We are no longer a mere family of 4. Overnight the number of we Sinclairs has increased to 11 with the acquirement of 7 fish, which, along with an aquarium starter set, were Gammon’s 3rd birthday present from Nan Nan and Bampop in Australia.
If Gammon’s levels of excitement are anything to go by, our trip to the aquarium makes a holiday to Disneyland seem like the equivalent of doing your yearly self assessment tax return. Chips was a bit more nonchalant… probably because it wasn’t HER birthday.
Gammon spent the entirety of our little jaunt shooting around the shop like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos saying “Wow – mummy, look at this one! Oh wow! Wow! Oh wow!”
We ended purchasing the following aquatic menagerie:
- 2 x White Cloud Mountain Minnows
- 1 x Golden White Cloud Minnow
- 2 x Zebra Danios
- 1 x Leopard Danio
- 1 x Pearl Danio
Once we got the fish home and waited the appropriate time to introduce the bag of fish to the tank, we set about observing them in their new home. The fish shop said not to feed them for the first 24-hours (news which Gammon was quite disappointed by), so our first fishy task was naming them.
I think we started off quite well. The Golden White Cloud Minnow was named by Gammon as ‘Sunny’ which I thought was quite appropriate given his sunshiney hue. Next Gammon must have come over all esoteric or something, as he confidently picked ‘Karma’ as the name for the small Golden White Cloud Minnow – perhaps Gammon could see his third eye reflected in the glass of the fish tank? Then we had ‘Whizz’ and ‘Bang’ as the two stripey Zebra Danios twins – yep, very appropriate given the fireworks night timing. But unfortunately that’s where the logical decision making stopped.
I think Gammon must have been a public servant for the Department of Transport in a former life, because the final three fishes’ names seem to have a commuting theme going on – the bigger White Cloud Mountain Minnow was called ‘Fast’; the Leopard Danio, ‘Carpool’; and the largest fish of all, the Pearl Danio was bizarrely named ‘Bikey’.
So, what then does that experience say about my son?
Hmmm. Well, if I were a Clinical Psychologist, I would say that he is a happy, excited little human with a strong spiritual side, and an interest in transportation infrastructure, albeit with green tendencies. Not a bad personality reading actually – I’d be happy if he manifested these traits into adulthood. It could have been much worse – he could have named one ‘Sushi’.
So, what have I learnt from our fish shop expedition? I’ve learnt that beauty can be found in the mundane (get me, channelling the metaphysical poets!) and that, sometimes you need to look at things through a child’s eyes in order to appreciate the wonder of the world (or at least remind yourself again of it). What, to me, was merely a trip to get Gammon some birthday fish ended up being a whole afternoon of pants-wettingly-exciting free entertainment.
It’s given me some good ideas for outings with the kiddiwinks – next week, the Pet Shop, the week after that I’ve got an ASDA shopping experience scheduled, and for the oh so glamorous finale, I think we’ll go and stand in line at the Post Office the week before Christmas. And with the money I’ve already saved by not having to fork out for entry to the Sea Life Centre, I might be able to buy Gammon and Chips a commemorative set of Royal Mail’s new Christmas 2012 Stamp characters, featuring the drawings of the Sinclair family’s favourite illustrator, one Mr Axel Scheffler. Just the sort of Christmas keepsafe that embodies John Keates’ belief that ‘a thing of beauty is a joy for ever’.
So, if you want to get hold of some, you can choose from pics of Santa Claus, Decoration Deer, Robin, Penguin and Snowman here:
And what if Gammon doesn’t appreciate this Christmas philatelic heirloom? Well, that’s easy – I’ll just get him some more fish, of course – I already know they will be welcomed into the family like a big bag of Haribo Starmix. Which means I’d better go and Google ‘the life expectancy of Danios’ now and start to consider my ‘life is temporary’ speech. Right, where is my copy of ‘The Lion King’? I’m off to check that the toilet flush is still working. Laters.