park. And like parks everywhere it has a healthy pigeon population. Big ones, little ones, wonky one-eyed, one-legged ones, white ones, steel gray ones, and ones that almost look like peacocks they're so iridescently beautiful.
This particular flock is 200 birds strong, at least, and they're not of the faint of heart. They're used to throngs of people, children, and plucky dogs bum-rushing them. There's something so... I don't know... inspiring about watching them move like a school of fish among the strewn paper wrappers and moving legs, deftly picking up bugs, finding some pigeon love, and bits of popcorn.
On more than one occasion all I had to do was sit still and I had them swarm all around us; Hollis pointing and yelling, "Buh!! Buh!! Buh!!" I expected as much on this particular visit, but Hollis brought his A game. As we toddled around, he started clucking!
I've been teaching him names of animals from a farmyard set of flashcards (you know, the kind with fuzzy dogs, scaly chicken legs, and woolly sheep) and the most recent addition was "chicken." And like other animal names, Hollis doesn't even attempt the word, "chicken," but instead gloms onto the sound they make. So, when he sees a chicken, he says, "blahh-BLA! blahh-BLA!" His version of a cluck.
And when he saw the pigeons, he was clucking up a storm.
I was so impressed! I mean, wow! He knows they're birds, he knows they're round and fat, he remembers "chicken" and the sound they make and he's applying it to birds that aren't that dissimilar in appearance (come on, give it to me, I'm a proud mama). I then figured I'd tell him what pigeons say. I made a throaty cooing sound in my throat and the pigeons veered toward us to check it out. Next thing I know, Hollis is doing a perfect imitation of my coos!
We spent the next 30 minutes chasing pigeons and Hollis entertaining all the folks eating their flavored ice. I mean, it's not every day you see an impossibly cute and chubby 20 month old running around cooing like a pigeon, right?
Later that night I was telling Anthony all about it and asked Hollis, "What do pigeons say, Hollis?" and he started cooing again. And cooed for the next hour all over the house as he played with his red rocket, chased the cat, and played with pots and pans. It was a pigeon soundtrack.
A little baby boy pigeon soundtrack...