Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Mad Scientist

It appears that my ingenious idea for an appropriate Christmas present for the boys, may not have been such a clever one after all.

 
Not such a "carefree" environment

Let me explain.

When I was a kid, I took a trip to our local fair and won a fish by successfully throwing a ping pong ball into a goldfish bowl. You may remember the game?


But the thrill of my victory was short-lived and poor Romeo was in his glass bowl where rarely, if ever, his water was changed. Despite a few failed attempts at jumping-out-of-the-bowl suicide, this fish was indestructible, living for many years, in stagnant and murky water.

 Perhaps it was the memory of that hardy, low-maintenance fish that made me believe an aquarium would be a more humane and easier environment to keep clean and display a few furless, finned friends.

Well, my dear readers, it appears that I am aquatically ignorant.

With the introduction of our new aquarium, I have become nothing short of a mad scientist.

 
Who knew, there were things like ammonia, nitrates and chlorine levels that need checking. Who knew that cycling a fish tank is the first step in preventing what's called New Tank Syndrome, a toxic form of cloudy water that can kill a fish as fast as you can say "love that dirty water"!

I have been doing my best to perform test samples of the water, checking the pH and ammonia levels. I have made frequent water changes. I have mixed unusual concoctions of powders, liquids and noxious chemicals. All of this to ensure a crystal clear environment that promotes the favorable well-being of our newest family member.

I have become obsessed.

My new lifestyle caring for this aquarium has become like a new mission in life for me, a lifelike microcosm and all-too-familiar representation of the role I play every day in caring for my children.

What on earth was I thinking?