Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blue... our very own Angry Bird!

Since attending Sean's birthday, Harrison has talked endlessly about birthdays. Being around a pretty good deal of young children, I can say this behavior is one of my FAVORITE things about this age group! Kids this age seem obsessed with birthdays! They want to talk about ages, themes, cakes, and gifts! Harrison has settled on a "Hello Kitty, Star Wars Lightsaber, Toy Story Birthday!" He has told everyone from grocery store clerks to kids he meets at the park about it! One thing that has not changed, is what he wanted as a gift.....

For almost 9 months Harrison has wanted a puppy. I am not sure if I wrote about it, but at one point he and Carter had a lengthy discussion on the subject:

Harrison announced, "Guess what, Mom?! Santa is gonna bring me a puppy!!!"
My response was, "Um... uh... what?!"
Carter chimed in, "Harrison, that's silly, Santa doesn't bring puppies!!!"
Harrison glared at Carter, "Yes he does!!!!"
Carter continued to try and use logic, "Harrison, puppies are dogs. Santa doesn't bring dogs, he brings boxes. You can't put dogs in boxes- they'd have no air!"
Harrison folded his arms and firmly protested, "Yes he does- he is bringing me a WHITE PUPPY NAMED BEST FRIEND BONE!"
Carter and I both gave a heavy sigh, and dropped the subject...

Kurt tried to reason with Harrison. I tried to bribe him. No matter what we did, he INSISTED he was going to ask Santa for his white dog, named "Best Friend Bone" (Bone, for short). He told Cameron all about Bone, he told EVERYONE all about Bone. It was crazy! Finally, accepting there would probably be a "Bone" in our future, Kurt and I took the boys to a few local puppy stores* to see what Harrison was interested in, and to see how we would act around a dog (he is terrified of all dogs, we couldn't understand why he would want to own one if he was to afraid to touch one!). *I am firmly against "Puppy Stores" and would NEVER willingly buy any animal from one. However- we wanted to expose Harrison to as many puppies as possible, so we used the stores in our experiment.

Harrison picked a puppy. The woman put Harrison and I inside a small enclosure, and brought the puppy. The puppy didn't care about us at all, it just ran around like crazy. Harrison didn't seem interested. Harrison picked a second puppy. This puppy was PERFECT. The puppy loved Harrison, played with him, and enjoyed being with all of us. As anti-puppy farm as I am, I was SO ready to take him home (it was a VERY good thing Kurt was there to stop me! The price on said puppy was $1900! And this perfect white french bulldog would have been well worth it!). We left the store, feeling defeated- yeah, there would be a puppy in our future... sooooo, what do we do about our cat, trying to get Santa to deliver the puppy without the kids knowing before hand, vets, registration, walking said dog, etc? Not 10 minutes later Carter's eyes were practically swollen shut- his nose was running like a faucet on high, and he was itching like crazy. Carter is allergic to dogs!?! YEAH!!!! Kurt and I thought we had it made! We talked to Harrison, who (seeing Carter look so miserable) promptly agreed that a puppy was a bad idea. Before Kurt and I could finish our huge sigh of relief Harrison cheerfully exclaimed, "That's okay! Now I can have my birdie!!!" AHHHHH!!!

For about two years Harrison has wanted a bird. I have NEVER heard good things about birds (other than seeing SUPER cute videos of my friend Melissa's birds- but those are special parrots that are worth thousands of dollars each!), and we had hoped that Harrison's obsession with birds would eventually die off (which it did, when he decided on a dog instead). GREAT... SUPER....

We tried to talk him out of it. I tried to bribe him with Star Wars Legos of all kinds- but once we had hit the $400 mark and still had not sparked his interest, I knew we were in trouble. I tried to bribe him with vacations (Disney!? Don't you want to go to Disneyland!?), with costumes (how about 3 new Star Wars costumes AND a Buzz Lightyear costume!?), and with movies (Smurfs, Rio, and Cars 2?!?!?)... nothing. Harrison was dead set on owning a bird. Reluctantly, I took him to the pet store to browse around. With any luck, he would back down once he was forced to see how lame they were... right?

I was wrong. Soooooo wrong. I had been thinking that in order to have a bird that would allow Harrison to handle it, we would need an expensive parrot. WRONG! I was thinking that a bird would squawk and keep us up all night. WRONG! I was thinking a bird would drive my cat insane. WRONG! I was thinking a bird would bite, peck, and hate my kids. WRONG!!!!

Harrison found it. The perfect bird. A blue parakeet. He fell in love the moment he saw her! (oops, him... the kids are insisting it is a him.) The bird was very young, already had clipped wings, and was in great health. The bird had just arrived at the pet store (literally, just taken out of the box), and was very cute. Talking to the salespeople was very enlightening- they made it sound like owning a bird wouldn't be so bad. They actually giggled at a few of my concerns, and set the record straight. So, a few weeks before his birthday (because we didn't want some OTHER family adopting "Blue Angry Bird") we gained a new addition to our little family. I set up the cage, necessities, and toys (all totaling LESS than a single Star Wars Lego set would have been- for which Kurt was thankful!) and we introduced "Blue Angry Bird" to her (I mean, HIS) home. A quick text to my friend, Melissa, for some tips (give the bird time to adjust to new surroundings, don't handle her for a few days!), and we were good to go.

Blue has settled in nicely. Blue now enjoys being held by everyone in our family (wash hands before and after, boys!) and Amelie (my kitty) is uninterested in her. Blue enjoys having her belly stroked, perching on our fingers, and being talked to. In fact, if she hears the boys playing downstairs away from her for too long, she whistles until they come up and tell her hello =p! The boys are being SO GOOD about respecting Blue's desires and if she whistles to them, they are attentive- but if they are handling her and she flies to her own cage, they leave her alone. Blue is interested in Amelie, and has tried to get her to play... at least that is what we think she is doing- we have caught Blue waving bits of fabric around the outside of her cage in an attempt to engage Amelie in play... Amelie, however, just sits and stares- a mixture of annoyance and anger at the nerve of a bird to even look at her. Thank goodness for owning a wimpy kitty, lol! If Amelie is in the room (which is rare, as Amelie doesn't like children and avoids their bedrooms) Blue clings to the side of the cage nearest the cat and follows her. Crazy bird! It wouldn't be the first time one of the boys' pets has harassed my cat- the kids' dwarf hamster, Bob (you know, the one who moved to "Disneyland" *nudge*) loved to chase Amelie around the room- seeing the cat from from that tiny hamster ball was so funny! Amelie must have missed the lessons on the Animal Food Chain. (Speaking of- Amelie enjoys watching Discovery Channel shows about cats- and it is not uncommon for her to try and attack Kurt during or after the shows- in an attempt to be ferocious. So funny!!!! She never attacks him any other time- so we know it is the shows! Moral- be careful what your children (regardless of species!) are watching!!!) Blue loves her cage, and if we bring her out and she gets bored with us, she will flutter back inside. Harrison talks to her often, and it is very adorable to see him bond. Carter is excellent with her, and tells her things like, "Hello Blue! You are so beautiful! You have beautiful feathers, and feet, and eyes- I love you!" in a soothing voice. It is so sweet!!! Blue is quiet at night, and doesn't disrupt our sleep at all. Bringing her into our family was a good decision =)

Happy Birthday, Harrison!!!

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