Things We Never Said Before We Had Birds

The Things We Say!. Martin Harvey/ Getty Images

It’s funny how we start saying things we never used to say before we had birds. As we go on in life with our flocks, our habits change and so does our vocabulary. Along with losing the perfectly clean house and the spotless floor for days comes a different way of speaking and living. 

If the floor is completely clean for 15 minutes in the morning, well, that counts as having a clean floor. Because it was clean that day.

The cage was clean that day. It may have only been for about a half an hour, but it was indeed spotless at one time. 

Your shopping list changes and you begin buying food items that make some people scratch their heads: “That’s a lot of vegetables! What are you going to do with all those vegetables?” 

You begin hoarding phone books for your birds so they can use them as chew toys. You ask people in the farmer’s market if they are planning on using the tops on the beets they just bought because you could sure use them.

You ask the vegetable grower if you can buy the trimmings he was planning to throw out because you have a use for them. 

The words and phrases we have had to put together in order to maintain order in the house is astonishing out of context. But these phrases are very real and very much a part of our lives. 

We say them from the minute we get up in the morning until we go to bed.

They are things other people don’t say and certainly things we never thought we’d ever have to say in the pre-bird years. 

Get a parrot,” they said. “It’ll be so much fun!” 

Is it fun? Yes. But as I have been saying for over a decade, “Parrots are cool. They are also a hell of a lot of work." 

So yeah, our lives as well as what we say changes sharply after we invite birds into our lives.

I asked some friends to post some of their favorite phrases they say now that they never said before they had birds. I’ve posted them here along with some of mine. Some of them are priceless!

Stop dropping your pumpkin seed shells down my pants…

Please stay out of my bra!!! I do not need an exotic piercing today!!!

Why do you have to sling oatmeal into my coffee?

Toby! Stop feeding the dog!

Quit chewing on that cabinet door!

Stop flying into the back of my head!

Stop yelling at the mail lady!

Get back up on top of your house and stay there! I don’t have time to chase you all over the living room. 

Get off that lampshade!

Parker, quit chewing on the porch screen.

Stop chewing the furniture!

Eh, it's just wood molding.

Why did you chew that hole in the wall???

Nyla, stop with the potty mouth. I don’t care if people in your previous home talked that way. We don’t talk that way here. 

If you bite her toe one more time, you’re going straight back to your house. 

Put your beak away!

I’m going grocery shopping. Will you check the back of my shirt for poop? 

I’ll be ready in a minute. I have to change my shirt. This one has poop on it. 

Don't Poop on Me!

Pepper, quit whining. I’ll take you out to the porch in a minute.


Parker, quit wolf whistling at the ladies down at the pool.

Parker, quit chasing your sister. You know it scares her. 

Pepper, that flip flop is not a chew toy. I’ve already had to replace two pairs of Nancy’s flip-flops due to your incessant gnawing. 

Quit throwing your pomegranate at the wall. It’s starting to look like a scene from “Pulp Fiction” in here. 

Parker, get out of that bag. There’s nothing in there for you! It’s for…well, I guess it’s garbage now.

You're going too fast!  You're going to hit the wall!

Parker, how in God’s name did you get to the top of the shower stall door?

How did you get out and how long have you been hanging there?

Where is my good shirt? No, the one with no holes in the shoulders.

Don't chew on my shirt.

How did THAT get on the ceiling?

Ow...that's a mole, not a scab!

I don't need my nose and ears cleaned, thank you.

Poop on the perch, Charlie!

Go poo's. Good girl! Good pooping!

Don’t you DARE poop on your brother!

Please don’t poop on that floor. I just cleaned it.

Okay, who took the buttons off the remote?

Please stop pooping in your water.

Stop picking my nose!

I am really touched that you regurgitated for me, but remember I am your mommy.

Stop humping my foot.

"Excuse me, can I have those newspapers?" (at the recycling center)

Yes, having birds in your life doesn’t just change the way you live. They change the way you speak.