Alright guys, you’ve met my mother.
Now I want you to REALLY meet my mother.
There is a bird’s nest on top of a column on my parents’ side porch. It was there last year, and I don’t know if it is the same bird this year, but the nest is back in full force. I think my mom needs a twitter account, because right now she uses us, her family, as her sounding board and audience for all things Bitsy.
The first we heard of the nest was when we went over for dinner one night, she told us all about it, and of course we saw the nest. We left knowing all of the intimate details of the mama bird and her comings and goings, obviously thirsty for more information.
Marshall and I got married only a few months ago, so this is really his first taste of what it is like to be Bitsy Hughes’ child. His reactions are often the best, as her biological children have become a bit numbed to the hilarity of many of her conquests.
With that introduction, I give you Bird Alert 2012, starring none other than my mother, Bitsy Hughes.
Email #1: The baby birds are now chirping, and last night we watched one of them stretching his wings and moving around a lot. He looked like he was going to fall out of the nest so we put down a comforter with newspaper on top in case they fall out. Looks pretty tacky. Now have to watch Queenie. They are kind of big for that tiny nest! Still not sure how many…thinking two since one egg crashed to the ground early on. No way more than three birds could fit in a nest!
Queenie is our cat.
and that’s Zeus behind her. best. cat. ever. RIP.
My husband’s response to this email: Alright I forwarded this to Fox News, and they are in…O’Reilly said he personally wanted to cover it so he is flying down as we speak!
he created this at work. tough job, eh.
Two days later from Mom: Progress…birds are getting too big for the nest…leaving any day now.
Now, I know what you must be thinking. This woman has too much time on her hands. Well, I’m obligated to say that is DEFINITELY not the case. No further comments.
Two days later (in the subject of the email, nothing in the body. Only to my sister and me. I think everyone else had unsubscribed): Now it’s chirping. And his brother/ sister may be dead. Haven’t seen it in days.
Same day, second email, still to just my sister and me (subject: Scary): Can you imagine how scary it must be to learn to fly! This bird is standing on the edge of the nest and it’s been standing there all day yesterday and today. Right now it’s as high up as it’s ever been. He must be trying to get up his nerve. Fascinating.
How long each day, you ask, does she watch these birds? It is a question I have asked myself many times. Some things are just better left unanswered.
I must say this next chain may be my favorite. This email was sent the same day as the last two, only it was sent to everyone, my brother, my dad, my sister, Marshall, and me. Must have been important.
Subject: Bird Report.
The baby has flown! It was standing in the nest this morning and when I came home around 1:30 it was even higher on the ledge of the nest, chirping…obviously scared to jump!! Duh!! I kept watching and all of a sudden IT FLEW!!! to the plant on the wall. It fluttered and couldn’t fly. Then someone came to the house and I had to take her in the back because the bird had fallen to the floor and was right in front of the door. I tried to catch Queenie, but she wouldn’t come in. Now it’s gone! Didn’t get to see if it could fly, but the mom was hanging around. Am thinking the other baby is DEAD. The mama keeps coming to the nest…probably eating dead baby…oh well. The end.
Oh but don’t worry, that’s not the end. She must have thought it was. No no, it wasn’t. My response to her email was probably the same thing that you were thinking, which is, “what a horrible way to end a kind of cute story.” Her response: “well I’m not a writer and I tell it like it is.” I think that was a dig at me.
Marshall’s response: That’s life…you get your shot, and if you don’t make it, your mom eats you.
My mom: Or cleans up your mess!
Obviously my mom thinks that even eating your children is helping them, cleaning up their “mess.” She’s been a mom for too long.
Three days later: The mama bird is back!! Sitting on her nest!! I don’t know what’s going on!
I think perhaps my “get a job” response to that email kept her quiet for a while, or it may have been that the eggs weren’t doing much and there wasn’t much to tell. But don’t worry, she kept us up to date every single time she saw us, or spoke with us.
So a few days ago, my mom called me while I was at work and said “I can’t put this in a report (a bird report, she means. Probably because I told her I didn’t want anymore depressing reports.), but the mama bird is gone. She is usually so faithful, particularly at night, and I haven’t seen her at all since last night. And the worst thing is, there were two feathers on the ground on the porch this morning. I don’t know what to do, I can’t take them to the wild animal center — (me: wait, why not? are you too…busy?…), I guess Wearen (my dad) could do it, but that wouldn’t be until Saturday, and they’ll be dead by then!” I told her to start finding some worms to feed them. She said there was no way she would chew up worms. I told her she didn’t have to chew them, and she said “that’s what birds do! They chew up the worms for their babies!” I decided not to get into other possible ways to mash up worms, as she seemed pretty adamant that they needed to be chewed to be sufficient baby bird food.
When we got off the phone, I looked up what to do with baby birds you’ve found, and I ran across the fact that they must be fed every 15 to 20 minutes. Well, that for some reason sent me over the edge, and I just started cracking up thinking of my mother getting up on a little step ladder with her chewed up worms to feed the birds every 15 minutes.
Next email from mom, same day as the call: I have figured out why the mother isn’t coming around…..the birds are huge. Didn’t realize. They can really squnch (?) down in that nest. One was on the edge a minute ago.
Phone call later that day: “They came in the house! The baby birds came in the house! One of them was sitting on top of the nest all morning and I could tell he was going to fly anytime, so I went and got a sandwich and came back and he was still up there. So David came over to give me my frames, and when I opened the door one bird fell to the ground on the porch and the other one flew right past David’s head INTO THE HOUSE! Fanny immediately went outside and got one of the birds in her mouth, so we had to go outside and save that one” (pause for visuals)
from mom: that was in fanny’s mouth
“…and then we had to go inside and get the other two dogs away from the bird that was in the house! So we had to find that bird, who was in the front hall, and then we had to shoo him out the front door while we were keeping the dogs away from it! This is too much!”
the second culprit. and the arm of my mom’s frame guy. email subject: that was in the HOUSE
the dogs. i imagine they were looking just as longingly at the baby birds.
So the phone call was followed up by the two emails to our entire family with the two bird pictures above, as well as one final email.
Subject: The nest
Rest of email: Has got to go. I’m done. Too much drama.
Well, I went by their house the other day, and sure enough, the nest was gone. In a way I hate to see it go. It sure does make for a good blog post. And my mom knows it’s entertaining for us, she acts like she is mad when we make fun of her, but I know she loves it. And I’m sure she’ll get mad at me about this blog post, but I bet she’ll also laugh about it, because she knows she’s funny.
But for now, the nest is gone, and I believe that will be the end of Bird Alert 2012. I’m hoping they’ll be back next year.