Momwithastethoscope's Weblog

November 12, 2008


Filed under: Parenthood — momwithastethoscope @ 5:49 pm
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A silent war is waging in our household right now.  On one side are the bird lovers and on the other, the bird phobes or phobe.  Our cockatiel was a gift from a grateful friend after we had helped her with some legal woes involving a sour real estate venture.  No formal meeting ever took place about this gift.  One day, our friend delivered him, cage, food, and all.  It was kind of a gift/favor.  Friend has a decent size aviary and ailing husband.  She was trying to downsize, and we were ok to upsize our pets.  Or so I thought.

The reaction from Husband was not good.  Bird likes to fly.  Husband likes to swat bird out of the sky.  He has Hitchcock type fantasies nightmares about birds.  Bird must have at least 15 lives, and has used about 7 or 8 of them in the past 2 years.  The two of them have their own private battle going.  Bird will fluff his wings and stretch aggressively.  Husband will try to startle bird, and has conversations with him about KFC, Bojangles, and Church’s Fried Chicken. 

Older and Younger sons adore this bird.  They are the first to let him out of the cage in the morning.  They walk him around on their shoulders, and make kissy noises to him.  Bird’s not dumb.  He knows who his friends are, and treats them accordingly.  Bouncing up and down the stairs is okay with him.  Sons’ friends are also social with bird.  A quiet agreement exists between them: if you’re gentle with me, I won’t bite you. I might even sing or cluck.

Lately, Bird has been a bit more vocal.  Maybe it’s all of the talking heads on political shows plumping their own feathers that has Bird saying more.  The result, I feel, is kind of cruel.  Husband banishes Bird to his cage under an old tablecloth to be quiet and still. 

I felt like it was time for a change, and end to the conflict of man and beast.  Being the modern peace keeper that I am, I put an ad on Craig’s List.  Free Bird – cage and all (to loving family who will shower affection and attention on a creature that deserves it.) I got 20+ replies in about 20 hours.  I guess the free part caught someone’s attention since cockatiels go for $120 at our local pet store and can live 20 or more years.  I narrowed the list down to two gracious takers.

Sons are not happy with the new plan for Bird. Despite my best efforts to convince them that Bird would be happier with other feathered friends and SAHM, my boys have resisted relocation efforts.  They lob tears and accusations at me that hurt.  I like Bird, too, but I also want harmony at my house.  There’s no Zen in my den right now, and I need some.  Mediation efforts between phobes and nonphobes will eventually result in some sort of treaty.  Until then, I’ll continue to walk my fine line between them.



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