Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's For the Birds! {Grandmother Antics}

So, my grandmother got sick again.  Her cancer returned with a vengeance.  Time is short and precious.  Perhaps it was her medication, perhaps it was brain metastasis, but whatever caused it, she set her mind on getting B and b birds for Christmas.

Now, in regards to Possible, I have mentioned several times that I am not a cat person.  Even more, I would say that I am not a bird person!  Let me clarify, that I am not an animal hater.  It is just that (1) I have a lot of allergies, and (2) I am the only person who cleans in our house.

So, needless to say, on Christmas Eve, I received quite a shock.
We had stopped off at my grandmother, Nanny's, for a quick visit on our way to my Mother's.  We had already had our Christmas Dinner with Nanny a couple of weeks prior, so this was just to be a quick "hey, we love you" and head on up the hill visit.
When we walked in, she called the boys over close to her, so she could whisper in their ears.  I saw them go in the other room and I heard the word "bird". 
A bit confused, I asked, "Oh, did you get a real bird?"  I was thinking she had gotten herself a bird.
She snapped a little (medicine induced I am sure), "Well what did you think I got them,  fake birds?!"

The next thing I knew, my Aunt was bringing out a bird cage with B and b happily dancing behind it.
I could not speak.
I could not believe what I was witnessing.
I could not fathom that my grandmother would do such a thing without consulting me.

My sister happened to pop in, too, she said, "Oh wow, birds!  Did you know?"  I just scowled at her and she chose to remain quiet for her own safety.

Nanny had sent my treacherous Mother (the same one who sent Possible home with Brodie) out to do her dirty work.  She requested a blue bird and a green bird, as she has always designated things (cups, plates, balls, etc.) for the boys by color.  B is "blue" and b is "green".
So off we went with the birds to said Mother's house for Christmas Eve dinner.  My sister had beat me there and had asked Mother, "Oh my God!  Did you know Nanny got the boys birds?!"  My Mother said, "Yes!  She made me do it!  Is Kerri mad?!?"

That was right about when I walked in.

I had a real scorcher planned for my Mother the Traitor.
And I was planning to leave those birds right there with her!

But, in light of Christmas, and of her mother's impending death, and of the joy the boys were experiencing in showing her their new pets, I just shut up.
So Devvy (B's) and Giffy Grinch (b's) came to live with us.  And it hasn't been that bad.
Except that....
(1) Possible hates them.
He has only knocked the cage over once - in the wee hours of the morning, and the Canadian and I about broke our necks running downstairs to rescue those birds.

(2) Devvy had to go and die!
So off I went in secret, to Petsmart , with a dead bird in a ziploc,  to find a matching replacement.  Because the boys will have to deal with my grandmother's death soon enough, I didn't want to put more grief on them right now.

So I pulled the ole' switcheroo and was helped by the same lady who helped my Mother.  She told me she had tried her best to talk my Mother out of giving us "surprise" birds, but that my Mother had told her, "You just don't understand, I cannot go back to my Mother's without these birds!"

Thankfully, the boys didn't notice the change. 
And as for my
grandmother, my Mother reported that she sat around smiling all week, smugly, like the cat who had eaten the canary, at the coup she had pulled off.

Jenny Matlock


  1. I think this is the best Christmas present story I have read this year. Good for Grandma. We do rule the world you know, Grandmothers that is.

  2. Oh my! It's nice to know that your grandmother is happy, but even as an animal lover, I can totally relate with how conflicted you must feel. I hope it all works out well in the end.

  3. What a great story. Maybe not for you or for birdie number two, but for us... yes. A cat and two birds. That will be an interesting combination for a good long time.
    Believe me St.Anthony has been called upon. He just doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry : )

  4. What a precious story, though, I know more trying for you. I'm glad I'm not the one with the birds. You're a great story-teller in your writing and the pictures are dear. This memory will be with you all always.

  5. First of all, love your new header, it's too cute!

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother and the cancer, sounds like she had a great Christmas though with that little stunt! haha
    What a story!! I can't believe what happened to Devvy so soon, carrying a dead bird into a pet store only made the whole new pet thing worse, I could imagine!

  6. Well it sounds like a whole lot of loving is going on at your house right now.....the children will get a lot of good out of this....and hopefully they can keep them (safely) as a sweet reminder of where they came from!

  7. Is it bad that I'm dying laughing while reading this? I would be frustrated, too. But you are a SUPER Mom for biting your tounge.

    And then I laughed again picturing you driving to the pet store with a bird in a ziploc. Oh, Kerri, good stuff!

  8. Oh I know how you feel Kerri! I have never been a big pet fan because of my allergies. It's hard to love something when they make you feel awful! We have a cat that I tolerate. I do love that grandma got them a blue and a green one. Such a sweet story...although I am sure they didn't ask your permission because they knew what the answer would be!

  9. Kerri, first let me say that the photo of your family is sooo precious.

    Now on to the birds--I know it made your grandmother happy to give the boys those birds, but I feel your mother should have been a little stronger, and should have steered her towards something else. No matter what my physical or mental health might be, I would never ever give my grandchildren a pet without first asking if that was o.k. with the parents. Now you are stuck with them! Hope you can find someone to care for them if you ever go on vacation!!

  10. Oh, gosh! I about busted a gut laughing at " the cat who had eaten the canary..." Grandmas really are the best! But know how you feel, too.

  11. Great post and it brought back memories of the budgies our two girls had. I never saw so many tears the day one of them died and the funeral that was planned!
    They do make good pets, especially if you have a male and can teach it to talk.

  12. Dying laughing over here!! That pic of Possible on top of the cage is HILARIOUS!! We are so alike. I don't know which I dislike more, cats or birds! HAHA! I just don't like cats & birds freak me out.

    So sorry about your Nanny. I know what it's like to know that you're going to lose her to cancer. Been there, done that. Cancer SUCKS!!

  13. Oh Kerri! The whole bird story is so...well...horrifically terrific, if that makes sense!! Can't believe one bird died, though, and that the switcheroo worked! Good job!

  14. Oh my goodness. Who doesn't know that pets are not a gift unless you are the parent. And then a dead bird??? aye,eye,aye!!!

  15. I can just picture you walking through Petsmart with a dead bird in a ziplock bag When we were kids, a friend of my moms gave us two zebra finches. We were old enough at teh time to take care of them and clean out their cages. I was really sad when mine died. glad to know you replaced the bird even though you probably did not want too

  16. Oh Kerri I am sorry you have to deal with more pets you don't want. I do hope the boys find some enjoyment in them.

  17. We had birds and a cat growing up. The day the cat got the bird is a warm memory I can laugh at now. The cat, the bird and my youngest sister survived though my sister and the cat were in danger during the early moments of mayhem as we chased the cat with the bird in his mouth. We loved the birds but not the cat so much. Your grandmother has given you a special memory you won't forget.

  18. It is nice that she wanted to make he boys happy , but I second what Judie said. ~Ames

  19. Oh Kerri. What a gracious lady you are.

    I'm sorry about your Grandmother and your 'surprise' gift.

    Perhaps your kids will lose interest quickly and you can donate them to a school or a senior center.

    Or maybe their teachers would like them for a class mascot and pet.

    Whichever way it ends up, I'm happy your Grandmother found a smile...sad, though, it was at your expense.

    Thanks for linking to the letter G.



Kerri says:

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I LOVE reading your comments.

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