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Is this true or is it something we tell ourselves when we see parents locked into a power struggle with their kids? My kids don’t seem to get hungry enough before I give in and just lose already.

My mom used to hate pears. Actually she still does. When her mom served them with a meal my mom refused to eat them. Grandma insisted. Mom screwed her mouth shut tight and shook her head vehemently while crossing her arms in front of her chest. Grandma tired of the game and let my mom go with the ultimatum: you will eat them at the next meal.

Hours passed and the next meal came. So did the pears. The power struggle continued. According to my mom, those pears made an appearance at several consecutive meals over days. I don’t know if she gave up and ate them or shrewdly tossed them when Grandma wasn’t looking. Maybe Grandma tossed them when they looked like a science fair project candidate. That’s usually what happens in my house. My kids wait me out until I toss their inedible food.

They know. They have heard us tell waiters that we don’t need a box because if our kids won’t eat the food at the restaurant, they won’t eat it later!

These are first world problems. Starving children in other countries would do anything for pears or half eaten restaurant fair, let alone any of the home cooked meals my children believe is composed of toxic waste.

Starving children yes. Animals no.

I have learned that animals are just as snooty and picky as any spoiled child. My mother in law seemed to be locked into a power struggle with the hummingbirds she was nicely feeding. It’s true. I didn’t believe it at first. But it was a fight. War declared by arrogant hummingbirds. I kid you not.

She had two bird feeders with the exact same hummingbird nectar solution in both. Nothing was different except the size of the bird feeders. Even then it was more of an aesthetic difference than anything else. Those birds refused to eat out of one feeder. She swapped the feeders positions on everyone’s advice. No luck. She resorted to not filling the one feeder. Nothing. Those birds would fly onto her porch and yell at her in their tiny little bird voices. I saw it with my own eyes. It was hysterical and irritating all at the same time. Stupid birds.

Of course I hate birds. They are a small step above snakes in my book. And snakes are just wrong. It’s in the Bible. Birds are evil incarnate with wicked plans for the demise of humankind. I am sure of it. I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I’m not stupid. Plus, I grew up with a pet bird who hated us. I was secretly glad when she died. I have had magpies dive bomb my head while walking to class in college. True story. Heath even took me into Crystal Gardens in Victoria B.C. on our honeymoon. It’s a building full of wild birds just flying around in the open. They could sense my fear. Birds are not my favorite.

Somehow two bird feeders found their way into my backyard. One was given to us as a gift and one was made by one of my boys in scouts. Gwen made one out of paper but since it was out of paper the box twisted out of its box shape quickly in the wind. By the next day it was just a vertical piece of faded construction paper hanging in the tree.

It is fun to watch the birds come by, I have to admit. Last week I even watched a mama bird feed her baby bird. That was fascinating. This bird was just chilling on top of the gazebo. Another bird would fly by and as it did the gazebo perched bird opened its mouth wide. The flying bird flew close and their open mouths touched. That’s when I realized what was happening. I looked at that sitting bird and could see the fluffy fuzz feathers on the very outside edges of the wings. Otherwise they were almost the same size. I would have never known the one was a baby.

Mama would fly off for a bit and come back with more masticated bugs to deposit in her baby’s open mouth. They would chirp at each other the whole time. I should have grabbed a camera but I didn’t.

We also have some hummingbirds that frequent our yard. They like to yell at each other. Hummingbirds are very territorial. They are also in the National Geographic Angry Birds book. Gavin is afraid of them. I didn’t raise no fool!

Heath decided to buy a hummingbird feeder and some powder nectar solution that works just like Kool-Aid. Heath says it tastes like flowers though. I don’t know how he knows how flowers taste but he thinks raw tomatoes taste like grass clippings so maybe he eats green waste in his spare time.

We filled the feeder on Saturday. The packet that came with the feeder said it was one serving. They weren’t kidding. We never did see any birds come by but that stuff was gone quick as that. Gwen was so disappointed she didn’t see the birds when we had our backs turned for two seconds. So we made some more.

The feeder was filled to the same level with the same stuff made by the same company. Nothing was different except that bag of powder was sold separately. Not a single drop has been consumed. Not one bird has come by. We thought maybe they would drink it all while we were at church. No such luck.

Hummingbirds are the pickiest and sassiest birds in the whole evil bird species. They won’t eat when they’re hungry. They don’t care. They would rather starve than give anyone the satisfaction of winning the power struggle.

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