a guppy. We were very careful to make sure the water came up to the correct temperature before dumping in the new menagerie and then we watched them. My girl was at her friend's house and missed all the excitement, but Shell, our boy & I sat on his bed and watched the new tank adventure unfold. He went to bed that night in his new room with his new fish and was pretty happy about how his weekend had gone.
Monday morning we discovered that the frog had died. This prompted a conversation I had with a coworker where I found out that frogs can be difficult. This particular coworker actually has quite a few fish of his own, so he offered to give my boy a few guppies to replace the frog. He's happy with this. We'll get them next week sometime. It's going to turn out okay.
The best part about this weekend is that my boy has kept his room clean and has even made his bed every day since the rearrangement. He still loves it. Now if I could just convince his sister that rearranging her room would be fun too. Maybe her room could be clean too...