Yes, I realize that my title is an oxymoron. And I've also learned a lesson about supposed free things.
Morgan went to a school carnival with our friends and neighbors. There were games, face painting, balloon animals and food. And then there was the most popular game. The game where all the kids lined up along the gymnasium, wishing and praying to win while the parents were wishing and praying they lost. And we wished this even though there were tears coming from the losing kids. What is this game you ask? The dreaded ping pong ball in the fish bowl game. Where the "prize" for winning is a goldfish in a plastic bag.
Morgan did not win this game and there was some lip quivering, while inside I was doing the happy dance. But then, then an older child came up to Morgan. One who had played this game before and was holding in her hand a goldfish. She asked that horrible question to Morgan: would you like my fish? To which Morgan's face light-up and she nodded vigorously. Before I knew it and before I could open my mouth to protest, Morgan was standing there with the fish in her hand, the other child long gone. That other girl was a smart girl. And quick
The next day we head out to Petco to buy a tank and some food. I'm thinking we will pick up a small, little thing. $20 at the most. It's just a goldfish after all. But then the evil salesman enters the scene and informs me - in front of Morgan - that if I don't buy at least a 5 gallon tank the fish will die within 6 months at the most. I look down at Morgan, look at the $19 tank in my hand and look at the $60 tank he is pointing to. He played the "you don't want your kids pet to die right away, now do you" card. Not wanting to be labeled a killer, I grudgingly grab the bigger tank. Along with the stones. Along with the food. Along with the fake plant.
Suddenly the free goldfish isn't so free anymore. Actually, it's down right expensive!