I hate to break it to you. But your birds expect a lot from you. Well, if they are anything like my three they do. They want to have fun all the time. They want my attention all the time. They want to sit with you, near you or on you all the time. They only want to eat what they want, when they want to eat it. Macaroni and cheese will do. A bowl of spaghetti would be even better. And get that bowl over here pronto! What? No parmesan cheese?

They are spoiled little pigs. If they were children I’d send them to their rooms. And lock the door. And tell them I’m going to take them to the desert and leave them there.

I absolutely adore them. Those little winged hellions mean so much to me.

Do I get upset? Ha! I have never been so mad in my life as I was years ago. There was one time Parker took a whack at me. Pissed? Weak word.

I was so damned mad at him, I had to set him on the floor in the hallway and walk into the living room, all the while swearing like a sailor and simultaneously willing myself to see through all that red that was clouding my vision. Yes, I saw red, I was so furious. What made it worse was the fact that I knew exactly why he did it and that he indeed warned me before. Being a complete idiot, I ignored his warning.

The entire time this is going on, Parker is waddling down the hall uttering “Coooh?” “Coooooh?” He knew he was in hot water.

But I calmed down a bit, quietly picked him up, put him in his cage, called him a bad name and covered him up. I left him that way for a half hour while I gathered my wits and came to my senses. That time out was for me.

Then, I got him out and asked him. Why the hell did he clamp onto my jaw when he was on my shoulder? I knew why, but it wasn’t a good enough reason for me. This was completely stupid on my part. He never did give me an answer. But we made up and soon, all was well in the world.

I didn’t give up. I didn’t plan on getting rid of the little hellboy because, well, I’m just nuts about him. But man, Parker certainly knows how to push my buttons. But through some training, he’s also learned that screwing off isn’t really going to get him very far. You have to read this with the understanding that Parker is once of the sweetest, nicest, most outgoing African Greys you’ll ever meet. But he’s still a wild animal. And I sometimes tend to lose sight of that.

So you see, it’s not all skittles and beer even in the best of homes with the best of diets and the best of intentions. You’re going to have some rough moments. There are times when having birds absolutely blows.

It’s the same with having children I suppose. Or having athlete’s foot. Just because you have athlete’s foot doesn’t make you cut your feet off. It just makes you want to cut your feet off. I’ve had athlete’s foot and I was miserable until it cleared up.

So you just hang in there and wait for another day. You work with them, play with them, take good care of them and have the hope that tomorrow is going to be a better day all around. Because it probably will.