When you start to train your little bird friend, you stick your hand in the cage to get them used to sitting on your finger. Apparently the idea is that the bird bonds to you, thinks you're a fellow bird, and when out of the cage, will happily fly back to your finger. Now, I'm not sure how/why this would work - birds don't hang out sitting on each others fingers, but then I'm no bird expert.
Anyway, I was standing there with my hand in the birds cage, and he just flew out! There was lots of running around and screaming - I like to think it was more like controlled chaos; the smiling child took the dog to another room, the middle child turned off the ceiling fan and the poor little bird flew into the wall a few times before finally landing in a corner behind a chair.
Cool headed as always, the brave mom went over, climbed over the chair (no small feat) and picked up a scared bird. Now that I think of it, prior to the wall banging the bird didn't hang upside down in his cage (or get his head stuck in the little ladder that leads to his mirror).
On a more positive note - we found a web site with recorded parakeet/budgie (Hi C!) sounds and we play them for Mei Mei. He listens to the sounds and tweets and chirbles along with the recordings. So sweet.