During our daily pandemic pandemonium, it is clear that not every week of homeschooling and teaching from home is good. Actually, most of them are not, but this week was extra not good. Now that the weekend is here, I can finish cleaning up the bird poop and feathers all over the walls of our bedroom. I might also be able to catch up on the laundry from last weekend when our washing machine door would not open. Our almost nine year old daughter will tell you the door is “glitchy” her second favorite word next to “cringey.” Sometimes the door stays locked after the cycle ends, and when that happens I can normally just unplug the machine or shut off the circuit breaker and by magical miracle the door always opens, somehow resetting herself right. However, this was not the case. She must have been really upset about the laundry coming her way.
One might also think because I’m working from home, the laundry is always caught up, folded and put away; however, that is also not the case. In fact, I think the laundry situation is actually worse since we are working and learning from home, despite us letting our son wear the same outfit for multiple days in a row, except when he talks to his teachers. I wouldn’t want them thinking he never changes clothes! So, I Googled and Youtubed and found some man who described that I would need to remove the front part of the washing machine. Sure thing. I asked Geoff if we had any of those funky star shaped kind of screw drivers, and he even knew where they were located. However, what he could not do was actually complete the task for me since the screws were on the very bottom of the washing machine. In my very attractive pajamas, I laid on the bathroom floor to unscrew the face, which really required my more streamlined body from 1997 and not COVID 19. From there, I was able to unlock the damn door.
So that the night the bird, a tree swallow, in fact, flew into our home when our son was letting the dog out to pee before bed, I just about laughed out loud. Carver’s first shriek came when the bird, who was trying to build a nest outside our back door, swooped in and over him and headed toward his dad. The second shriek was probably when he realized his dad was going to kill him for accidentally letting a bird in the house. However, I could not laugh because Geoff hates, hates, hates swooping birds of all kinds; he was attacked by cardinals as a kid. CLEARLY TRAUMATIZED. I’ll spare you the obscenities, but they ended with him and Greta heading out to the garage where he locked the door telling our daughter not to let anyone (meaning me or Carver) come in under any circumstances unless the breezeway door was closed. I calmly was able to trap the bird in our bedroom and sent Carver for the big fishing net. Please understand, I did not want to kill this bird but knew she could not remain living with us inside the house.
Of course, I took a few pictures of her and took the screens off the windows hoping she would just fly back outside into the night. I shut the lights off at one point and set up lanterns to guide her to the window sill which was a terrible idea because in the darkness she was less good at avoiding me. Carver returned with his down-hilling helmet and ski neckie to “protect” his head from future swooping. My goal was to tire her out so I could catch her either with a sheet or the net. Neither kid is afraid of birds- yet- thankfully so I one point they were both in there with me trying to scare the bird out the window when all they successfully achieved was her pooping EVERYWHERE. Little gray feathers stuck in bird poop on pale blue walls, an image I’ll never forget.
Eventually though, she settled on a shelf, weary and wide eyed. I took a shirt from the laundry pile and dropped it on her little body, scooped her up and took her back outside. Her partner was probably waiting in the darkness for her I hoped. She was clearly stunned and did not move from the ground for a second, and I worried we had perhaps given her a heart attack. My family can do that. We are a lot most days. Finally though, she flew away, and they haven’t tried to rebuild the nest again.
So, like the washing machine and the tree swallow, I’m going to take some time this weekend to reset. A little bike ride with the family. A little yoga. A little leaf blowing. A little leveling of our tree house base. A little not yelling at my kids to be quiet because I’m having a writing conference on Google Meet with a senior just about to take their AP Language and Composition exam next week. Maybe even a little fire pit to round out the weekend. Hang in there my friends– none of this at home is pretty, and I’m sorry if your weeks have been extra hard. Maybe this will make you laugh because we can’t make this stuff up, right? This too shall pass.