So a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about some drama around my youngest niece’s birthday, when her grandmother bought her a fish:

In a nutshell, the Annoying Inlaws got upset that my MiL bought their daughter a fish, and dropped it off at my MiL’s house complete with a note they made their daughter write. Later on the phone, the daughter told her grandmother that she couldn’t have a pet because “it might die like my Poppy.” (Her paternal grandfather who died a good 5 years before she was born.)

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Anyways, yesterday we went over to Mr. Ivriniel’s sister’s house after attending the local March for Science. The fish has since been relocated to Mr. I’s sister’s house, because her daughter has a fish tank. At one point, the oldest niece took ASiL and her daughter up to her bedroom to visit the fish. While they were up there ASiL thanked oldest niece for taking the fish saying something to the effect of “I just couldn’t have it in the house, because I knew I would kill it, which would make me feel terrible if it were dead like my father.

After they left, oldest niece told us about it. She also told us that the day of youngest niece’s birthday party, she and her sister went over to the Annoying Inlaws to help out before the party started. When they arrived, they found ASiL and youngest niece watching an old video tape of ASiL’s father, and ASiL was telling niece how sad it was that her Poppy couldn’t come to her birthday party today, while ASiL and niece cried.

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This seems just really unhealthy to me. I can understand wanting to tell your about a deceased grandparent. But starting your kid’s fifth birthday off by reflecting on how sad it is that her Poppy, whom she never actually met, isn’t there seems a bit much. And refusing to have a fish in your house because it might die like your father seems like a really unhealthy way to live. Heaven forbid anyone else in her family die, if she doesn’t think she can handle the death of a fish.