Our kids are for the birds. Literally. My sister – the coolest zia in the world if you ask her – is a zookeeper, who specializes in Asian birds. To be honest, her job is pretty cool but don’t tell her that; I don’t want her to get an even bigger head. Zia also keeps a ringneck dove named Baci as a pet, and the kids torture the poor dear with love, of course, whenever they’re around her. Anyway, Zia has made our children – her niece and nephews – wild for birds. So, Nonna decided to keep up the bird craze and occupy the kid’s attention for more than a millisecond by having them each get a pine cone, rub chunky peanut butter on it, and then roll it in bird seed to hang on our trees as bird feeders.
My niece was careful to cover every inch in peanut butter and gently roll it in bird seed. She also bossed my husband around until he placed the feeder on the tree where she thought it would be best for viewing hungry birds. The boys were another story. My nearly 21-month-old nephew stood on the dining room chair and ate the peanut butter. My son sat and did the same but also started spitting out the peanut butter in an attempt to be the class clown. It worked. His cousins thought he was the Jerry Seinfeld of the toddler set, and my niece, with a bad case of the giggles, nicknamed him the peanut butter piggy. Needless to say, I finished the feeders for the boys and had to mop the floor…several times.
Still, it was a great project because we had a few moments, where the kids weren’t yanking each other’s hair, stealing each other’s toys, or kicking and screaming tantrum-style on the floor. And we gain three to four minutes per day, too, while they look out the window to watch the hungry birds eat, eat, eat. Zia would be proud.