Freckles in April: I Know it's a Bird, I'm On the Phone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Know it's a Bird, I'm On the Phone!

In order to tell this story, I must first set out three facts:

1. I am scared of birds. Up in the sky is fine. In my immediate vicinity is not.

2. I am weird about germs. I would say borderline OCD about them and in the real mental-health disorder way, not the cutesy quirky way. Panic and compulsive hand-washing have been known to occur.

3. Aaron works from home. He is ALWAYS home. He'll be gone for lunch meetings a few times a month but for him to be gone all day long is ridiculously rare. Thursday was one of those rare days.


Stinky has preschool on Thursdays. After I picked him up we stopped to see a friend in the neighborhood and we were away from home for a couple hours. When we were pulling into the driveway I remembered that I had accidentally left one of the back sliders open. Oops. Stinky went in through the garage door while I got Baby 2 out of his car seat.

Stinky, giggling: Hey, Ma? There's a birdy in our house!

Me, wrestling Baby 2 out of the car: What do you mean there's a birdy in the house?

Bird, flying into the walls and ceiling: SQUEEEEQUEEESQUEEEQUEEEEEE


The three of us stood around in the garage for several minutes while I tried to figure out what on earth to do about the freaky bird of disease and death polluting my kitchen. You know, THE PLACE WHERE WE EAT. This was when the manic crying hyena laugh started.

The situation was pretty funny, so I started laughing. Which turned into hysterical laugher. I laughed so hard I cried. The situation was also terrifying and frustrating so the crying also took hold until I was laughing hysterically while also bawling. And sounding like a hyena. This went on for a while.

I finally pulled myself together enough to be functional and realized I couldn't do anything about the bird from the garage and we had to get in the house. "On the count of three," I told them.

We have a baby gate between our kitchen and living room. In my rush to get the freak away from the bird I pushed through the baby gate which rebounded and slammed shut behind me. I ran off down the hall to hide in my room.

Yes. I abandoned my 2 and 4 year old in the kitchen. With the bird.

(In my defense, they were not scared of the bird, only annoyed at being locked in the kitchen, which they hate in any situation)

We hid in the boys' room (with the door locked, thanks to Stinky) while I made a few calls. Aaron didn't answer. Mom was at work and helpfully mentioned the possibility of the bird getting in my hair (WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT). I called a couple of other friends, none of whom could help me and some of whom couldn't even understand me, thanks to the return of the manic crying hyena laugh.

I was struck by a sudden, horrible thought that maybe the bird would fly out of the kitchen, through the living room and down the hall into my bedroom, where it would then walk on my pillow. So I ran to the spare room, pulled down my photography backdrop and used it to block off the hallway.

No birdies allowed

And then I quieted my crazy sobbing laughter as much as possible and crept to the kitchen to check out the bird situation.

I can't get the sliding door open if you're sitting over it. Idiot.

Any time I got near the kitchen the bird would freak out and then the manic crying hyena laugh would get really loud and I finally just laid on the floor and tried to make peace with the idea that the bird might be in my kitchen until Aaron got home really late that night. The bird clearly had not realized the garage door was open for him and I couldn't get to the slider. We were at an impasse.

Stinky decided to take matters into his own hands. He marched out of his room and declared, "Ma? I'm going to help you, ok?" I opened the gate for him and he stood in the kitchen for a good 15 minutes trying to reason with the bird.

"Birdy! You're being very silly. You need go outside. Your mommy is out there! The door is open! Go out the door, birdy!"

My hero

Weirdly, the bird kind of listened to him. Or at least it didn't freak out because of his presence (and vice versa). Stinky coaxed the bird to the other side of the kitchen. I figured maybe the bird wasn't scared of short people so I dropped to the floor and army crawled to the slider and opened the blinds. Unfortunately, our slider has a lock at the top so I had to stand up to get it.

Bird freak out. Drop to the floor. Manic crying hyena laugh under our kitchen table.

The bird calmed down and I army crawled to the pantry to get the broom. Between Stinky and I (but mostly Stinky, who calmy ate a tortilla while also shooing the bird) we finally got the nasty critter out the door so I could bleach my kitchen and start having nightmares about weird bird diseases attacking my family.

(Title and pillow reference can be found in full hilarity here)


  1. Oh, poor you...glad you made it through alive!

  2. Holy smokes. That is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. I have bird phobia too, which is made much worse by the freakishly overgrown pigeons (?) that live here and have no fear of humans whatsoever. I think it's because the old ladies feed them

    Now I'm going to have nightmares about them invading my house!!!

    Hooray for wee heroes, saving the day! ...and for Clorox.

  3. That was awesome! Thanks for sharing, seriously, thanks for making me laugh. Well, not at you but at the situation. Break out that clorox baby!

  4. This totally made my morning.

    lace, etc.

  5. I love that during your hysteria, you had the presence of mind to take photos. Which means while crying/laughing/freaking, you were more-than-likely thinking, this has to be blogged. Awesome.

  6. Oh my gosh! This reminds me of the time when a squirrel was in my parents' house and my mom, sister, and I locked ourselves into my bedroom. I stood on my bed screaming until my dad was able to corral it. Terrifying, yet hilarious looking back on it.

    The Tiny Heart

  7. This is so funny! Plus your Arrested Development reference! I have the same fear and a story to go with it I'll have to tell you next time I see you. I would have bleached my kitchen too.

  8. That is hilarious! I am dying!!! Only....I can relate. Because if a wasp gets in my house, I act that exact.same.way (except the fear of germs)

  9. I had a bird nightmare as a child, with all the hair flying, bird tangling going on. I attribute it to my Dad letting me watch the Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Not a great idea. I freak out if there is a spider or large bug anywhere near me. I did, when I found a freakishly large bug while rearranging my bedroom a couple months back. I sacrificed my children and got the heck out of there and to safety. They survived on their own.

  10. Awesome story! I'm glad you got it out. Apparently if a bird flies into a grocery store, which they do from time to time owing to the wide-open doors, they have to shoot it after everyone leaves at night. I was kind of worried that was where your story was going.

    I'm glad Stinky handled the situation so well and that you were able to face your fear. ;) Also, great Arrested Development references. I love that show.

    1. Oh man, I would never shoot the bird. Because then I would have to CLEAN UP a dead bird.

      Just typing that caused me to go into mini panic attack mode.

  11. Oh girl. I sure hope you avoid any long-term trauma from this. One time God put a GIANT SPIDER in my bathroom because I ditched church to go swimming and I had to call a friend who lived like 30 minutes away to come and get it for me because I was FREAKING OUT. I still get the manic crying hyena laugh when I tell the story, and it happened like 7 years ago.

    And kudos to Stinky. You should put him in Hero Squad and maybe get him a stuffed seal as an award. ;)

    1. Oh my gosh, I am SO GLAD to hear you say that. Aaron finally returned my calls six hours later and I was doing the crazy laugh on the phone while trying to tell him what happened. And I'm afraid I'll never be able to tell the story without doing it. I'm so happy that's not just me being totally insane.

  12. Oh man, this is the best story ever! My Mother-in-law is deathly afraid of all types of birds, so she would probably be more traumatized than you...I am glad you got it out of there!
    Modern Modest Beauty

  13. Hahahaha! This is hilarious. And I love your perfect use of Arrested Development references! Way to go Stinky!

  14. I loved this! I confess, I'm at work reading this and I'm trying not to cry/laugh out loud. I am so glad you lived through it and Stinky is a true hero, who loves his mamma. I nearly died when you said he was calmly eating a tortilla!!!

    When I was little, probably six or seven, we all went to bed on night. My brother and I shared a bedroom that was really a loft overlooking the living room (Mom & Dad were right next door). My brother of course went right off to sleep, but I kept hearing this fluttering sound and finally thought I felt/heard something near my face. Needless to say I came up fighting and screaming!! Mom & Dad come running and turning on lights, only to discover a bat had gotten into the house and was flying around!!! It took a while to get over that one, so I completely understand how you feel. And Dad got the bat out safe & sound! :D

  15. bahhhhhhhhhh ahahhaahhahahahahaha this is amazing. and exactly why i freakin' love you.

  16. Oh. my. goodness. You're a mess!! This was so funny! I would've tried to pick up the bird to get it outside. Baaahahahahaha. :)

  17. Oh my goodness, this is both hilarious and awful! Stinky is a bona fide hero.

  18. Hero baby! Oh and once upon a time there was a bird in my dishwasher.. For some reason my iPod won't let me copy and paste but search bird attack on my blog.. Haha. I understand your histeria

  19. Argh it's so freaky to get an animal stuck in the house like this. We had a fireplace in my house growing up and birds would actually fall down the chimney. One day home alone I opened the fireplace and a bird flew out, and I spent a good hour & a half freaking out and trying to get it to fly out ANY of the doors or windows I'd opened for it.
    We never got any terrible bird diseases so you guys will probably be fine ;)

  20. So you mean there will be no birdie graphics in your upcoming blog designs? :)

    Cable Car Couture

  21. Oh you poor thing!! Thank goodness the kids stayed calm! When I freak out, my daughter ends up doing the same.

  22. I laughed aloud getting a visual of this in my head, especially you abandoning your children in the kitchen! I had tears in my eyes! I like birds "in theory" but not "in kitchen"

    Katie- Hems For Her

  23. OMG, I totally get what you mean about the manic hyena laugh/cry... I am not afraid of birds, but I am afraid (phobic, as you are) of insects and bugs. The last time a ladybug got into my room, and promptly flew up to the top of my 1.5-story windows, I was hypervenilating on the phone to my roommate in the middle of the day. Similarly, I don't like outdoor picnics... hiking is OK, probably because I haven't been traumatized by a tick yet, but I can't sit outside without twitching nervously every few seconds.

  24. OMG! While I totally understand the freak out and HATE it when I'm in those situations that make me feel like that...I have to admit you made me laugh...hard. I could just picture the whole thing and you're little guy ordering the bird funny!

    Glad you all survived though! :)

  25. Oh man, I laughed so hard at this.

  26. Oh my gosh, while I totally feel for you (and I really do, I have had many a freak out over tiny insects myself), this was hilarious. Thanks for sharing, and phew to the bird leaving your home!

  27. That's hilarious! You should have called me, I would have come over and pointed and laughed at you. What a pansy you were being :)...Happy Pi Day!

  28. hahahahahahaha I cannot even begin to tell you how many times (and how hard) I laughed while reading this story. I would freak out too...oh my gosh what if it TOUCHED you???? Aaagghhhhh!!!!! I love how Stinky was SO sweet trying to save you from the bird and save the bird at the same time. Awe..:)

  29. You failed to mention the photography background blockade on Instant Messenger. Hilarious!



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