Kate Gosselin’s full household includes not only her two 12-year-old twin daughters and eight-year-old sextuplets, but also a fair share of animal life, as she writes in her latest blog post for The Stir. Tops on the list is their German shepherd, Shoka, who happily endures the hugs and petting from all his loving owners.
Rounding out the Gosselin menagerie are their two beta fish, Fabio and Felicia, and Mady’s little water frogs, Leon and Neon. Their bowl gets the place of honor on top of the dining-room table (as seen here), where the kids enjoy talking to them. Having the bowl centrally located also helps remind the children to feed their pets. “The most difficult part of having Fabio and friends on the table is when we have fish for dinner,” Kate says. “Leah or Alexis will usually comment how ‘I feel bad for Fabio that we are having fish in front of him.’ ”
Having pets helps teach children about compassion and responsibility. Sadly, however, animals are also often a child’s first experience with death. Kate is already dreading the day when Fabio flips his fins for the last time – and when that happens, she plans to do a little fishy sleight of hand by buying a replacement and secretly slipping it in the bowl.
“I know death is part of life, but I think it’s in a mom’s DNA to keep our kids sheltered from that unavoidable fact as long as possible – even if means a slight bit of this kind of ‘trickery’ here and there,” she explains.
Ever ready for the critics, Kate quickly adds, “Before you judge me…if you’re a mom, and you’re being honest, you KNOW you’d do the SAME THING, or may have done it already!”
As a former fish owner myself, I have to say that I’ve never resorted to that kind of deception. I just told my son that his street-fair goldfish had gone on a trip to visit Elmo’s pet Dorothy…and it, um, just never came back. Yep. Old Honest-to-a-Fault Mom, that’s me.
What about you? Have you ever done the fish-switcharoo trick? Or do you think it’s better to let a young child know the truth and help her grieve?
[Photo: via img.ly]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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