Fishy Follow Through

Posted Jan 30 2013, 7:50 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not new.

I mean, I’ve been doing this parenting thing for ten and a half years now. And while I recognize that doesn’t put me in the same league as a lot of you, I’d like to think I’ve figured out a few things along the way.

For example, consistency and follow through. I’m big on this one. When I threaten say something, my kids know (or at least should know) that I mean it. If I say I’m going to do something, good or bad…I do. Well, almost all the time. I mean, come on, no one’s perfect ALL the time.

My point is, I should have known better.

Because despite this parenting policy of mine, and despite knowing better. WAY better. I ‘may’ have made a promise I didn’t really want to keep.

Two weeks ago, Sydney came home from Guides and announced she wanted a fish. A fish! I mean, where did that come from? But, she promised she’d buy it herself, take care of it, feed it and try not to let the cats eat it. So I did what any insane reasonable parent would do. I made a deal.

I told her if she cleaned her room to my standards (which are notably different then hers) and maintained it for a least a week, we could discuss a fish.
Now in my defense, if you’ve ever seen Sydney’s room, you would agree that this was a completely impossible task. I mean, there was no way she was going to be able to clean itβ€”let alone keep it clean. Clearly, this was a safe deal.

Um…yeah…about that…

It actually took her just over a week to get the room clean. You may be thinking that a week is quite a long time to clean a room. I was actually fairly impressed with how fast she did it. And that was a pretty steady effort. The room was bad, people. Bad.

Once her room passed final inspection, the countdown began. But I wasn’t worried. The real test was about to begin. I mean, there was no way she could maintain.

No. Way.


Meet Flare. The newest member of our family. What can I say…I believe in follow through.

Monday marked a week of the impossible, so yesterday (yes, I waited a day) Syd and I loaded up and headed down to the local fish store where she picked out little Flare and paid for her with her own money.

Now Flare lives happily on a shelf in Syd’s room where she so far has helped with homework, been subjected to Top 40 tunes at mega decibels (do fish have ears?) and has been read a bed time story. She also seems to be prime entertainment for the cats who are determined to get close enough to ‘meet’ their new little snack friend.

But hey, I followed through, right? RIGHT?!

Syd & Flare. (note the cat in the background plotting his 'introduction')

Syd & Flare
(Note the cat in the background plotting his ‘introduction’.)

So come on, make me feel better. What crazy things have you promised your kids that you had to follow through on?

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15 responses to “Fishy Follow Through”

  1. Shari Green says:

    Consistency and follow-through are SO important, but they don’t come cheap! LOL. Yay you for being an awesome mom, and yay Sydney for working so hard for what she wanted. πŸ™‚

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Shari, I’m sad to say that this isn’t the first time follow through has cost me…and it certainly won’t be the last. But I agree, SO important. Even if it means I have a fishy new friend to deal with.

  2. I’m the Queen of consistency. I’m so glad that your daughter learned that her hard work can bring rewards. Now…um…how long does she have to KEEP it up? LOL!

    Flare is way cool. I always wanted a fish named Kitten. Irony. πŸ™‚

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Renee, she has to keep her room clean in order to keep it in there. Which I’m hoping she will since bringing poor little Flare out into the common living area may mean she will quickly become a play thing for the kitties. And nobody needs that! πŸ˜‰

  3. Deb says:

    this one made me laugh out loud…loved it. I once threatened the twins that they would be “grounded for the rest of their lives”…clearly, there was no follow through πŸ™‚

    • Elena Aitken says:

      HA HA! But wait… the boy has discovered that Syd’s ‘I want a fish’ technique worked and he’s now started on…”I want a lizard.”
      Oh, hell to the no!

  4. Tanya Maksymic says:

    I LOVE your stories Elena! and… today you made me laugh hard. I’m by no means anywhere close to being consistent. I just hope by age 10 my girls turn out to be as adorable as yours. Not that they aren’t adorable now, just responsible and respectfully adorable as Syd!
    Thanks for sharing the light!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Syd has her moments, Tanya. Oh…she has her moments. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and the icon face is my…’super concentrated-trying to do it all-failing miserably-but having fun while doing it’ face. What? You didn’t get that?!

  5. Tanya Maksymic says:

    BTW, what’s with the icon face? lol

  6. JM Randolph says:

    I can totally understand the room taking a week to clean. It would be that way at my house too. But I don’t have a single kid that would be motivated by anything enough to keep it clean. She must have really wanted that fish!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      I have to say. I was REALLY impressed and totally shocked she did it. I really should have taken a ‘before’ pic.
      Had I known a fish was all it would take…

  7. Aw, but the betta is so pretty! I used to have that kind of fish. I’m not a parent, but I do remember some of the “deals” my mom made with my sister. Actually, my sister was the deal-maker. Quite cunning, she was. Her room was probably as bad as your daughter’s, and my mom tried and tried to get her to clean it. Finally, my sister made a deal to only clean one section of her room every week. My mom thought, sure, okay. My sister’s actual plan? Scoop everything from one side of the room and shove it under the bed. The next week, take everything under the bed and shove it into the closet. One time, she piled it all in the center of her room and threw a rug over it. Like, seriously, Mt. Everest isn’t noticeable? Lol.

    Congrats on your new fish. πŸ˜‰

  8. enjoy the fish, Elena. they’re fun. cleaning the ‘glass’ is not so good, but….

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks, Louise. I ‘may’ have once dropped a fish down the garburator while I was cleaning it’s glass. Don’t worry….it wasn’t on and fishy lived to swim another day. πŸ˜‰

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