Little Bird(er)

So, Little Bird has still not decided to..erm..hatch, if you will. Silas was born nearly on his due date (he was three hours late) and I sort of thought this one might be earlier. But no. We’re now at 40+6, for those keeping score at home, and … still waiting. Trying not to get cranky with each other, and failing. Even Silas is in on it now. His friend Lillian got a new baby brother on Monday, and Silas is pretty jealous of her. “Want baby like Yiyan!” he keeps telling me. Seeing pictures of Lillian with her brother seems to have solidified the whole baby concept for Silas. He suddenly gets it in a way that he didn’t before, and now he’s as impatient as the rest of us. He went with me to my most recent prenatal and not only didn’t freak out when the midwife was poking around on my belly, but even consented to listen to the heartbeat with the fetoscope. I wish I had a picture of his face when he heard it. He was enraptured.

My mom brought my old copy of Baby, Come Out! that I had when I was three and we were waiting for my brother to be born. Several weeks ago, when I first tried to read it to him, he had no interest at all. Now, he demands it at least three times every day. On Thursday, he pulled up my shirt, put both of his hands on my belly, and yelled, “Baby! Come out!” It didn’t work.

Maybe it will be today–there are lots of factors, like the Harvest Moon, the lemon cupcakes that JC’s friends procured for me, and the fact that my midwife is supposed to be the maid of honor in a wedding this evening, that would point to an imminent delivery. But maybe it will be another week. Dad said, “Well, it’s definitely a Libra. It’s just weighing its options.”

In the mean time, I wanted to share a Silas thing. This kid is really into birds. I mean, really. It’s kind of funny because I’m not much of a birder. I like birds. I love that one day in the spring when I wake up and realize that all the songbirds have returned. I usually put up a hummingbird feeder in the summer (although I never got around to it this year), and I like to watch them if they are around. I’m not big on bird identification, though. I don’t have a life list. I see birds every day and don’t have any idea what kind they are, and it doesn’t bother me. Last spring, when we were staying with a family in Michigan for two months, Silas, then about 17 months old, loved to watch the birds at the feeders on their back porch. He surprised me by learning all the birds that came. He had an incredibly limited vocabulary, but it included “chickadee,” “robin,” “cardinal,” and “titmouse.”

The first time I heard him count a group of objects, they were birds. In July, he and I were hanging out in the yard, and he pointed up and said, “Two birds.”

“Buzzards,” I told him. “Two buzzards.” Another one came.

“Three buzzards,” he said.

His favorite song, for the past several months, has been “Little Bird,” as performed by Elizabeth Mitchell. Oddly, I had been thinking of the baby as “Little Bird” for a long time before I checked that CD out of the library and shared it with him.

Silas has informed us that he is going to be a “jaybird” for Halloween. JC said, “That’s great! He can just go naked, right?” I vetoed that idea. Luckily, my mother-in-law agreed to make him some wings, as I don’t think I’ll be up to managing even a fairly simple craft project this fall.

My grandma has given Silas several of the bird toys from the Audubon Society. They have realistic markings and, when squeezed, play accurate, recorded bird calls. My mom helped him put them in an old Christmas tree that was dumpster-bound (thanks, Mom!), and arranging the birds in the tree has become a regular activity.

There’s the nuthatch and an osprey, as well as a generic bluebird sort of toy. He also has a bald eagle, but I think it’s upstairs.

We were watching a nature documentary, and Silas pointed to the screen and said, “Nuthatch!”

“I don’t think that’s a nuthatch,” I told him.

The voiceover chimed in: “The nuthatch migrates…” My jaw dropped. The only example he has for “nuthatch” is that Audubon toy.

It’s fascinating to see him have an interest that is so intense and so much his own. Other things he likes are things we have deliberately introduced him to–things that we love. He loves to cook, because it’s something we do together. He loves to watch JC play video games, because it’s a thing they can share. This bird thing, though, is all him.

For his birthday, I got him some beautiful bird wall cards. They are counting cards–from one robin all the way up to ten chickadees–so they combine his love of birds with his interest in numbers.

We also got him a couple of bird feeders for the porch outside of his room. Right now, we have one seed feeder that suctions to the window and another that hangs on the rail. When it gets colder, we’ll put out a suet feeder, too. It took several weeks for the birds to find them, but just in the past few days, they’ve been coming around.

A nuthatch at the feeder (clearly, I need to get better at bird photography)

Yesterday, at rest time, we saw a wren, two titmice, several nuthatches, two downy woodpeckers, and a chickadee. Silas identified all of them except the wren.

Waiting…

His excitement when he saw a nuthatch was just incredible. He was too close to the window for me to get a picture of his face, unfortunately.

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