Losing Nemo: Party Favors That Are Anything But
~By Karen Alpert
Last weekend, my family and I went to a wonderfully amazing Martha Stewart-esque birthday party. Just to show you how un-domestic I am, I had to look up Martha Stewart’s last name because I wasn’t sure if it was spelled Stewart or Stuart. There were fruit platters that looked like Sesame Street characters (ah, to be a mom who has time for Pinterest). There were enough Subway sandwiches to make Jared regain the weight he lost. And last but not least, the party favors were not made in China.
Nope, this party favor wasn’t a toy that will lose parts a child can choke on. Nor was it made with plastic that will eventually cause my kids to grow a third arm or a giant goiter that looks like a head. This party favor will do something those recalled toys from China can’t do. It will die.
At the end of the party, my sugar-crashing daughter was handed a little glass bowl and a small baggie that contained something in water. Her eyes lit up like I just told her I love her more than her brother, which won’t happen until her brother is three and she’s not. But I digress.
If you haven’t guessed what the party favors were by now, you’re a moron. Just kidding, you’re a brilliant person who’s reading my article. If you haven’t guessed by now, they were goldfish. This was how my daughter acted all the way to our car:
Now I have to admit that for the first 24 hours I thought this was the best party favor ever. My kid had never been so excited. And it didn’t wear off overnight. The next morning she popped out of bed and immediately asked if she could go feed Goldy and Smokey. And an hour later she asked the same thing. And again an hour after that. As you can imagine, this continued all day until I wanted to pull a double Van Gogh and chop my ears off.
Then I realized my mistake. I was sitting at a playdate when one of the other mothers casually asked me if our fish had died yet. What?! Whatta you mean died? Like as in dead? And then I remembered — the average lifespan of a goldfish is like two hours.
Let’s just cut to the chase. I’m screwed. The average household might not care about losing a dinky fish, but:
A. My kid is weird.
B. My kid is already obsessed with death because of that whole dinosaur debacle.
C. Our toilets back up really, really easily.
Anyway, this morning I started to prepare my daughter for the worst. I let her know that sometimes fish go on vacation to Florida. She laughed and said that’s a funny joke, Mom. Until I figure out how to break the impending bad news to her, I’m checking on Goldy and Smokey constantly. Someone told me if they’re swimming near the top of the tank, they might be on their way out. So now when I see them anywhere near the surface, I push them down with my finger. That’ll work, right?
Karen Alpert is a freelance copywriter and mother of two who writes the hilarious blog Baby Sideburns.
(Photo credit: Not One Sparrow)