The Birds, Cue Scary Music

March 12, 2010 by Rieshy

My oldest child turns 18 next week.  It's really not possible.  However, he received his selective service envelope so it must be true.  

All month I've been reminiscing about the poor guinea-pig of a child.  We call him that because we learned how to be parents by experimenting on him.  Before he was born I don't think I had actually been in the same room with an infant.  

When he was somewhere in the 4- 6 yo range he suddenly developed a fear of birds.  Irrational fears were not something I was predisposed to be especially compassionate about. Mind you- I was a young mom and I was not going to have a fraidy-cat child.  

One evening after dinner I asked my son to go fetch a book from the den.  He refused and got a wild-eyed scared look.  Immediately I was annoyed.

"Go get the book, Now," I repeated.

"I can't."

"Why," I asked?

"Because of the birds."

"What birds?  There are no birds in the den.  GO NOW."

Meltdown occurred.  His legs turned to rubber.  I marched over to him, scooped him up, and attempted to squelch my mental visions of him on a playground with a "kick me, I'm a wimp" sign on his back.  We would face this fear!  

"They will fly through the window and get me," he screamed from my arms as I walked.

"Nonsense, it's dark out, the birds are all asleep."

I walked with him up to one of the windows and we peered out together, our noses next to the glass.  His body started to relax in my arms.  There was the beginning of a smile.  Then...


A huge black bird slammed into the glass. I kid you not.  The whole wall of the den seemed to rattle with the force of the bird's impact.

I must have jumped a foot; I've never been so startled in all my life. My son launched himself off the top of my head with the power of primal fear and landed clinging to the ceiling with his fingernails. 

It was the official beginning of my career as a spin-doctor.  Voice still quivering I said, "See, the birds can't get through the glass." 

It worked.  

The strength of the window helped him over his fear.  I however, had trouble walking past the den windows at night without feeling jittery for months afterward.

This was my Feel Good Friday Memory.  Yes, I know that it is somewhat twisted that a story involving inadvertently scaring the snot out of my son makes me feel good.  But, well... it does.  For other stories, memories, and great lists, visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up for-

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Anonymous said...

That's so cute! I remember watching "The Birds" for English class and being terrified for the rest of the week that birds would randomly come and peck my eyes out! Last summer my son had an irrational fear of bugs flying up into his nose and so every time we'd go outside and it was the slightest bit windy, he'd cover his face and run around. :D

My Mercurial Nature said...

Oh's awful, but that had me laughing out loud!! Thanks for the laugh and smile!

Shanilie said...

lol I can't imagine the feeling. Time goes by so fast. Right now I am working on trying to figure out how my oldest was registered for kindergarten yesterday!

Fabulously Chaotic said...

HIlarious. I am still laughing. You are a great writer. I am a new follower from FFF at MBC. I look forward to reading your posts.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Hilarious!! We live in the same twisted world!

My spin would have been "See, the birds LOVE you and are so excited to come and say Hi"

JoAnn said...

That is awesome! I love it. thanks for the laugh!

J.B. said...

Once an adult was telling me about his greatest fear. He had a lot of buildup and then he said it was birds. In my mind I saw a sparrow and laughed. I thought he was making a joke. In his mind, it was probably a vulture. I didn't mean to be so insensitive. I had never heard of a bird phobia.
I wasn't nominated for supportive friend of the year. XD

Melanie said...

This is my all time favorite so far! I laughed out loud the first time I read it and then again when I read it to Claire, and again when I read to Alan just now. Thanks so much for sharing!

Susan Tipton said...

JoAnn- I did the same thing with a man in college who was telling me about the worst nightmare he had ever had. It was about ants- I assumed it was about swarms of army ants and laughed out loud when he said it was the tiny little sugar ants in the dream and they just moved silverware around the kitchen.

Carolyn said...

Oh Susan, I laughed out loud as I read this- which is kinda embarrassing since the nurses have a video/audio hookup in the room and I'm alone in here with a sleeping bub!!
What an awesome mummy moment with the glass comment!! I will smile about this for days :) thank u. ((hugs))
the ants thing made me wince though, I sat my dd yr old down to get a photo in our new garden and she was squirming @ fussing and I did all the suitable threats because I wanted a sweet picture until she did a shrill ahhhh and jumped up- her back was black & moving- what she had been trying to tell me was I had sat her in an ants nest !! :( to this day ( she is 12) she looks, in fact examines the ground before she sits down outside

Susan Tipton said...

Carolyn- We always take a laptop to the hospital too. I'm so glad my misadventure made you laugh.

Oooh the ants. That's a mommy moment for sure. At least you never have to worry about her sitting on anything really dangerous. Do you have fire ants where you live?

Susan Fobes said...

I like humor and I enjoyed your post. (Coming to you from The Girl Next Door.)

Hen Jen said...

oh wow, that's a horrible story, but so funny at the same time! Great job spinning that!

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