What sets him off? Everything under the sun and even the sun itself. I’m talking about our lovely scarlet macaw parrot. I would not recommend these things as pets for ANYONE – it’s true when they say that wild animals cannot be tamed! Why we have our bird is a long story, and it’s not important now because we’re stuck with him. I’m not one to just “get rid” of pets unless the circumstances are extreme. It’s a pet peeve (pun intended) of mine when people get animals and then discard them just because they’re sick of taking responsibility for them. And in a way (though I can’t dwell on this right now because I’m extremely upset with Squawky – who really lives up to his name), I love our parrot and wouldn’t want to curse see him go to another home.
So that brings me to the point of this post – parrots scream constantly. They might be beautiful to look at, but their ear-splitting screams are beyond annoying. They’re unstoppable and headache-producing, and more than once, our parrot’s screams have made our kids cry. We’ve adjusted our lifestyle to avoid his upsetting the kids, and for the most part that works; it seems to be me who feels the brunt of the negative parrot side effects. Thank goodness we were able to move into a bigger house a few years ago where Squawky was given his own room. Unfortunately, he shares the laundry room, and since somehow I was voted the family laundry-doer (gender?), it seems that Squawky’s screaming affects me the most. I cannot do laundry during the day because I can’t bring my young children in the laundry room with me. I do have a basket of toys in there, and they enjoy playing in there because there’s lots of light and a nice soft carpet to lay on. But we get screamed at by the parrot. By nighttime, I’m too tired to do all the laundry, so much of the time, I’m left to worry about when to do it. Ideally, I’d do some here and there in between kids’ lunches, naps, diaper changes and my errands, but then the parrot gets all riled up and screams me right out of the laundry room.
I looked to the Internet for advice, and one site suggested noting his “triggers”. What sets him off and makes him scream? Making the list of his triggers hasn’t helped, however. It’s only made me see that getting screamed out of the laundry room seems unavoidable. Here are his triggers (if you’re thinking about getting a pet parrot, use this list as reasons on why you should NOT):
the sunrise or light of any kind – it’s a parrot’s natural instinct to be quiet in the dark so predators won’t find them. But heavy drapes and a sheet over his cage do not block out all the light during the day, and it’s really difficult to do laundry at night in the dark – believe me I’ve tried more than once!
yelling – any yelling in the house gets him going – kids fighting, kids having fun, just raising our voices to hear each other when we’re in separate parts of the house. He especially likes it when I yell at him for yelling!
singing – if my husband is in a show and needs to practice, everyone has to leave. And not because my husband is a bad singer – he’s actually very talented. But the bird will join in, and HE is a BAD singer!
talking on the phone – any time anyone is on the phone, the bird thinks we’re calling out for him I guess, but he takes it upon himself to yell. So I can forget folding laundry while talking on the phone, which was a great way to pass the time while doing this boring task.
having his door open – closing his door not only muffles his screaming, but it makes him scream less for some reason
something he likes on tv – he has a tv in his room, which was put in there for me to watch while doing laundry. But I can forget about hearing anything on the tv while I’m in there, thanks to the parrot. Sometimes Animal Planet or his favorite show, The Price Is Right makes him scream along with the audience.
happiness – if he’s happy, he will get rowdy and play and scream.
anger – if he’s upset about not getting enough attention, he will scream.
hunger – if he’s hungry, he will scream.
thirst – if he’s thirsty, he will scream.
dogs barking – if our 2 dogs bark, which they do at least 4 times per day, the bird will join right in and scream.
So, I guess for now I’ve decided that the laundry must be a family affair. I’ve gotten upset several times about this same issue and came to this conclusion before, but it’s never worked. My husband works during the day, and at night, we’re usually busy or the kids have their own chores or homework to do, so my getting help with the laundry has not been a consistent solution. The other thing we’ve thought of is to move the parrot out of the laundry room, but if you look at my list of Squawky’s triggers, you’ll see that he must be in a room with a door, which eliminates the other spare room we have on the first floor because it’s doorless. I can’t imagine that he’d do any better on the second floor closer to the bedrooms either. The laundry room is right below my bedroom so once he gets going in the morning, I can usually forget about sleeping in anyway.
Well, I guess I’m done venting for now. I have a good hour to catch up on laundry since we have a meeting tonight and we took the kids to the babysitters early, so I have to make it productive. I guess I will have to blast my ipod and leave my husband to fend for himself on his business call… Well, it is HIS bird after all!
Here’s a picture of the jerk:
Don’t let his cuteness fool you. This is actually a “baby” picture. He’s much more obnoxious looking now!