Before dinner, I had just put the birds back in their room and we were in the kitchen with the dogs. There is a baby gate between the two rooms. Kiwi the Grey started swinging from her rope toy, ringing the bell. Fiona the Crazy Herding Dog jumped up on the baby gate and bark/whined at her.
Kay: Fiona, Kiwi is just teasing you again. You have to learn to ignore her.
Me: You can’t rationalize with a dog. Give her a command.
Kay: I can rationalize with the dog. I can’t rationalize with Kiwi.
Kay: Kiwi, are you getting sassy?
Kiwi: You’re all done.
Me: (laughing harder)
Kay: Is that her entire repertoire?
Me: She just went three rounds with you. In context!
Kay: (Sighs) Fiona, go now.
Kiwi: Come on, Shadow!
OK, Shadow was the name of the last dog and Kiwi hasn’t learned to say Fiona’s name or Gibbs’. But that last part – giving the dog the opposite command as my mother’s – was also in context.
I freakin’ love that bird.
Kiwi was in the kitchen screaming. We were in the family room. I called out:
Me: That’ll do, Kiwi!
Kiwi: You’re ok! (screams again)
Me: (to my mother) See. She’s doing that now. Using “You’re ok” when she means, “I’ll do whatever I want.”
Kiwi: Uh oh!
Kiwi: (laughs louder)
Cosmo is a grey with his own book. He speaks in context better than Kiwi. But this is a video of Cosmo opening drawers. I am posting it so that my mother can see we do not have the only cabinets on Earth scratched up by cheeky beaks. Kiwi isn’t opening drawers yet, but I bet she knows what to do with an emery board. Vain thing.
Bears Game. The Cowboys are returning a punt. The rookie has plenty of room. He hits about the 30 and I knew he was taking it to the house.
Me: OH MY GAAWWWWD!!!! (In a bad way)
Me: Um…football. Bad.
Kiwi: Are you OK?
Me: No. Not OK.
Kiwi: Do you want your apple?
This is what I am talking about. She doesn’t have a ton of vocab. But she understands context. And conversation!
Kiwi was perched on the refrigerator. It is her favorite lookout point. I went in to the next room, the bird room to see Billy. I had left the door to his cage open, but he hadn’t come out.
Me: (reaching out a hand) Billy. Step up.
Billy: (takes a swipe at me with his beak)
Me: Ugh. Fine.
Kiwi: Are you gonna step up? You’re ok!
Me: Thank you, Kiwi.
I managed to get Billy to come out onto his door. He wouldn’t step up, but he climbed to the top of the cage. I gave him a piece of carrot. He dropped it. I left the room to check on dinner, leaving Shadow to get the carrot. When I came back, I gave Billy another carrot. As I walked away, I heard him drop that, too.
Me: Well, it seems Billy has learned Kiwi’s favorite game.
Kay: (from the family room) What’s that?
Me: Feed the Dog!
Kiwi: Ohhhhhhhhhh! (laughs) Good dog!
Kiwi has a couple of the hard plastic toys that you might give a toddler. Electronic toys where the child pushes the buttons to hear letters or numbers or sounds. She likes the telephone one the best. Thursday night, when I was at the Library my mother, Kay, sent me a recap of a conversation she had with Kiwi.
Kiwi: (sing-song) 1….2….3
Kay: Kiwi, what comes after 3?
Kay: Kiwi, what comes after 4?
Kay: Five, Kiwi. One, two, three, four, five!
I don’t think Kiwi knows what numbers actually mean, but I am certain she is speaking in context.