Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rockin' Robin

The baby birds growing under our deck have been a constant source of entertainment and misguided biological knowledge since we discovered their nest last month.

Every trip outside warrants an updated photo of the robins in their nest, their tiny necks craning up at the camera looking for food.  I won't touch them, of course, as much as the kids beg me to take one out, because I understand that the mother will reject them and I don't want to have that hanging over my head. My kids reject me enough as it is, I don't need to be responsible for a handful of birdlets in an avian orphanage.  I've got enough on my plate.

But we do check in on them, and they seem to be growing well and getting fluffy with new feathers.  And with each visit come new questions.

"Mommy, are birds dinosaurs?"

"Nope, the dinosaurs all died.  But they are related to dinosaurs-- a lot more than most other animals." 

"Like cousins?  Like me and Ethan and Keaton and Ryan and Jared?"

"Yep, exactly like that."  Trust me, it's easier than explaining evolution. 

"Why do birds come out of eggs?"

"That's just how they are.  They're not mammals, like people."

As soon as I said it, I regretted it.  I really didn't feel like launching into a science-based discussion of mammals, amphibians and all of the other lifeforms I can't remember because in elementary school science class I was too busy doodling and feigning interest in gym class.

But for once, I got lucky and Cael went a different direction.

"Did I come out of a blue egg?"

"No, you know that you came from me."

"But was there a blue egg inside you?"

"No, human babies aren't born like baby birds."

"When will I get feathers?"

"You won't, Cael, because you're not a bird!"

"But Daddy has feathers on his arms and legs."

That's news to me.

"You mean hair?"

"That's what I said."

"Right now your hair is just on your head.  But when you get older you'll grow hair on your arms and legs." 

"And then I'll fly away?"

"Nope.  People can't fly."

"But will I keep my egg?"

"Cael, there's no egg, remember?  Not for people."

"But will I still be a dinosaur?"

And here ends my will to continue, Cael's ability to listen and any chance of me imparting wisdom on the kid.

"Yes, Cael.  When you're older, you will have feathers and fly away.  You'll wear your blue egg shell and go play with all of the other dinosaurs.  You're exactly right."


Sometimes, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Tweet, tweet.


  1. Wow, that's really neat to see the development.. we have some swallows that made a nest on our balcony but all we can see are their droppings. :/

    1. Yeah, they're messy little things! Thankfully this is in the joists under our deck, and there's nothing below it but a compost heap. But they are noisy as heck!

  2. LOL!!! I especially love the line,"But Daddy has feathers on his arms and legs." :) Thank u Cael, for making me smile..
    And thanks for sharing pics of the baby bird! Too cute!!!

    1. Isn't that cute? He's such a weirdo. The birds are getting big- one of these times I'll peek in on them and they'll fly away!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.