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to ask NOT to have the bloody Cockatiel next time!

(67 Posts)
GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:25:07

Right, back story...

When my DH was about 15, he was bought a cockatiel as a Christmas present. When he moved out in his mid 20's to live with his mates, she stayed at home. When he moved out to live with an ex a few years later, she stayed at home. When he moved into our house over 6 years ago, she stayed at home..she has never lived anywhere else but his parents house and never will - the inlaws are far too attached to her. She is thier bird now.

But whenever they go on holiday (couple of times a year plus various weekends away) the bird comes to stay with us. They used to ask in advance if this was OK. They now just turn up with her without a word. Apparently this is because she is DH's pet hmm

We only have a small house. All we have is a lounge and a kitchen/diner downstairs. She has to be in one of these rooms cause she's not going in our bedrooms! Thing is, she hates me (and I have tried to change this but she hates all women that aren't MIL) and she really hates kids. My DS is 2.5. So, because she has to be in one of our living area's and DS is fascinated with her, she is constantly being looked at and her cage wobbled. I feel like a broken record saying "DS leave the bird alone". I have even threatened the naughty step if he touches her again and I will use it if he doesn't stop.

This happens every single time she comes to stay.

Plus, she is filthy. She is forever cleaning herself and flicking bits of feather and seed everywhere. Plus, of course, the poo whenever DH lets her out of the cage! (It's not a big cage, she needs to be out sometimes) I struggle to keep the house clean at the best of times - she does not help.

So - we now have her for a fortnight and I know that the IL's are planning to be away for New Years and will no doubt want to leave the bird with us again. But - I am currently pregnant and our new baby is due at Christmas. Baby will be around a week old, maybe 2, when New Years arrives and I will have had a c-section. I struggled with breastfeeding last time and will be trying again. I do not need the extra hassle. DH is not good at helping with the housework and cannot cook.

AIBU to ask that we don't have her next time the IL's go away?

Both SIL's have huge houses and older children. Both have extra, mostly unused, rooms where they can put the bird on her own so she is not disturbed by the children and children who are old enough to not be constantly messing with her. Neither will have a brand new baby to be contending with. Both are clean freaks (something I would love to be) who will deal with her mess effortlessly.

And, as an aside, AIBU to be a bit narked that we never gets asked if we'd mind looking after her anymore? Surely, after the better part of 10 years, no-one could count her as DH's pet anymore? I certainly wouldn't (and don't) assume anyone will automatically feed our rabbits when we go away and I never ask the same person twice in a row if I can help it. We haven't even been abroad since DS was born and never away for more than a week! It's not like I owe them...

Disenchanted3 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:26:41

Take it next time and eat it.

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:29:42

DS has just gone on the naughty step

Hassled Mon 14-Sep-09 10:29:55

YANBU - but I would just bypass the ILs and your DH and approach whichever SIL you like the most and ask if she'd mind. Explain the problems. Then present it to DH and the ILs as a done deal, non negotiable.

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:30:08

Not enough meat to bother with Dis

Disenchanted3 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:30:28

why? did he eat the bird?

good job.

Stayingsunnygirl Mon 14-Sep-09 10:31:26

No - you are definitely not being unreasonable. Even without the added pressure of a new baby, having this bird in the house sounds like a total nightmare to me.

Could you perhaps say to the inlaws that the midwife has said you can't have the bird around the new baby? That will, at least, get you off the hook for the christmas holiday, and if MIL has to find someone else to look after the bird, it will show her that that is perfectly possible, and then you'll be able to refuse to have the bird again.

However, Disenchanted's option is not a sensible one - there is not enough meat on a cockatiel to feed three people - plus you'd not get much stuffing up its bum! wink

paisleyleaf Mon 14-Sep-09 10:32:08

grin ...sorry, I know it's not funny really.
You might be lucky they pick it up again after their hols, if they see it as your DH's pet.

What Hassled said is good - you could ask the SILs yourself.

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:32:12

He was poking her. She bites. She was also making her hissing noise she uses for "leave me alone"

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:35:38

I would try the midwife line Sunny but I would get that withering look I get when I say 'stupid' things like "I shouldn't gloss while pregnant" - like I'm making excuses and should be Superwoman in an uber clean house.

Stayingsunnygirl Mon 14-Sep-09 10:39:45

That's a shame, GoldenSnitch. What would happen if you put your foot down and said 'No!' to your mil - if you rang her now and told her you wouldn't be putting up with the bird again?

One thought - do you know anyone who'd look after the bird for you? So that as soon as mil leaves, you whisk the bird round to another house, and get it back just before mil returns? Sneaky, I know..... grin

MrFlibble Mon 14-Sep-09 10:45:32

Is that an open window I see?
"No NO DS dont open the cage!!"

Silver1 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:45:35

There is a type of pneumonia that is contagious through birds, mainly pigeons I admit, but even so I wouldn't want a bird around a newborn.

Get DH to tell MIL that he is going to give the bird away as he can't look after it. That should prompt her to find alternative holiday accommodation-if it doesn't the bird is gone and so is the problem.


MrFlibble Mon 14-Sep-09 10:47:23

To be serious though, Id try and just come out with it and say you are not comfortable with having the bird when they go away for new year.

Stayingsunnygirl Mon 14-Sep-09 10:47:23

Silver's idea is best - and MrFlibble's would work too......

GrinnyPig Mon 14-Sep-09 10:48:05

Well, technically it is your DHs pet. Get him to ask one of sisters to look after it when MIL is on holiday. Alternatively just put a cover over the cage and it will think it's just been an incredibly long night wink.

Hopefully, will put others on here buying a pet for their DCs which is likely to live for a long timegrin.

DesperateHousewifeToo Mon 14-Sep-09 10:48:25

Who looked after the bird when they went away before you and dh were together?

MrFlibble Mon 14-Sep-09 10:49:32

Yes, silver1 is onto a good one, if they try to say "well its DH pet" then tell them its going to the local bird sanctuary or you are going to sell it then. Must admit thats quite last resorts as it may cause some ruffled feathers (groans)

GrinnyPig Mon 14-Sep-09 10:49:49

Put others off obviously

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:52:03

I can't ring her now as she's on her way to Portugal and I don't get a chance to say no in advance cause she doesn't ask!

I think the only course of action would be to discuss it with DH while they're away and then mention when we drop her back off (we will have to take her else they'll leave her here for even longer) that we're not going to be able to have her for New Year.

That gives MIL almost 3 months to organise one of the SIL's to have her - and as they speak multiple times a day, that shouldn't be a problem!

At least now I know I'm not being unreasonable when I talk to DH and the MIL.

Not sure who else would have her for me. I don't hate anyone I know enough to dump a screaching, grumpy ball of feathers with them for the New Year?! grin

GoldenSnitch Mon 14-Sep-09 10:55:39

I could open the window but they clip her wings so she can't fly and wouldn't get far. Plus, she'd be mobbed and killed by the local birds and DH and MIL would be heartbroken. I don't hate her that much.

I've tried the "well if she is his then we'll just get rid of her" tack. Did not go down well with DH.

wannaBe Mon 14-Sep-09 11:01:11

well it sounds like you're not an animal person at all tbh. Coccatiels really aren't that much hard work...

But if you really hate the bird that much then II would just tell mil you hate it and don't want the mess when you look after it.

DesperateHousewifeToo Mon 14-Sep-09 11:15:01

Can you not be out when she comes over to drop the bird off? grin

How much would it cost to have someone look after the bird for you? Either at mil's house or to live out at the sitters.

Stayingsunnygirl Mon 14-Sep-09 11:55:40

I don't agree that disliking the cockatiel makes her not an animal person, wannaBe. I would hate to have a caged bird with the attendant mess and the smell of bird poo in my house - and having to clean up poo from round the room if it is let out to fly - ewwww!!

But that doesn't make me anti-animal - I have always had cats, and now have a cat and a labrador puppy. Yes, the puppy has the odd accident in the house, but she will stop doing that in time - already, at 16 weeks old, she is pretty much housetrained, and knows where she has to go when she needs to go. The cockatiel is never going to learn this - plus it is aggressive towards her and might be so towards her child. What's to like?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 14-Sep-09 12:02:58

Wannabe - lots of animal lovers don't like or approve of caged birds. Personally, I think it is absolutely wrong to keep them.
OP - get a cat grin.

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