I like making lists. It’s one of my favourite things to help me pretend to be organised. I even make lists for the birds.
Most recently, I’ve made one of birdie loves and hates. Mishka and Ptak tend to find things TERRIFYING, FUN, or EDIBLE (or both of the latter two). When something falls into one of these categories, they don a wild-eyed, almost manic look, therefore warranting all-caps.
TERRIFYING things include the red lamp, the brown blanket, the study desk, ladders, Charlie, marker caps, shredded paper, pencils, and musical instruments.
FUN things include and are not limited to food, books, fingers, cloth, sheets of paper, window-watching, and the living room lamp.
EDIBLE things are obvious.
If the birds kept a diary – like the human, erm, kind of does – it’d probably look a bit like this (which reveals more FUN things):
The point of making my lists is not just for a mildly humorous blog post… It also helps me keep track of what I need to desensitise the birds to. Ptak hates paper shreds but loves paper? I just have to show him how to create his own. Mishka is afraid of life? Er… A little more complicated, but we’ll get there.
Today, I worked on making the brown blanket less TERRIFYING. This meant inventing yet another new game. First, I folded tiny pieces of millet up in paper, a bit like sealing off a sweet in its wrapper.
He watched me do it. I left the first treat exposed, slightly, and he ripped it apart in seconds. Ptak had already caught on by the next one and seemed to love it, even though all the following treats were served to him on the brown blanket.
The brown blanket isn’t FUN – more like ‘meh,’ if there were to be a fourth category – but it’s not TERRIFYING now, at least.