Birds and Pianos and Judges

So this morning we had a woodpecker trying to drill through the side of our house, which has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  Cat 1 came unglued, and with fangs bared and claws sharpened, she took up Woodpecker Watch ’12 on my desk this morning, right here beside my Big Mac.  Woody was just on the other side of the window, drilling the siding to announce his presence to the ladies in the neighborhood, and Cat 1 was in secret-quiet-stealth-Ninja-SEAL-KILL-ME-A-WOODPECKER mode.  Hubs suggested in a text, using all capital letters, “LET HER LOOSE!”

Hubs and the woodpeckers have some history, and Hubs is not a fan of Woodrow.  It all started a few years ago, when Woodrow and his wood pecking family decided that THE WALLS OF THAT NEW HOUSE BEING BUILT WOULD BE A FANTASTIC PLACE TO BUILD A NEST TO HATCH OUR BABIES IN.  And thus the war began.  We used Styrofoam Insulated Panels (SIPs) to build our house with, and Woodrow and his gang of brothers drilled a hole the size of a tennis ball in one side of the house and threw out enough Styrofoam that we could have squeezed a full-sized Poodle in there.

Hubs’ eyes shot green fire lightning when he realized what the birds had done, so he slammed an empty Coke can into the hole and effectively plugged up the house they were creating for love and babies.

That showed them.

Not really.

As construction foreman, Woodrow the woodpecker moved the crew to a new location at the opposite end of the house.  He drilled AN EVEN BIGGER HOLE into our wall, and took out EVEN MORE STYROFOAM.  He and his buddies took out so much Styrofoam, in fact, that they ruined pre-made trenches for electrical wires to be threaded through, and this caused Hubs to paint his face with camo paints and pick up the Uzi.

He crammed an empty water bottle into their second hole.

So they moved to the outside walls, and drilled a third opening to a nest.  Hubs put up a plastic owl that he rigged with motion sensors that would shoot out poisonous darts exactly like a good jungle headhunter would do, hoping to end his fight with Woodrow once and for all.

Woodrow made a fourth nest.  Hubs threw wrenches and screwdrivers at it.  Woodrow and Woodina shared a night, and Woodina sat on her eggs.  This was where I told Hubs, “No more!  Let the babies hatch!”

And then we came to our building site one day, and all the hatched babies — all five of them — were laying PRETTY MUCH DEAD on the subfloor.  I looked at Hubs with accusation; Hubs blamed the blackbirds.

Yes.  The blackbirds, seeing a penthouse situation in the way of birds’ nests, kicked Woodrow and Woodina out, and said, “Take your kids, too!”

I am pretty sure that Hubs and the boy’s BB gun ended the blackbirds inhabiting our walls, although I haven’t asked him.  He simply asked for the gun one day, and the boy produced it, and then we were done with birds in our walls.

But now Woodrow is back, hammering our siding, letting Woodina know that HEY!  YOU’RE KIND OF CUTE OVER THERE, AND I’M PRETTY MUCH AVAILABLE!  And  Cat 1 wants to have him for dinner.

So there’s a long story that has nothing to do with this post, because how can I possibly tie woodpeckers into a piano recital?

The boy has taken private piano lessons for three years, and he is amazing.  I’d call that bragging, but it’s really not… it’s simply TRUTH-STATING.  That boy of ours can play a mean piano.  He plays it so well, people stop and listen and gasp.  In school, the kids have the opportunity to choose keyboarding as an elective, and the boy has picked it every year since the first grade.  This just adds to his weekly lessons, to the tune of FREE, FREE, FREE.

Unless you count the fact that we pay taxes, and our taxes go to his public school, and Hubs would simply say NOT FREE, NOT FREE, NOT FREE AT ALL, REALLY.

No matter.

My darling friend, Miss Stephanie V., is the boy’s keyboarding teacher, and every year she has the kids put on a little recital for the parents, so that we know she’s not wasting our tax dollars, but is, instead, teaching them some Bach and Beethoven and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

The recital was yesterday, and Stephanie slid the boy to spot Number One, because Hubs and I thought we would have to make a mad dash out of the performance to head to the next item on our list of daily things that needed to get done.  As it was, Stephanie kept things running so smoothly, the concert whipped along, and Hubs and I were able to see everyone play their piece.

The boy played some crazy tune that the octopus pirate Davy Jones played on an antique organ in a ship in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  (I’d tell you which one, specifically, but I don’t even know what each of them is called.  The Pirates Movies is what I call them.  I also refer to them as The Ones With Elizabeth, The One Without Elizabeth, The One Where Jack Sparrow Goes Crazy With a Peanut, and The One That Bored Me To Tears.)

Of course, he played EXCEPTIONALLY WELL, and I wanted to stand on top of my folding chair and whistle with my fingers, but sadly, I never learned to whistle with my fingers.  I have regretted this Life Failure many times, because I think it would come in very hand during First Grade PE.

Much to the boy’s delight, his buddies, Enzo, Kellen and Carter, are all in his keyboarding class with him.

Their teacher needs herself some prayers for that, people.  I imagine she has the four of them stationed at all four corners of the classroom, as far apart as she can get them, because oh my word!  Don’t think that a group of girls can talk more than those four boys can, because when they get together, conversations FLY.

Here’s the boy and Enzo.  They’re the next faces of Under Armour.  I just wish that they were collecting some royalty checks for all the advertising they do for that company.

And look who grew!  Kellen has always been a tiny bit taller than the boy, from Day One of their friendship, but now!  Someone’s legs shot right up this spring and someone’s legs simply did not.

Short legs are still hot, Boy!

Hubs and I were very happy that we got to see the entire wolf pack play their pieces.  These boys have grown up in our lives, and we adore them all.  They’ve slept on our family room floor, they have emptied our pantry, they have left garbage in my Suburban, they have eaten at our table, and they have loved our boy.  Hubs and I are praying that little Thing 2 will be blessed with a charming wolf pack of his own.

There’s Carter…

And Enzo, with some fierce concentration…

And Mr. Kellen, himself…

Kellen takes private piano lessons, too, and he flawlessly played a piece that the boy has been learning in his own private lessons.  While I was busy taking pictures, Hubs nudged me and pointed at the boy, who was sitting at our feet on the floor.

The boy was playing AIR KEYBOARD, and perfectly following Kellen’s notes with his fingers!

And then, as soon as we had clapped wildly for Kellen, Hubs and I grabbed the boy and Thing 2, and we raced out the school’s front doors, because we had exactly ten minutes to get to our court appointment.



Which I had never been in before, save for the time I was suckered by our judicial system into sitting on a jury trial.

Hubs and I were there for Thing 2, as we had an adoption proceeding, signing our names and declaring that we would, indeed, take care of Thing 2 as best as we could, and then the judge reviewed the fact that Thing 2’s biological father has basically vanished, and has recommended that his rights to him be terminated, and that the adoption should go forward.



And also?  Well, look who had a court hearing in regards to an adoption JUST MOMENTS BEFORE OURS.

Sister and Sister’s Crazy Husband were there to finalize Baby H’s adoption.

The court should also know that Cousin L, bless her heart, had the stomach flu, and Sister was unable to secure a I WILL BABYSIT YOUR SICK, PUKING KID sort of babysitter, so Cousin L came to see the judicial system in progress, armed with a bucket and a 7-Up, and we all stayed FAR, FAR, FAR away from her.

Except, of course, for when the big kids posed together for a snapshot, right before L announced, “I think I might puke again!  I need to go home!”

Thing 2 was his usual, jubilant self for his first court hearing, but oh my!  How we all love this little guy to pieces!  He has stolen our hearts forever, exactly as the boy did.

It should be noted that this picture was snapped moments before he unleashed an earth-shaking belch to please the court.

Little Cousin H was much more lively for HER court appearance.

She also practiced her VERY LADYLIKE MANNERS and looked shocked when Thing 2 grunted and manufactured a VERY NOISY MESS in his Pampers.

Little H wanted the court to be aware of the fact that she would never put on such an awful demonstration in front of a judge.

The judge, who happens to be a friend of both Hubs’ and Sister’s Husband, laughed through it all, and then he offered the boy $5 in cold, hard cash if the boy could memorize the entire alphabet backwards and recite it for him before his first day of the 6th grade.

Z, Y, X…

The boy is on it.

And finally, there’s all of us, after having signed some papers and having had the judge make some proclamations.  Yes, the snapshot is a bit blurry, but we like to commemorate all of our life milestones with a blurry photograph.

And then Cousin L went home to puke some more.

And we went to Starbucks.  Because nothing says GREAT DAY IN COURT like a good belch, a good poop, a blurry snapshot or two, and a good grande no-water chai latte.

And since there is no possible way that I can tie this up by re-referencing the nasty woodpeckers, I’ll just call it a night.

Y’all have a good one.

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