Crappy Baby and the Backyard Birds

We’ve been really busy with sickness and husband-out-of-town-ness. For over a week.

It has been brutal and is the reason I haven’t answered any emails to the point where people are sending me second emails “did you get my email?” followed by third emails “are you okay?” and so on. I’m just catching up today and finally have a few minutes to write.

It was just yesterday when I realized that everyone is healthy again and we’re back to normal…

We’re in the backyard. It is a beautiful, sunny day. I’m sitting on a patio chair looking out over the yard.

So peaceful.


I’m watching the cute little birds pecking in the grass under the apple tree.

Then suddenly:


Crappy Baby comes tearing through my peaceful scene and screaming at the birds.


I ask him why he is scaring the birds.

I assume that he is going to tell me he is pretending to be a monster or something. In which case I’ll tell him it’s not nice to scare the birds and blah, blah, blah.

Instead, he looks almost hurt. Misunderstood.


Then he explains:


I can’t help but laugh at the thought of birds needing “help” back into the trees. He explains that birds are “supposed to be in trees” so he is just helping them get off the ground.

And with that, Crappy Boy laughs his butt off. And can’t help but join in too:


They weren’t satisfied until they “helped” all the birds back in the trees. And of course (being backyard birds who are used to us) they kept falling back down to the ground.

It was a hilarious scene. It ended a few minutes later with them giving up “the birds can’t stop falling down!” and laying down on the ground laughing. Together.

This marked the first time in over a week that they ran around and played happily together. So glad we’re back here.

And huge thanks to the birds for putting up with it.



I’m sure there are roughly 3.2 people who are offended by the idea of scaring innocent birds. Sorry. I could say a whole bunch of snarky stuff about how these birds fly into the trees even when I calmly walk across the yard so maybe you’d like me to respect them and never go outside again. Or how really, it’s our yard and they’re just trespassers shitting all over it. Or how their brains are so small that the moment they fly up into the tree they’ve forgotten the whole thing so relax, this won’t land them in therapy. But I won’t. We actually like our birds. We have a couple bird feeders that we keep stocked and a birdbath and a subscription to Birds & Blooms. We’re on the birds’ side. So there. ย 

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113 Responses to Crappy Baby and the Backyard Birds

  1. Emily says:

    After geese made us deathly afraid of birds (they attacked my sister… horrified me)… I’d consider it even.

    • Hah says:

      I too am deathly afraid of birds, since I was a toddler. My grandparents house qualifies as a bird preserve and it’s so beautiful, but I can barely go out there during family parties. I actually had to have my 10 y/o scare a bird off my porch so I could get out of the car in the driveway. And I have had to call my baby brother (also scared of birds just not as bad, he was attacked my a parrot in a hotel when he was 12) at work to get a bird out of the house, while I hid locked in a bedroom. I can’t go in pet stores.
      I got side tracked. I would require the kids to help them back into trees, just so I could sit on the porch.

    • neal says:

      My three-year-old daughter and I go to feed the ducks at the all the time. Though she frequently tries to get them to eat little rocks, I didn’t think she had anything against the birds. Until one day she grabbed my hand and looked pleadingly up into my eyes.

      “Dad, I want to kick a duck.”


      “A duck. Can I please kick one?”

      “Um. Well. Okay, go ahead.”

      I don’t have any hard feeling towards ducks, but I knew she wouldn’t be able to catch them, and those chubby fowl and my daughter both probably needed the exercise. So, win-win.

      • Amy says:

        I like that she asked, with a please, if she could kick a duck. Sorry, but that kind of made my day. I love ducks but that’s just hilarious and cute.

  2. Wendy says:

    It’s just so sweet when they start to really play together. Glad you’re all feeling better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. rachel says:

    Haha that was a cute post. Glad it’s warm there it’s snowing here in MO.

    • SassyDandelion says:

      Oh, lord! We’re in southwest Missouri and we have an Ozarks-style blizzard going on here!

      • Emily says:

        Ohhh.. I’d love to have some of that snow. We *barely* made it to the end of the ski season here…. It’s going to be getting too warm out soon…

  4. Jill says:

    I love that you wrote all that bird stuff and then have a subscription to a birding magazine. You are full of suprises! I love this post!

  5. Anne says:

    Awwwwww, that is really adorable.

    Hooray! A real post from you, I’ve been really missing your crappy posts and so glad you are better now for selfish reading reasons. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Taryn says:

    LOL what a cutie.

  7. Rach says:

    Helping the birds, lol. Kids are so funny!

  8. Sarah says:

    So glad things are getting back to normal for you. It’s so hard to have your husband gone, even without sick kiddos. I bet it was a nice break, even so.

  9. The post itself was awesome, but the explanation about the birds at the bottom was the best part. Thank you for always brightening my day.

  10. JessicaC says:

    This gives me hope that we will one day be playing in the yard too. we have had 6 colds circulate through our home since Christmas. It feels like we will never be well again.

  11. Lalithe says:

    Is it just me or are the pictures getting a lot cuter and less crappier ? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ali says:

      I thought the same thing when I saw the opening picture! I was glad to see the boys look the same! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Just finished reading your book. LOVED it!! Yay!! Write another one, you’re awesome! I’ve been reading your blog for… at least a year I think, probably longer. Always entertaining and it was great to read all the new stories in the book. Seriously, write another one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. amy hardin says:

    It’s a shame that you have to worry about snarky people with such a sweet story…ignore those dingies and have a great time with your kids!

  14. Erika reyna says:

    Love this!

  15. Sam says:

    Hate birds! Black swans especially! Scary little buggers haha chased me and my bub across the other side of the park. And they hurt when they sneak up on you and bite! Lol

  16. Erin says:

    LOL, I rather dislike birds so scare them all you want! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. I’d like to see your kid interact with birds in the same space as my father and grandmother. They have this thing about birdwatching, which to me is the most boring hobby known to man. I think your kid would liven up their sessions.

  18. Andrea says:

    If I could sit down for 5 minutes and the kid would entertain himself without asking for my attention, I would bring on birds, giraffes and a wagon of monkeys and let him go at them all. The way things are right now he only terrorizes our male cat who first pretends to be masochistic and lets him do anything to him and then develops a psychotic disorder and pees around the house. Good to hear you all are better and happy to see a new post from you!

    • SassyDandelion says:

      Our cat and son were the same way. We had to kick our cat out of the house (don’t worry, he has a pimpin’ heated/AD’d cathouse) because he started biting everyone. HARD.

  19. Lily says:

    I think your baby’s response is charming. As an animal lover (and especially a bird lover) I think his empathy is sweet.

  20. Nicole says:

    Lol. This is a cute story! I love it! I hope when my son is born that I can watch him “help” the birds in our backyard into the trees. Hope you’ve later explained to them that the birds were searching for food for their chicks afterwards.

  21. tara says:

    Hahah that’s so cute! “Helping” the birds.

    I’m sorry you had to add the disclaimer, but it made me laugh!

    Glad you guys seem to be feeling better!!

  22. Kami says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you are all better. It’s so hard when you are alone with sick kids and, oh yeah, you are sick too. LOL! Grant (2 1/2 y.o.) loves to chase the birds up the tree too. I’ll have to ask him if this is why he does it. It’s really so clever of Crappy Baby though. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather!

  23. Robin Jingjit says:

    How funny! Every time we see birds (pigeons, mostly, we’re city dwellers) I give the boys a nod and they go rushing up to them to set them flying. Birds land again, boys rush again. I has never once occurred to me that we shouldn’t scare birds. I wouldn’t let them hurt animals, just a little scare. To be honest, I’m still pretty tempted to go running through the flock myself. It’s fun!

    • Got to admit I love menacing pigeons. But I don’t run through the flock, instead I choose one and follow it, far enough back that it doesn’t fly off but close enough that it’s worried and walks away. It’s insane the amount of fun I get out of it running in circles watching me. Does that make me a stalker? Oh well.

  24. Hayley says:

    Cute. =)
    I wouldn’t worry about those 3.2 people. They don’t matter. Especially that 0.2. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. rye says:

    ” Or how really, itโ€™s our yard and theyโ€™re just trespassers shitting all over it.”


    • Dawn says:

      I loved this part too! My mother is constantly throwing stale bread onto her front lawn for the birds. They swoop down and my son watches them from the porch. Sometimes though, my mom comes out and her front porch and door are covered in bird poo…I tell her that she needs to start taking orders from the birds, they obviously didn’t like her menu that day!

  26. Rachel says:

    OMG, this is hysterical. Glad everyone is better. And the most entertainment I ever got frm my son was running around the park chasing birds for over an hour when he was three. He was so happy and we were also feeding the birds, so I consider it all a wash. The birds ate and exercised. And so did my kid. Happy times.

  27. Emily says:

    My toddler says the following things when he sees birds out in the yard or the trees: “bird, tweet!” and “hug bird”. The latter is followed by him endeavoring to chase the bird down to give it a great big hug. Somehow, he never manages, but keeps trying anyway!

  28. Brenda in IL says:

    your post-script is the best!!!!!!

  29. Alison says:

    haha, that’s so cute and amusing.

  30. Mandie says:

    Just so you know, I still find it amusing to yell “penis!” when the pizza delivery man shows up ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. Leah says:

    Too funny, your very talented I love your crappy blog. Don’t let your self get bitter about the 3.2 people. But please continue the hilarious disclaimers!

  32. Eh, who cares about birds moving around less than 100% voluntarily? They’re FINE.

    I was tossing up buying your book for my sister….then discovered she’d already bought one. Nice! Hope you don’t have to do too much more promotion. We’re cheering from all the way in Canberra, Australia.

    Louise Curtis

  33. Genipher says:

    We have two backyard chickens so I totally understand about the bird crap!

    • wilma fingerdoo says:

      We have two German Shorthaired Pointers (Bird dogs) who have pretty severe OCD Bird. They chase them (once up a tree- that was fun getting her down) and bark at them non-stop. They’ve eaten the slats in our wood fence to get out of the yard to catch them.

      I wish I could put up signs to warn the birds but I don’t speak bird. We don’t put out bird feeders anymore or bird baths but the stupid ones still come in our yard. They must be suicidal.

  34. Parker says:

    When I was a kid we tries to have bird feeders in our backyard in Florida, but they quickly turned into squirrel feeders. Seriously like hundreds would show up. It was insane. My brother and I started spreading bird seed on the ground then taking our rope swing and climbing a big ladder and waiting for an army of squirrels to gather beneath us. Then we would swing out over them and they would stampede squirrel fashion (all zig-zagging back and forth randomly). It was hilarious ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Olivia says:

    So glad you’re back to happy! But wait–don’t you know that when the other adult/husband is out of town you get to do fun stuff like let your kids watch way too many videos, eat only white food, have dessert every night, etc? You’re free of all grownup expectations. Now that he’s back you have to live up to all this “good parenting” stuff again.

  36. sandy says:

    Your post reminded me of a bird we had who according to my daughter (2 at the time) “dropped his legs” in our yard. We didn’t tell her the bird had been killed by a cat. :'( Luckily in the neighborhood we are now in isn’t in the country….my cats are all inside and I haven’t seen any outdoor ones around. The birds are much better at keeping track of their body parts!!

    • TNMom says:

      Oh my, she would hate it at our house! My two cats kill every rodent on the property, eat half of it, then leave the beheaded carcas in the garage. Mice, birds, squirrels, moles, you name it! My hubby has a designated hand broom and dust pan just for dead stuff. LOL. I love it!

      • SassyDandelion says:

        Oh, Lord! My son was watching our (rather inept) cat chasing the birds and squirrels the other day and said that he hoped that he would catch one some day.
        I had to explain to him what cats do when they catch said animals.
        Although, our cat has some type of mental malfunction because he DID bring a bird home once. Carried it quite a while (20 minutes or so). When he got up on the back deck, he opened his mouth slightly and the bird flew off completely unharmed.
        Both our pets (we have a dog too) will sit and lick our back window. No joke. They’re retarded in the appropriate use of the word.

  37. Mariah says:

    I feel like scaring birds back up into trees is very tame compared to what I saw some unruly boys doing once. They were trying to hit a bird with a rock so it was injured or disoriented enough that they could catch it. Really?

  38. Janae says:

    My only complaint about the birds is that they are so dang cute and I’m starting to suspect you can ACTUALLY Draw! Lol! Anything that gets my kids to laugh and play together I’m pretty OK with. Especially after this long crappy Colorado spring/winter.
    I might draw the line at throwing rocks at them but only if their aim gets better. Yay for happy days!

  39. Trisha W. says:

    I love it!

  40. Slinky says:

    Better than all the little boys on the ranch running the turkeys to death, only to find them with sticks up their bums & replanted in neat rows. When grams looked out the window & thought WTF? The boys reminded her that she said if you plant them & water them they will come to life, granted she was talking about crops or flowers but it’s been a funny story for 40 years

  41. S Harris says:

    Well if the birds quit being scared of people they’d probably get stepped on!

  42. Tracy says:

    Crappy Baby, “I’m on it.” Hilarious!

  43. Sabine says:

    Omg this is such a cute story!

  44. helen says:

    So glad ur all better, its naff being ill. That story made me laugh, reminds me of my little girl running round trying to give feathers back to birds!

  45. TNMom says:

    I hate birds, to the point of phobia, so scare away crappy boys!

  46. Lauren says:

    that’s so stinkin cute!!

  47. Erica says:

    Hahahaha! I love it!

    Before I had kids I was so righteous about how MY CHILDREN were going to be incredibly compassionate toward animals a la St. Francis, etc., and the reality is that I completely sacrifice that entire ideal just to buy 5-10 minutes of entertainment for them. “Sure, haul the cat around in your miniature shopping cart, as long as it buys me another minute on the couch.”

  48. Priscilla says:

    That is so cute!

    My 3yo little one likes to yell at the birds “Birdy, get off our roof!!” Because they don’t belong on the roof.

  49. MM says:

    Glad your back – it seems April was the sickness month – we have been down for almost three weeks and I know quite a lot of friends who had similar problems. I really liked the post about helping the birds up the tree.

  50. Alan says:

    Love this.

    My little guy loves chasing the pigeons. He tells me he’s going to catch them, wrap them in a blanket, tell them “it’s ok, pigeons” and bring them to the market for lunch

  51. Jennifer says:

    Your pictures are getting less crappy all the time. I looked at that first pic and thought, wow, that’s really good!

  52. I love your disclaimers. It’s like a second, bonus post at the end of every post. Glad y’all feel better!

  53. Jessica says:

    I can relate to this one. My 2 year old was sick and yesterday was the first day her and my 4 year old got to go outside and play together since she was feeling better. Instead of birds, they catch frogs in their little nets but then scream if the frogs get too close, all the while holding their arms up and screaming “Frog Hunter”! Glad your life is starting to get back to normal!

  54. KpMcD says:

    Your disclaimer really cracked me up. I want to meet the person who is offended by two kids playing outside in the yard instead of sitting with their noses 2 inches from a tv screen.

  55. Shell says:

    What a great story and treasured memory.

  56. Nick says:

    Your first picture was not crappy enough. I thought I was at the wrong blog.

  57. diane says:

    I am in the camp of “sometimes the birds have it coming.” Geese and swans can be especially frightening, and I went through a long period of my childhood afraid of ducks because they seemed especially assertive. Plus, the pooping and the 5am peeping.

  58. 12tequilas says:

    Anyone else think “Crappy Baby and the Backyard Birds” is a good name for a band?

  59. Lindsey says:

    When I read this post all I could think was, “What an awesome non-messy way for them to waste time while mama relaxes. I need to get my kids to help the birds back in the trees!”

  60. Nikki H says:

    I’m glad y’all are well. Cute story! But the disclaimer is hilarious.

  61. Carol says:

    This is an adorable story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. JoKateG says:

    Love this one! Just got around to ordering your book too! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for all the laughs, you really brighten my days.

  63. Laurie says:

    Love your perspective on life. For those days when they are not getting along so well check out this post and the tee shirt for fighting kids.

  64. Lisa Newlin says:

    I lovethat crabby baby wanted to help the birds. What a sweet baby with a saweet yellow diaper.

    On a side note, I’m ridiculously impressed with your ability to draw brown birds. You’re a pro!

  65. minnie says:

    I once had a woman scream at me because my girls were chasing after some ducks at a duck pond. “LEAVE THE DUCKS ALOOOOONE KIDS!!!!” I WAS trying to keep them from doing anything mean to the ducks, but no chasing them? Good luck. I actually left the pond in tears after she reamed me out for “having too many kids” and “not being able to control them”. Of course, later on I was pissed and thought of all the snarky comebacks I could have used….

  66. Mariah says:

    I remember the time my brother and I went exploring at the gym my mom went to. We went outside through a door that locked behind us (we didn’t know and this was a huge part to my mom’s embarrassing moment). We climbed a tree that was at the back of the gym. Oh, look a nest with baby birds! That’s so cool. Mama bird comes back and finds us staring at her nest. And proceeds to dive bomb us. She chases us around and we’re screeching and screaming, ducking and running. We were just looking! We run for the door and the safety of the gym. The door is locked! Jesus help us! The bird is not accepting any apologies, she’s out for blood. We bang on the door until the janitor hears us and lets us in. He is concerned enough about our hysterics to walk us to our mom, and explains the situation in front of her ’80’s era aerobics class. She was embarrassed. Now I’m suffering public humiliation at the hands of my own littlies.

  67. Leanne says:

    Can I just say that I always love your little PSs/disclaimers at the end of your posts? Because I know you’re right…there is always going to be that ONE (or 3.2) reader(s) who is offended at whatever the heck it is you’re writing about…

  68. Maddi says:

    Lovely post. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy! Just finished reading your book so I was glad to see you post again so I could get my Crappy fix!

  69. Heather says:

    Glad you are all feeling back to “normal”… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sad that you have people posting that they are offended by things like this, to the point where you have to write a disclaimer.

  70. Angela says:

    this is so funny because my 3yr old just started chasing after the birds. then later, after a day at the park chasing them, he had a nightmare, I asked him what he was scared of and he said “birds”

  71. Robonanny says:

    Yay for the boys being recovered enough to play nicely – and Crappy Baby’s thought processes are awesome!

    My son is scared of birds (he was bitten by a swan once) and manages his fear by getting the birds to fly away… I figure he’s not hurting the birds so have at it, kiddo.

  72. mrsmouthy says:

    I adore your boys, and I so appreciate the parallel lives we are living. If you want a couple laughs, pop on over and see what my own crappy baby (who is actually crappy middle child) did yesterday. Hope you keep feeling better!

  73. He was helping! How sweet. and funny. My crazy three year old would do the same thing- act like a crazy and then stand there with his feelings hurt. Then go back to crazy.

  74. Liz says:


    This reminds me of my 3yo daughter’s idea of “helping” the snails…I told her that they live in the garden so when she sees them on the sidewalk she picks them up and literally throws them into the nearest bushes. When I asked her why she was doing it, she said she was “helping them get back home.”

  75. I have the same conversation with my three year old, only instead of tormenting the birds outside it’s the budgies and parrot that we cruelly keep locked indoors with all the treats and toys they can want.

    Oh, and the bunny too, only I’m not sure why he needs to get back in a tree.

  76. Becky says:

    Bwahahahahahahahaha….(or whatever is the current fave for “coffee squirted from my nose when I read this”)

    Thanks for brightening up my morning ๐Ÿ™‚

  77. Very “out of the box” thinking ๐Ÿ™‚ Our brains, as boring adults, just don’t function like this. Too bad.

  78. Chris says:

    Just catching up on posts, scrolled past the magic moments post and thought about some moments with my kids, then saw the picture of the birds under the tree, and flashed back to a moment last year. My Dad was over from England (I live in Australia) and was staying with me and the family, it was the first time he’d met my kids IRL. My Dad is a mad keen bird watcher and general naturalist and was having a fantastic time photographing all the wonderful birds here. I’d taken him and my two kids (my son who was had just turned 4 and daughter just turned 2) to the Botanical Gardens. My Dad had just lined up carefully to take a photo of a small group of small native birds who had been hopping in and out of the bushes, he’d just got them lined up when my son burst past him roaring at the birds to make them disappear back into the bushes. My dad and I just looked at each other and laughed. I could tell he was a little disappointed he didn’t get his shot, but couldn’t help but see the funny side of it. Good times. Thanks for reminding me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Joey Tripp says:

    My two and three-quarter year old (yes, I taught him to say that, it’s funny!) has been trying to catch a bird since he started walking at nine months – still hasn’t caught one mind you but he’s going to do it one day. I just want to know what’s going to happen if he ever does catch one.

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