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Whilst The Mom is away on holiday, her emails are few and far between, so we rely on Her Fella to keep us up to date. He’s a man of few words, and so often just sends a photo. And though we all know that a picture says a thousand words, with The Mom in Oz, land of a thousand interesting birds, that goes double, if not triple.

Upon her return The Mom was, obviously, desperate to share her stories, tales of adventure and interesting puns, but mostly she was desperate to say about how she’d befriended six cockatoos at the apartment they’d rented for a week.

I believe I took the wind ever so slightly out of her sails by pre-empting her with:

“Oh, yeah, we had that photo through. I put it on Facebook. Everybody loves it.”

Though slightly disappointed that I’d already seen it, she soldiered on.

“They came every day at lunch! Every day!”

To put this in perspective for you, it’s not unlike if The Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph all turned up to lunch, with the good wine, and a million dollars.

“And they like grapes, so I was cutting grapes in half and feeding them. FROM MY HAND!”

This was the highlight of her trip, if not her entire life. Sure, she’s proud of us kids, but we’re not well-trained wild cockatoos. It’s a flaw we’re all aware of.

“And then I turned around to get another grape, and the one bird nearly bit me!”

This statement was delivered with a shriek of delight, as it’s important to experience the full range of cockatoo emotions.

Oh, and the bite did nothing to deter her.

“The Man In My Life said I’d better be careful, but I wasn’t scared at all. Not at all!”

This is because her brain was overdosing on seretonin released from the extreme pleasure of having six cockatoos hanging on her every word, so to speak.

Anyhow, the photo we received was priceless. The Mom is standing to the right of the picture, hands clasped together as one might imagine on a little girl in church, or at a toy store. There is a big grin on her face and it is obvious she cannot believe her luck. On the balcony railing are three big cockatoos, each holding a grape in a foot.

The caption I put on my Facebook post was something along the lines of: When The Mom runs into three cockatoos and looks upon them adoringly as though they were her children, only better eaters.

I cannot emphasise how true that statement is. The birds are gorgeous, obviously hamming it up for the camera, and they’re eating. This is basically what every mother wants from her children, and this is the sort of thing that we find difficult to do for The Mom. But I suppose in a lot of ways, the pressure’s off now because The Mom’s met these cockatoos. She knows no children of hers will ever eclipse this moment and she doesn’t even want us to try.