Monday, April 14, 2008

The Bird Feeder

Chip, ever since coming back from India has been suffering from a lack of random audio-visual stimuli. Operative word being random. Looking out of any window in India reveals a smorgasbord of sensory delights. People walking. People chatting. People calling out. Cats. Dogs. Crows. Pigeons. Cars. Bicycles. Scooters. All this in a much greater quantity than what can be seen from any window of our quiet, back-to-woods suburban home. There is simply nothing to see here. Sure, the view is pretty, a red-stained deck with flower baskets opening out into a nice green lawn edged with maples. But there is no activity. Save for the odd squirrel - who have decreased in numbers thanks to a neighbor’s newly installed ultrasonic deer/squirrel repellent. The front windows are no better. Sure, they face the road and other homes, but save for an hour or two in the morning when the children walk to their bus stops and parents leave for work in their cars and the evening when they return home, there is really no activity. Kids play basket ball or skateboard but it has been cold and nobody has been doing anything outdoors that much.

So, to alleviate Chip’s boredom while waiting for consistently warmer temperatures, I decided to beckon the wild birds to our backyard. Now I had a make shift bird feeder I had been using for a couple of years. It was a large terra cotta dish where I just dumped in birdseed and let it sit on the deck. That, while effective was messy. Rain ruined the seed and I had to replace it ever time it rained and the birds made a royal mess. As did the squirrels who, I suspect ate most of the seed anyway. So, this year, I decided to upgrade to a proper bird feeder. Chip was thrilled, of course. A small house for the birds and food for them to eat in it? That was enough to make him go completely crazy.

Off we went to the hardware store. We got a plastic feeder, a shepherd’s hook to hang it from and some birdseed. What ever happened to putting out stale bread and other old grain for the birds I don’t know. I can’t believe I paid $5.99 for a bag of birdseed. But Chip was excited and we drove back home. I hammered the hook in our back yard. “Let’s put their dinner for them in their house.” I said. Chip jumped up and down. I unpacked the birdfeeder, opened the bag of birdseed, planning to pour it. But Chip wanted to help and in his enthusiasm dropped more birdseed on the deck than what went into the feeder. The feeder filled, we hung it on the stake. “And now the lil birds will come and sit here on the perches and eat” I announced. I went to keep the birdseed in the shed and back to work on my vegetable bed. Chip, who I thought was pottering around, came running a minute later. “The birds aren’t coming”, he was worried. “Give them a few minutes.” I said. “They don’t know we have put out some seed for them.” Chip had no patience. He ran back to the feeder and standing right beside it started to sing “Birdy birdy come here, birdy birdy come here.” I tried telling him the birds will not really come if he stood there like a scarecrow. But he spent the afternoon calling out to them and wondering why they would not come!

This morning, the minute he got down for breakfast, he looked at the feeder. “No birds there.” He was a little dejected. He hemmed and hawed at the crumpet on his breakfast plate. It was the perfect evil mom moment. “Chip, if you eat your breakfast, the birds will come and eat their breakfast too!” Chip found that logic to be impeccable. He gobbled down the crumpet and drank his juice. And lo behold. At that instant, a cute red breasted robin sat on the feeder and feasted on the birdseed. He flew away and returned with two more of his friends. Chip was delighted and looked at his mother with a new found respect. “I ate my breakfast and that’s why the birds came to eat theirs. Wow, Aie.” He was beaming. And awe-struck. Relieved, I said a silent prayer convinced somewhere out there is a guardian angel for all moms. Even for the sometime evil ones.


Suki said...

Oh my, how utterly sweet!

Feeding the birds brings back so many memories, of a grandmother who used to feed the birds outside in their backyard till she grew bedridden and couldn't move any more. She was a wonderful lady, and it's a bittersweet feeling remembering her again.

I'm glad you had such a lovely coincidence. :D. Some day, you might explain to Chip that birdies get scared of people so much bigger than them :P

~nm said...

Thank god for being your saviour!

It really was such a sweet incident! Hugs to him

Shobana said...

There really is a guardian angel on your shoulder Dotmom!

rayshma said...

absolute guardian angel moment! :D
we'd got a bird-feeder last year, owing to an over-enthu husband who thinks he's Dr Bird or something! the birds would poop all over the patio and Dr. Bird would refuse to clean it!!! now, that feeder lies in one of the boxes which i refuse to unpack till we have a home of our own! :D

GettingThereNow said...

Part-time evil mom saved by her guardian angel!! [Scream the headlines :D]

We got THREE birdfeeders last year. Squirrels got to them before the birds could :( We are going to try again this year. And we are thinking of getting a bird bath too.

Vinita said...

You sure are getting creative in your E ways..:)) That was a good one. Add the bird bath too so as soon as chip has his bath the birdies will be there.


dipali said...

There is a God!

noon said...

Sweet! How he was beaming that the birds actually came...just like you said...:)
I know what you mean - even when I bought a bird feeder (which I gave away when I was pregnant with KG since I just didn't get time to keep it clean and didn't want to deal with bird shit etc at that time) I felt that way - man, having to pay so much just to get the birds to come home...

the mad momma said...

oh come on.. give yourself a break. we are all bad mommas :D

glad the birds came. i wanted to put up a bird bath but the OA is absolutely against birds crapping on the balcony - the bean eats everything she sees! so we have to wait a while more.

Mona said...

aw! i love bird feeders and baths!
and dude, you just got sooo lucky.
what a cute story.

DotMom said...

suki: do write a post on that memory. There something so beautiful about feeding birds and animals.. something calming, don't you think?

~nm: thank god, yes!

shobana: I think I got lucky this time!

rayshma: For some reason.. i never had a problem with bird poop. I mean birds never pooped on the deck when my bird feeder was there. The new one is on the lawn.. so poop away birds.

cee kay: are you trying to kill me. I almost died laughing at the headline!!! don't they make those squirell proof feeders?

vinita: what can you do? :P Now you are giving me more evil ideas. Dotmom likey :D

dipali: tell me about it :)

noon: seriosuly. is there a law against putting old lentils and stale bread out for the birds? And the birds in our area are sooo picky. they will only eat some seed, not all.

mm: pigeons i think crap a lot. can you hand it from the balcony? but yeah.. it can be messy..

mona: now y'all are making me want a bird bath. You all know now what I am going to do this weekend. and yeah I got seriously lucky!

Kodi's Mom said...

LOL! good utilization of the moment, says another evil mom :)

we've been thinking of a bird feeder too this year, mainly to entertain the royal highness... maybe it will help down the milk faster too!

ddmom said...

One more addition to the evil-mom group. At times I feel I go overboard with if-you-do-this-then-i/they-will do that.
On the previous post, I know how exhausting it can get. It was a passing phase with D.

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

What evil? I see no evil here ;)

Loved the "birdy birdy come here" part...can imagine how cute he must have looked saying that :)

Mira's mom said...

Hey Dotmom, very glad that the birds finally did come in! Just hoping that the breakfast continues for long and that the agels just don't ditch you too soon! :-)

Swati said...

So Sweet :)

Poppins said...

Evil Cruella you :) Saved in the nick of time by your guardian angel!

Lovely to read about the bird feeder, how about some pictures?

mummyjaan said...

That's good; I'm sure Chip will finish all his dinners now without his mamma nagging him :).

Isn't it beautiful how enthusiastic and excited children get the minute you say "bird" or "pet"?

Anonymous said...

The birdfeeder is such a great idea. Now, why didnt i think of it ?:)

AA_Mom said...

Ha ha! Nice post. I can so relate to this. The happiest days for my girls are the days the cleaning service maids and the gardner comes a-visiting.

This morning, when my MIL said that they should nap earlier today as Martha (name of the cleaning lady) is going to come and both of them picked paper towels and started wiping the glass door and the coffee table :)

I love Lucy said...

The only bird that ever held my attention would be the sparrow which is an almost extinct species.I could spend hours together just watching the little birds peck at the grains of rice that we would leave for them!
But what a cute sight little Chip must make while invoking the birdies to come and partake of the food!So atleast temporarily,you have found a great way of speeding up Chip's meal time :)

Sraikh said...

Awww very cute

mummyjaan said...

You have just been certified as nice .

DotMom said...

kodi's mom: the royal highness will be please, I should think :)

ddmom:me too, me too. I think I do that ALL THE TIME.

gnd: you are my comrade hehehehe. he looked cute saying that, yes :)

mira's mom: day 3 and the birds are a coming. still.

swati: thanks.

poppins: like kiran would day, Cruella, de ville :) pictures shall come. Now where did I keep my camera? The last I saw it was on a train in India :)

mummyjaan: he has been asking for fish too.... maybe this weekend:)

taamommy: you just did :)

aa_mom: lol. Chip, has a nasty habit of waling inside the door and declaring "the house looks clean" when the maidervice has cleaned it weekly. Ha. now who presses the clean button on roomba everyday, huh? who. it's mommy :P

i love lucy: sparrows are extinct??? where? let's see how long the birdfeeder lasts..maybe fish after that :)

sraikh: welcome to da blog! and thanks

mummyjaan: you are so abolutely nice. Can I turn around and give it back to you? May I? puhlease?

Rohini said...

Oh lovely. I can see this can be used as future leverage and make for many happy (for you), quickly eaten meals ;)

Orchid said...

so his faith in you is restored now?? :) cute li'l chip....and I totally understand his impatience, Li'l A is like that too..and how thoughful of you to get a bird feeder.

And his anti-baba phase over yet?? it is just a phase, you know that don't you??

Squiggles Mom said...

I come back after a month long absence, and you didn't disappoint. What a sweet tale :).

And clearly Chip thinks you're amazing!!

DotMom said...

rohini: i so hope so!

orchid: nah. anti baba phase in full swing. I ahd to drop him at daycare today since he refused to go with Baba.

squiggles mom: aww squiggle's mom.. that's so sweet of you!