Ichthio-cide (Fish Murder)

Dear Kitten,

This is the story of how you committed mass ichthio-cide…fish murder.

Once upon a time, we had a large fish tank full of about a dozen or so little fish. We got the fish tank because we’d read that the bubbler acts like a whitenoise machine and can help babies sleep. So, we up and got the whole set-up, ostensibly “for the baby”.

Yes. Definitely for the baby…

Because babies need a 20 gallon tank, carbon filter, water heater, and the quietest bubbler available. You know…for the soothing sound.

Regardless, the tank happened and was placed strategically in the baby’s room. The baby – you – had colic. The tank did not help. At all. FAIL.

By that point, though, we had stopped fooling ourselves and admitted that the tank was for us (read: your father), not the kid.

The kid grew. The fish grew.


Eventually you graduated to a ‘big kid bed’. The new, larger bed ended up right next to the fishtank. What could go wrong?

A few times, hearing suspiscious splashing sounds, we’d run in and catch you trying to “pet da fishies.” We started putting a big book on the tank cover and told you that fishies don’t like to be pet. We also suggested that you probably shouldn’t put your fish-water-fingers in your mouth because it makes Mommy hysterical and gag-y.

The kid grew. The fish grew.


One fateful evening I brought you to your room for bedtime. I turned on the tank light to feed the fish with you and…no fish. The fish were gone. Every. Single. One. Gone.

But the water was murky…and warm…and there were little…bits floating around in it. Oh God.

I called to your father, “Honey? Did you take all the fish out of the tank?”


“Because the fish are gone.”

“What?? Why is the tank so hot? Kitten, did you…did you play with the heater, honey? This little knob over here? Did you touch this?”

“Yes! I play wid da fishies!”


“Ok, well, you exploded the fishies, sweetheart.”

“Fishies gone?”

“Yes, fishies go boom.”

At this point I wanted to cry, vomit, and laugh all at the same time. I really liked those fish and they meet a gruesome end, but…my two year old cooked a tank of fish…and they exploded. That’s ridiculous, right?

After we collected ourselves, we had you apologize to the fish and you blew the fish guts a kiss. Next, your father attempted to get the bulk of the fish remains out of the tank before the smell set in. The next day we allowed ourselves to soak in the bizarreness of the situation.

At work: “So, my kid exploded a tank full of fish last night, what’s new with you?”

At dinner: “Kitten, do you want some fried fish, or have you had enough?”

Watching Finding Nemo: “Darla ain’t got nothing on you, sweetheart!”

At least, I found the humor. Years later I’m still not sure your father has recovered. Tread lightly around fish tanks, daughter-o-mine; Your reputation proceeds you!

Categories: Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Ichthio-cide (Fish Murder)

  1. It’s okay, Meg, when I was six I put my gerbil in the microwave. He lived, but he never walked quite right again.
    I turned out just fine!!!

  2. Can’t remember if it was me or my brother but apparently one of us decided to make fish soup by turning the heater up when we were kids. It was easier to clean than exploded fish though…

  3. She’s a chef! She made bouillabaisse! And thanks for this: I’ve been considering having Santa bring the kids a fish tank for Xmas this year. Perhaps not…

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