Feeling Used

As I was eating breakfast the other morning, I noticed the kids taking Tavi, the parakeet, into the playroom.

Tavi is not exactly the easiest pet to play with, so I have to admit I was excited to see the kids making such an effort. I waited a few moments, then picked up my bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and went to see how things were going.

Tavi was perched on the top of the closet door frame, well above where the kids could reach. They were playing with the electric trains they’d recently set up.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Nothing. We can’t get her to come down.”

“Easy-peasy.” I handed my oldest son some pieces of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. “No one can resist this stuff. Just hold up a piece so she can see.”

He did. She flew right to his wrist and started ripping into the cereal.

Moving slowly and carefully, he moved her over toward the train table.

At last, I understood. They were trying to get her to ride the train. Which, I have to say, would be pretty cool. “Good luck,” I whispered, then went back to the kitchen.

I finished my cereal, then went back to see how they were doing.

Tavi was back up on the door frame, and the kids were back to ignoring us.

“What happened?” I asked.

“She was just using us,” my youngest son said.

“For Peanut Butter Crunch,” his older brother clarified. “As soon as it was gone, so was she.”

“Isn’t that always the way,” I said.

They nodded, knowingly. “Yep.”

…which sounds like a bonding sort of moment between me and them.

The thing is, I’d been joking. They, however, clearly were not. Had they encountered other parakeets who had used them for their Peanut Butter Crunch? Or were they connecting this to something that is happening at school?

I have no idea.

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