08 May 2011

The Mom Thing

For the last couple of days, I've been watching a family drama taking place outside my window. A fledgling Black-capped Chickadee has been trying to convince a parent that it really still needs to be fed. It's a pretty good flyer now, and it's as big as the adult, so it's not very convincing when it sidles up next to the adult (I find myself thinking of this as the female, although I know both parents feed the young), flutters its wings, opens its hungry little mouth, and gives it the sad little starving Chickadee eyes.

The adult obviously thinks this has been going on just about long enough. Most of the time, the adult hops away. The fledgling follows, with more gaping and begging. The adult flutters to another branch. The fledgling follows. Occasionally, with an air (I know I'm being anthropomorphic here) of exasperation, the adult stuffs something into the gaping fledgling maw.

Seems like if the youngster spent the same amount of energy rustling up its own food as it does begging, it would get more to eat, for less effort. But you can't tell a kid anything.

I know what it's like.

Yesterday, Tuffy asked me how they charge for text messages on her cell phone. Um, beats the heck out of me?

She waited for me to continue. I resisted the urge to do so.

At one time, I was the one who sorted through all the eight bazillion combinations of cell phones and plans and carriers, tried to guess which would work best for us, signed us up, and paid the bills every month. Eventually, however, I stopped using my cell phone at all, and Scarecrow only used his in emergencies, at which time he would inevitably find that he had either left it at home, or forgotten to charge it. Since Tuffy was the only one using the darned thing, it seemed reasonable that she should take over its care and feeding. She can get whatever phone she wants, whatever plan she wants. Not my problem. That was a couple of months ago.

At one time, I'd have offered to track down the information she needed. This time, I didn't do that.

I finally explained that if she wanted to find out how she was billed for text messages, she could do the same thing I would do – rummage around on the carrier's website.

She whined (it was subtle, but it was definitely whining) that the website was confusing. Imagine the fluttering wings, hungry little mouth, and sad little Chickadee eyes.

Yup, I said. It can be confusing. We waited to see who would talk first.

If you still can't figure it out, I said, pick up the phone. Call and ask somebody. You're a clever girl. You can do this as well as I can. I wasn't born knowing how to do stuff, and I didn't take care of these chores because I enjoyed them; I did them because they had to be done. There's a lot of that in life. You can do it.

That fledgling Chickadee is still out there harassing its mom (I know it's the mom; I just know it), and not getting much for the effort.

I guess one of the hard things about being a mom is learning to let go; teaching them they can fly without you. As Mother's Day presents go, realizing that your kid can do that is the best one ever.


  1. I bet her realizing it too is priceless as well.

  2. Amazing Chickadee theater you have going on there -- both the little ones outside your window and your own chickadee.

    Happy mother's day :)


  3. LOL and good to let the chick fly! and know you gave them wings to do so.

    But, does this mean that like I gotta figure this cell thing out on my own? The site is nuts so I gave up and KRP is gonna have to figure it out - well it is her phone that is broken . ...

  4. Such an adorable post -- I loved it!! The comparison is so true!

  5. LOL, loved your fledgling Chickadee story! =)

  6. so did the little bird get the job done?
    what you doing?