There’s a secret at our house. A secret inside a house within our house. Three little secrets, to be precise, safely nestled in a little bed of straw and kept warm by a doting Mama.
B noticed that Mama wasn’t leaving the nest much this morning. Later, when Mama left to feed on seeds and raspberries fresh from the garden, B climbed up on a chair and peeked into the nest to see what was doing. She found three, perfect, tiny little secrets, waiting oh-so-patiently for Mama to return and warm them up again.
It seems we’re expecting again.
My first thought was one of excitement and joy, for our first batch of babies grew up way to quickly, and the thought of having another set of miniature newborn birds to peek at set my heart to fluttering with happiness. Of course, my next thought was: We need a bigger birdcage. Quickly followed by: Where the heck would we put a bigger birdcage? And: How much do big birdcages cost, anyway?
But then I remembered that I had absolutely no intention of keeping all four of our hatchlings in the first place. I was going to send them on to other families via Kijiji or posters on the mailbox or something.
Yeah, that plan didn’t work out so well. We’ve fallen completely in love with the babies. Even The Man We Call Dad loves the babies. In fact, he’s been the most resistant to the idea of getting rid of any of them. They’re so darn cute, after all. And funny. Very, very funny. Birdwatching has become a very popular sport around here.
So I swore, after our failure to reduce the number of birds in the house, that if there were more babies, I would be ruthless. Heartless, even. Cruel, at least to the mind of Mama-birds everywhere. I decided I would compost the eggs before they could hatch.
I told the kids about this plan — weeks ago, in fact. I told The Man We Call Dad. I told friends. I told neighbours. (They’ve all been so very interested in our babies and asking if we’re planning on having more.)
So today, with three of the cutest, most perfect, most adorable little eggs sitting in the nest… I restated The Plan. Out loud. For everyone to hear. The kids pouted but took it in stride. They’ll get over it. I said The Plan out loud again, to make sure I had heard it. To be honest, I pouted too. But I’ll get over it.
But then… then The Man We Call Dad came home from work, and the kids told him about the eggs. And then I told him about The Plan.
And then it happened. The Man We Call Dad gave me a rather pained look and asked: “Really?”
“Really.” I said. Out loud. Just so I could hear it.
“Why?” he asked. And then he sighed. He looked sad. He looked at me again with those gorgeous brown eyes of his. And then… he pouted.
So I opened my mouth to reiterate The Plan, just to make sure he understood that there was no way I was going to hatch another batch of birds, no matter how cute they are.
“I guess we’ll need to get a bigger cage,” is what I said instead.
Apparently, I’m a sucker for a good pout.