Too Old to Be a Mom

Parrots are so much like human toddlers that it’s frightening. I know it’s not fair to either birds or kids to say they are exactly the same, but there are similarities. And you know the parrot is never going to grow up, get a job, and move out. Or is that the toddler? I can easily be confused.

Last Saturday, I woke up at my usual time, but stayed in bed because it was too cold to get up. I needed a little more sleep. Well, Maynard had other ideas. From the other room, I heard him calling for me. “Mama!” Pause. “Mama!” Sigh. That’s when I thought, I’m too old to be a mom.

I want to be a grandmother, sure, but I think I am going to have to adopt. In the meantime, I am runnign around after my Amazon toddler, picking up his toys, barricading rooms so he won’t go in and get hurt or damage anything, and trying to sleep when he takes his naps.

Jake gets my morning hours, and he is a smart lovebird. I’ve always been amazed at how easy they are to train. When I had a dozen or so in the living room, and they had evening out time, I just had to turn out the lights but one, and the pairs would go back to their cages. Sometimes there would be a disagreement about which cage belonged to which pair, but my word was final. With few exceptions, they flew around for a couple hours, and then were ready to turn in.

We recently moved Jake’s cage. When he is being stubborn about returning to his cage, I only have to get the net out, and he zooms right back to his digs. This morning, he was so confused. So I didn’t “threaten” him with the net. I took him into the bathroom with me and talked him into letting me hold him and return him to his cozy nest.

Maynard had evening out time, and doesn’t fly these days. Since he has such animosity to Mike, and sometimes to me, we keep him clipped. Like any toddler, he gets to a point where he is worn out. Unlike a toddler, he climbs back up into his cage, has a snack and a drink, and goes to sleep. What a good boy!

Like a toddler, he will babble words we can’t translate, but he doesn’t seem to mind that we don’t understand. He’s just making noise for noise’s sake. Unlike a toddler, he is capable of yelling “HELP!” in a way that might make a neighbor call certain authorities. So far, no one has felt obligated to do that.

Right now, Maynard is on his T-perch, destroying what I call his pacifiers. The clear plastic lids from yogurt containers are his favorite thing to destroy. There’s a screw at one end of the perch. I cut a small hole in the lid and attach it over the screw’s head. He sometimes gets part of my dinner placed there, and after he eats, he destroys the thing. This activity will keep him quiet and happy for at least an hour. I just hope I don’t run out of lids. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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