There’s still an obsession in our family with birds. I’m not sure exactly how long this phase is going to last- but I’m not going to be left out. That’s why I left our public library yesterday with exactly 8 books about birds. (the other 8 were lovely rhyming books on mice and cookies). Three year old Joey has hardly let go of his copy of “A Nature Company Guide, BIRDING”. I decided not to discriminate against the 282 page book full of small typed words like “attributes”, “daunting”, “species” and “vocalization”. I figured that it also, with a new bird on each page, provided great illustrations for my not yet literate toddler.
It’s a bit ridiculous to look at him lugging that book around. He dragged it from the couch to the bathroom to interrupt me blow drying my hair. “And what is this one?” he asked. I read, “A belted Kingfisher.”
“A belted Kingfisher oh my favorite” he responded. I started the hairdryer again.
“And what is this one?” He asked.
I turned off the hairdryer. “A Marbled Godwit” I read.
“Oh a marbled Godwit my favorite… and what is this one?”
I left the hairdryer on and yelled that it was a “Northern Pinhead.”, I paused, peered closer and corrected, “A Northern Pintail.”
“oh my favorite” He replied.
Today I looked over at Joey and Guy eating peanut butter toast and threatened that the next boy I heard making an owl call was getting a time out. An “owl call” is where they cup their little hands over their mouths and “Hoo Hoo” very loudly. Like loud and long enough to drive me crazy. I know. I’m the meanest mother ever. It’s okay though. They took up “whistling.” Also known as making a high pitched noise while keeping their mouths in an “o” shape. Guy’s not really sure what’s going on. But Joey is super into it. So he is to.
Also today, perhaps trying to get over the slight guilt of two time outs over owl calls, I drew and cut out fifteen birds out of construction paper. The boys frantically colored them while I kept explaining to Joey that yes. I was aware that Robins aren’t purple. A goldfinch is not blue. I told him to color it anyway. I made a tree and we taped the birds in it. On request tomorrow we will make some owls and crows as well. Possibly. There is a chance that the construction paper will be nowhere to be found tomorrow.
Joey asked to go on a nature bird walk today. I told him we only do that with dad. I was not going to walk two miles only to fail at identifying every whistle. We went to the playground this evening instead. But we brought along that huge book anyway. Guess who ended up carrying that?
Tomorrow we will go on a nature bird walk. Tomorrow we will make some owl calls. Tomorrow I will make the decision to either cut out the requested crows on black paper and hear the complaint that they can’t color on black paper… or cut them out on colored paper and hear that crows aren’t orange.
How blessed am I?
Because I’m sure this is a phase. He’s three. It’s a phase. But soon he’ll be fourteen. And the phase might be computer games, or not talking to me. But now he is holding my hand and hanging on to every “chickadee dee dee” noise I make. For now- he’s all into birds. So all into birds we’ll be.