I Hate Pigeons


The blasted rats with wings.

“Coo. Coo. Coo.

“I hate you.”

It all started back when my daughter was three months old.


It all started when I was pregnant with my daughter and we moved into a rental home.

There was a rustling in the eves. I looked up. And a thousand pigeons stared down at me.

“Oh. Aren’t they cute?” I ignorantly thought.

I assumed anything would have been better than the apartment where we had been living. A girl I went to high school with lived in the same apartment complex. She had woken up the week before when a bullet went through the pillow next to her head. The neighbors upstairs had gotten into a little spat. No biggie.

It happens.

We moved the next week.

Into a different kind of nightmare.

A nightmare occupied and governed by a new beast.

A beast innocently called, “pigeon.”

There is nothing innocent about a pigeon.

Don’t let those children’s books, “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” fool you. There should be a book entitled, “Don’t let the pigeons near us!” or something similar. Maybe a little darker. Maybe involving a certain pigeon and a bus with the kind of happy ending I could get behind. Anyway, I digress…

They were everywhere.

We could not clean up the droppings fast enough.

I gave birth to my daughter and rarely left the house for three months. This led me to conveniently ignore the pigeons. I thought they were an annoying nuissance. Nothing more. Certainly not a death trap.

Okay. Let’s fast forward. My daughter is three months old. It was raining. I went to lay her down in her crib for her nap and I felt a drop of water hit my hand. I looked up and the entire ceiling above her crib was swollen with water. It drooped low and menacingly above our heads.

I quickly ran and placed my daughter safely in her bassinet in our bedroom. Then I moved the crib towards the doorway, away from the bowing ceiling.

I then called my landlord.

“Hello. Yes, this is your tenants. The ceiling in our daughter’s room is completely filled with wa-.”


I ran into the room. The ceiling had caved in. The area where my daughter’s crib had been mere minutes before was now littered with broken plaster and jagged beams.

To say it was scary was an understatement.

It turns out that the delightful pigeons fiends that had roosted there had feces that could melt a roof. And they did. And it was.

And then the roof was fixed.

Here is the kicker: Apparently this was the third time this had happened! And they let me put my baby’s room there. And they never exterminated the house! And we moved two months later.

They do exist!

Now that I am aware of the detriments that these creatures can create, I am always watchful of a single pigeon. I will not let these tenants move in. Not for one day. Not for an hour.

The other day, I heard it. It was the sound from my nightmares.


“Mom, is that an owl?”

“No, son. That’s a demon.”

I went outside. There it was, resting on my chimney. Taunting me.

Seriously, look at it looking at me.


Why? Why do I spend all of my efforts on my thighs? If the pigeon was closer, I could have used my thigh’s awesome power and clapped it to smitherines. But no such luck. It was not getting near my trap.

Then I thought of it.

I scrambled to the pool area. I grabbed one of my kid’s high power water guns. I filled it with pool water.

And I took aim.

I fired.

It hit the side of the roof.

The pigeon was not phased.

I refilled my gun.

Missed again!

At this point, I was covered in water. I was wearing rain boots (photo shoot for a story). It was eighty degrees and sunny outside. I was screaming at the bird. I was giving the bird the bird. And I am sure my neighbors were cooing in their pants.

Refill. Shoot. Miss. Scream.


Finally the pigeon took pity on me. Or I had turned into a bigger monster than it.

It left.

I hope it did not leave to get back-up.

Oh well. I have a whole pool full of water and many more refills in me.

This war ain’t over.

“Coo! Coo! Coo!

I’ll get you.”

Has a war ever been won with water guns? I am afraid I am about to find out.

*I recognize the pictures are of a Dove and not a Pigeon. In my flurry of uncharacteristically fast movement I forgot to get a picture of THE Pigeon. If you squint, you can just pretend like I do. Of course, I don’t squint. I just drink wine. Cheers.

The Mission Project From H%!#


In California, every child in the fourth grade is required to do a project on a mission. So, basically, parents all around California are elbow deep in glue and tears throughout the month of April.

I had dreaded the impending mission project for months.

My husband told me he would do the project this year. Score! It was a series of four projects. They completed the first three items quickly, but had saved the biggest project for last. This was, to build a replica of the mission assigned to the child.

They had two months to complete it. Which would have been fine, had the date not have been changed. It was originally due May 20th. This is how I found out the date had been changed:

The afternoon of May 2nd, I picked up my child from school. I noticed quite a few children leaving the grounds with elaborate mission projects in their hands. I began to grow alarmed. The dread crept from my heart and trickled down my back.

“Hey, when is your mission project due?” I asked my son.

“Oh, not until May 3rd,” he responded.

Time stood still. My voice became squeaky with terror, “That’s tomorrow.”

No response. Just big eyes staring at me from the back seat. We drove home in panicked silence.

My husband was at work and would not be getting home until long after the children’s bedtime. I was mad…

And that is all I am going to say about that. Oh, and my son was grounded…for forever.

I knew we had five hours to get some sort of mission completed. Let’s begin by holding hands and agreeing I am not good in a crisis. I found the pizza box from the night before. I began frantically ripping it apart. Oh? They had cheese and marinara tile flooring in missions? Yup, I bet you never knew that.


Once I had my base, I wracked my brain for an idea. I quickly began searching the house for materials. My husband was going to build a Lego mission with my son. I immediately scrapped that idea. I only had five hours. So, I grabbed my box of Q-tips and raced to my pizza box. As I began stacking the qtips and trying to glue them together, my children gathered around me and began mocking my idea.

“Oh, my God! What are you doing? Q-tips? Really mom?” my daughter taunted.

My son, being more invested in the project, began shaking his head. “No, mom. Just No.”

I threw the Q-tips to the side. I tore the doors to my pantry open. A bright beam of light shone down from the heavens. It landed on my three boxes of graham crackers. And all was right with the world.


I grabbed one box and began ripping it open. I started hot glueing two graham crackers together all over the table. I let these sit and dry. Then I picked them up and began glueing them together to make the walls. Yes! It worked perfectly…

I am lying.

The graham crackers disintegrated where the two ends met the glue. It was a gloppy sad mess…I am so mad! I have to write the company! How dare these treats meant to be eaten and digested by children not stand up to hot glue. The very idea.


Then a brilliant plan formed: I could make rice krispie treats! I had just enough marshmallows for two giant batches. Those would stick together and we could roll it and cut it into shape. This might be okay. I grabbed my marshmallows from the pantry. And then gasped as large stale marshmallows flew across the kitchen floor. One of my lovely children had decided to open the bag and eat a marshmallow many weeks ago. And then left the bag open. Wasn’t that kind of them? Wasn’t that lovely? The image of the beautiful marshmallow cereal oasis dissolved in my head.

Thirty minutes had passed. My head was spinning. There was only one option left… Legos. Oh, I guess there were two. But I hate cutting cardboard more than I hated the project.

I have never built a Lego.

I have never built a Lego.


I quickly realized this after every single one of my fingernails had broken off separating all of the white legos in my son’s collection. I tried to put them together for a base and the pieces would not fit together. I pulled my knees to my chest and started sobbing. How was I going to get this done? The reality hit me that I probably wasn’t. And the failure of our parenting crushed my soul with its sorrow.

My daughter stepped in. As she does. She happens to be the only capable one in the family. And I am so grateful.

“I’ll build it with him, mom,” she said.

Actually, what she really said was, “You Idiots! I’ll build it.” She gets rather frustrated with tears.

At this point, I wasn’t going to get mad at her observation. It was true. My house looked like a chimpanzee had ran rampant. I moved over so she could start.

“I will work on this until 8:00. I have to do my homework at 8:00. If I do not have the red roof started by 7:00, then you can panic.” She told me in her matter-of-fact voice.


I set off to the kitchen to make her favorite dinner. The kids worked together on that project for the next three hours. At 8:00, the roof was not on. But that was okay.



It was not the fanciest mission that ever was. It does not really look all that much like the real building. Most mission projects are ten times this size. He will be lucky to get a “C.” But I can honestly say no parent hands built this. It was the work of my two children. Regardless of what grade he receives, I am very proud of it. I am incredibly proud of my daughter for stepping up to the challenging situation. Her work on it was all that held this project together. It was all that held me together.

This little mission was built from tears, broken fingernails, sibling love, and pure frantic motivation. There never was one so beautiful.

And I am not speaking of the mission.