I've written before about my son and I going for twice-weekly walks, and about how entertaining our conversations can be on those walks. Some days we don't really say much at all, while on other days we solve all of the world's problems inside of half an hour. Sometimes we start a conversation and it develops a whole life of it's own, eventually ending up as part of our family folklore. This past Thursday morning we had my favourite sort of conversational topic - the one which I know will keep going long after the walk has ended.
In a relaxed, conversational, no-big-deal-but-somehow-serious tone of voice, my son says to me, "Mum, I've worked out what I want to be when I grow up," "Really?" "Yeah. I totally want to own an ironic pet shop." "An ironic pet shop? What's an ironic pet shop?"
"You know, a pet shop were we have things like...elephants named Tiny. A mouse named Roar. A snake named Fluffy McFluffikins. You know, stuff like that."
You can see where the rest of this conversation went, can't you? If there is something I absolutely adore, it's word play games - especially word play games which make you think and make you laugh and the ironic pet shop fits the bill perfectly. (I hereby permit you all to take this game and make it your own.)
We spent the rest of the walk home populating my son's ironic pet shop. There was:
- A giraffe named Short Stuff
- A dog named Meow
- A hippo named Speedy
- A hermit crab named Chatty
- A porcupine named Softy
- A fluffy kitten named Fierce
- A worm named Cheetah
- A snake named Fluffy
- An ant named Huge-o
Fish died. *sad face* I can't remember why but suffice to say we failed at our first attempt at parenthood. Our second attempt at parenthood saw us owning yet another fish, and this one we named Sushi. Sadly, Sushi also died not too long after we got him. At this point we probably should have given up, but we're not easily deterred, and so we ventured into parenthood once again with the purchase of Fish #3. Fish #3 has what remains to this day my favourite fish name: Fresh.
Fresh did not live up to his name. A few weeks after we got him, we went away for the weekend. On our return, I wandered into the loungeroom to see how he was doing. I noticed a dried leaf on the carpet, and I bent down to pick it up and throw it away.
It did not occur to me to wonder why a dried leaf would be INDOORS, where there are no trees from which it might have fallen.
Fresh wasn't so much fresh as he was shriveled and crunchy and rather dried leaf-ish.
After that we pretty much decided that if we could not keep single Beta fish alive, clearly the only thing to do was to have a go at raising children...because, you know, that's clearly so much easier.
Suffice to say we seem to have done better with the real children than with the ironic pets.