Posted in Parenting

The Mama Bear Effect aka My Standoff With A Bird

When we got home today, Little Dude got straight to the point of requesting he be allowed to partake in one of his most favouritest activities: playing on the balcony.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, this is the one activity he looks forward to the most when we get home.  It’s win-win ’cause he’s outside and I can get some things done (like supper and preparing his daycare bag for the next day) while keeping an eye on him.

Today, though, the little guy hesitated before opening the screen door once I opened the heavy glassed door for him.  As soon as he was ready to head out, we heard a bird screaming.  Loudly.  A few seconds later, said bird started swooping right in front of our screen door screaming at us.  The little guy figured he’d lay low and observe this interesting phenomenon from inside the house.  Eventually though, the bird must have decided that we humans weren’t *that* threatening and flew off into our backyard maple tree.

Charles immediately decided that it was a good time to head out onto the balcony, but as soon as he was out, he started pointing excitedly at something.

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A blue jay chick

Yup.  We had a blue jay chick just chillin’ about five feet away from us.  The crazy birdie that had been swooping and screaming at us initially was most definitely the mama.

And so started the stare-off.  Blue jay chick was observing human chick intently.  Human chick was observing blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay was observing blue jay chick and human chick intently.  Mama human was observing human chick, mama chick and blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay stayed perched atop a branch – probably deciding that the human chick (who had moved on to other things on the balcony) wasn’t a threat and mama human (who had read or heard that blue jays were known to be aggressive) decided to stay just inside the threshold of the home to intervene if needed.

Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.
Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.

Blue jay chick started feeling more confident.  Of course, that probably has something to do with the fact that his mama wasn’t swooping ’round constantly and the fact that my son had become completely uninterested in it (because a squirt bottle is much more interesting that a baby bird) and began exploring the balcony.

Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.
Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.

And then, it happened.

Blue jay chick explored some more and got stuck in a part of our clothesline.  Blue jay chick started screaming wildly.  Mama jay started screaming wildly.  Human chick looked at human mama.  Human mama grabbed human chick and put him inside the house.  Blue jay chick kept screaming wildly.  Blue jay mama started swooping around her chick screaming and not knowing what to do to get him unstuck.

Human intervention became necessary.  I grabbed a hand towel from the kitchen and went out on the balcony.  I planned on using it to swish above my head to avoid being attacked by a panicked mama bird while I worked on freeing her baby.  It worked.  Mama blue jay screamed at me and swooped near me, but couldn’t get close because of the hand towel that I was waving around and I managed to separate the line from the metal bar enough for the little birdie to get free.  I then promptly returned inside the safety of my home as the mama bird screamed at me for getting near her baby and my son sat on my lap wondering what in the world was going on.

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This is where the little chick got caught. Wedged right between the green clothesline wire and the vertical metal bar.

After that, blue jay mama stayed close to her chick and while the chick continued to explore our balcony, it remained very far from our clothesline.

The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.
The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.
Posted in Parenting, Toddler

Our Easter Sunday

We had a wonderful day today despite the fact that the little guy is sick.  The weather was very nice and we didn’t have to get dressed in a whole bunch of layers to go outside.  Because, of course, now that Charles knows how fun it can be outside, he wants to go all the time.

I got him dressed and the first thing he spotted when we crossed the street to the park in front of our house was a bird.  He, of course, wanted to get up close and personal and try to touch it.

The bird mustn’t have felt that the little guy chasing it was a predator, because it stayed on the ground and just kept its distance on foot.

After a while, I grabbed my son and walked with him to the park.  He had lots of fun climbing up the stairs, going down the slide, looking at me through the clear plastic bubble window and going on the swings.

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When we got back inside, the little guy had some water and a snack and I had fun styling his hair (because it’s long enough now that I can actually do something with it!).

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We also had a lovely lunch with my sister, brother and grand-parents.

As the day went by though, Charles became more and more whiny and his cold was clearly gaining some ground on him.  So, we used a three-fold approach to help him feel less miserable.

  1. Lots of mommy cuddles (because, in his book, daddy cuddles just don’t seem to work when he has a cold…)
  2. Letting him eat what he wants (because he pretty much outright refuses to eat anything when he’s sick and my partner and I prefer he eats something to nothing)
  3. Swapping bath time with a shower with mommy (combining mommy cuddles, a back massage with the stream of water and clearing up his nose with the steam that the shower produces!)

Crossing my fingers for Little Dude to kick his cold in the butt during the night!

How was your Easter Sunday?