I am a stay at home mom. Which is to say, I stay at home now. We raised our two human children, they moved out to live life as adults and now we have 8 new children that force me to stay at home. Okay, well no one is forcing me to do anything except fill food bowls, but you get the drift. I am a stay at home mom.
I'm asked at times what it's like to have parrots. I use our human children as a comparison to give an idea of the emotional attachment. Most understand, and those with no kids have a dog, so I use the puppy analogy, and then they understand.
Really, the human child analogy is a weak shadow. The puppy analogy is a weak shadow of a shadow. Let's get real here. There is no proper example of a companion parrot lifestyle to explain the chaos, devotion, joy, frustration, mess, laughter, confusion, expense, amusement, surprise, destruction and utter bliss shared with a parrot.
This bag of magic beans does not change or differ due to the size of the parrot you would choose. Parrotlet to Hyacinth Macaw the package size doesn't change the contents. At times, the package contains more than you bargained for at first sighting. Just ask a parrotlet parent!
We have a Blue and Gold Macaw, a Scarlet Macaw, an African Grey, an Indian Ringneck Parakeet and four Cockatiels. I like to call this an assortment box. We've got all the personality flavors represented pretty well. I am a stay at home mom of eight.
What does a stay at home mom of eight parrots do you ask? Well I do work freelance graphic design, I write books, I consult, I run/own an online store, and I am Editor for 3 Facebook pages. That's the grownup human stuff. To which you should reply, "So what?!?"
I am a stay at home, work at home, happily married to a parrot loving husband, mom of 8 parrots and my day starts at 7:30 am. First things first; invite Kirby our IRN out of his bedroom cage to join Turner (one of two dogs) and I downstairs for breakfast prep. Our parrots have day and night cages. Every birdy sleeps upstairs in their bedrooms.
Kirby obliges with a proper STEP UP and a big "KirbyKiirby!" flock call. We three go downstairs.
Kirby sits on top of Snickers' cage to dine on last night's pellet leftovers. Turner goes outside. I begin the creation of 6 breakfast bowls for 4 cages. Chopped fresh apple, date, pellets, nuts, flax seed, grasses, beans, pistachios are mixed and selected with care. Well, care that is limited to 20 minutes.
Because in twenty minutes dad will be bringing Snickers and Butters the Macaws downstairs, followed by Felix the Grey. And please let me explain the absolute wailing of loss and howling of absence if these 6 bowls are not in place by the time these three knuckleheads come down those stairs. I've been late for this appointment before, it was not pretty.
Seriously, having two Macaws yelling, "Whacha doin?" and one Grey shouting, "DINNER!" over and over and over makes 7:50 am slightly ridiculous. Even with the best coffee, which I made FIRST and lost 5 minutes of time on, that wailing and gnashing of beak is hilarious. And I will loose a good 7 minutes laughing at them.
Dad goes back upstairs after dropping off the Three Amigos. All four including Kirby go about their business inspecting their and each others' bowls succinctly throwing out any offensive food that I shouldn't have put in there in the first place.
The Cockatiel Horde are in their flight cage for the duration of the morning antics. If they are out, they spend all their time getting out of the way of air traffic. Did I mention all our birds are fully flighted? Yes. I am a stay at home mom of 8 fully flighted parrots.
8:15 am and every birdy has had enough food to get their heads on straight. Now they spend their last 10 minutes trying to find dad. He is in the house, they know it, and I am in the way. Snickers is fabulous at walking up the stairs. He positions himself at the bottom and flock calls at about 95 decibels to see if dad is paying attention. Dad flock calls back, "WHAT?!?"
Guess who says "WHAT?!?" now?
8:25 am and dad comes downstairs scoops up Snickers to go back into the bird room to say goodbye to every birdy. I stay out of the way. I am in the way, until he is not in the house.
That's how things roll right now.
Our front door is positioned in front of the stairs. Just like any good family home built in 1964. Snickers takes position on the banister to watch dad leave. Butters takes the top of the Banister. Kirby takes position on a bookshelf nearby. Felix has his face in his food bowl, but is watching all this play out with his right eye.
Dad leaves with kisses and goodbyes.
Felix is in the bird room yelling, "BYE BYE!"
The door closes and I now have 5 parrots giving me the hairy-eye, because OBVIOUSLY it's my fault he left.
It's 8:30 am. I need more coffee.