Most weekday mornings, our house wakes up at 5:30 am. When I walk into Maynard’s area in the office, he usually growls at me. As I move on, turning on other lights and saying good morning to Jessie, Tron, Bo, and Io, he settles down. He might even say, “Good morning!” to me when I go out. I rattle around in the kitchen and pour coffee for myself and Mike. Then I make my breakfast.
Right then is when Maynard expects to hear Mike in the bedroom. Every morning, Mike gives Maynard a bit of sourdough toast. If Mike forgets or isn’t going to work for some reason, Maynard can be counted on to throw a fit. He calls upon Howard Cracker (How are you? Want a cracker? In Maynard speak) and is often placated with a saltine or Goldfish cracker.
I often leave for the day after that, and Maynard has a plethora of toys to play with and boxes to chew through. By the time I return, he may be in the lowest box in the stack, making cooing noises that he hopes will lure me into the nest he has made for us. Always a dreamer.
If I eat anything, I have to find a portion for Maynard. Or I have to sneak it into another room. I start my rounds of supplying fresh water and food to the flock, and if I have been absent for a long time, Maynard will protest loudly that I am leaving him again. Sometimes the solution is to put him on his play stand and move him closer to the scene of the action. But when I move outside, I take him out to his Patio cage. He usually is happy to be out there, but sometimes becomes bored. Then he and I begin to sing our duets.
I was worried that the neighbors were irritated by the bird noises and by my singing. So far, the neighbors on one side say they love the bird noises and behind us love to hear us singing. Whew! Back to planning to move more birds outside.
For a few hours, I am at my desk, writing various projects. Maynard is happy as long as he can see me. After the writing, I take an hour to read and relax. Not his favorite time of the day, because I leave his room, but he’s pretty good about it. That is followed by cleaning the house and thinking about dinner.
Mike comes home from work and we relax until dinner time. Again, I need to be sure that Maynard can have some of whatever I cook. Potato, rice, pasta, chicken bones, all are top rated. But if he finishes his portion and sees I have more, that could bring about a lot of screaming. Not always unstoppable until fed, sometimes I can ignore him into silence.
At this time some of the birds in the office get out time. Maynard may or may not feel upset about this. Usually, he goes into his boxes and coos. If he thinks the other birds are getting treats and he isn’t, he loudly voices his objections.
On the weekends, if we watch a movie, I put Maynard on the play stand and move him into the living room. He loves to watch movies. He knows when to laugh, when to shout if the story gets scary, and he sings along beautifully. He thinks. I always enjoy movies a bit more with him there.
Almost every night, Mike goes to bed fairly early and I still have writing to do. If I am still up at 9:00, Maynard doesn’t like it at all. He starts to scream and stare at the living room, two rooms away from his cage. I don’t know what kind of bird-eating monster he sees there, but I cover him until I am ready to go to bed. After all, every Yellow-headed Amazon parrot needs lots of beauty sleep. That’s how they stay so vibrant and gorgeous.
Once I was able to let Maynard have the run of the house. Or so I thought. I started seeing the damage he did to cupboard doors and carpet. Then I got a dog, Tilda, and he would attack her. Astrid is not afraid of him and wants to play with him. Too much danger to allow it to happen. But I miss when he would sit on my chair and chew on my hair. Or walk down to my feet and play with my toes. He loved to sit on me then. Nowadays he is back to being afraid of fingers and hands. In fact, I knew he was scared of something in the living room when, instead of going onto the play stand, he crawled up my arm and stayed there. No biting or screaming, just a scared bird. He went back to his cage and relaxed. At least I know he’s still my baby bird.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.