I started this a status update to commiserate with other parents about their kids’ Easter egg hunt experiences. Then it got kinda long, so I decided to just put it all down, let you all get the whole picture and relate.
Saturday: Day 1 Easter celebration
In out neighborhood there is a local church that throws carnivals in our neighborhood park for Christmas and Easter. There are bounce houses, train rides, a zip line, and the food is all free. Short of listening to a loop of Christian rock, (not my personal favorite, and awfully loud,) and leaving with multiple flyers for their services, it’s a pretty good time. Yes, the longer it goes on the more crowded it gets, but what do you expect. IT’S FREE. I’m also fond of how genuinely willing the members of this church are to just make sure you and your kids have a good time. That’s the most important part to them, not filling the pews. And that’s super cool.
So, Monkey is having a great time. The Easter egg hunt is about to start. We go line up at our (somewhat) designated spot. (Turns out they broke up K & Pre-K into over and under 4 as well, but that information didn’t make it past the second row of parents.) There are lots of eggs, and lots of little roped off areas, with the oldest being 5th and 6th graders. Parents are lined up around the roped off area as well, some holding babies that may or may not be able to sit/stand/walk by themselves. In front of us are about 4 rows of parents with their little and not so little ones. Monkey is 5. She has made it very clear I am not needed to help her with things her height and below, and given my current 30 weeks gestation girth, I’m inclined to agree. Next to us, I see a family with an adorable little boy, who is probably the same age as Monkey, but has down syndrome.
His parents are going with him, which is what I would do. But I’m not sure if Monkey is aware of the differences between her and this kid, or the smaller ones that are in this group with their parents and can barely walk. So I say to her, “Listen, Monkey. It’s important for you to remember not to knock anyone over or take anyone’s eggs, especially the little people. Okay?”
“Okay, Mama.” A furrowing of eyebrows and distracted nod is all I get. It’s almost time to start.
She counts down and starts her hunt for eggs. Immediately she is having to dodge parents, most of who I thought would be standing back like I would because, you know… they’re kids are 4 or 5. Knowing I’m pregnant and crazy, (not and exaggeration, and definitely worse than last time,) I back up a little and wait for the hubs to find me. I don’t need to see the gory details. Egg hunts have long since transitioned from being fun into a lesson about teaching your child to snatch whatever they can by whatever means necessary for themselves before someone else does. Ah, the true meaning of Easter.
Eventually, Monkey returns from the crowd. Many children, especially the older kids and the babies/toddlers who went with their parents, have baskets filled to the brim with eggs.
My child has zero.
“Mama, I didn’t get any. I just found this piece of candy that fell out.” She holds up one sad tootsie rolls pop; chocolate’s consolation prize. My heart breaks. “But I did what you said! I didn’t take anyone’s eggs and I was careful of the little people.”
Damn I have an awesome kid. She wasn’t even that disappointed.
Meanwhile we are surrounded by kids (and parents) digging through their eggs for one of the special prize eggs. Turns out there was money in them. Maybe that’s why all the parents around the sides threw their children under the rope because, as we all well remember, Jesus said on the cross, “Thou shalt not wait in line at a kids egg hunt, if thou feelest privileged enough and there art money involved.”
At that moment, I both hated just about every person there, and felt so beat down knowing that this egg hunt attitude had been going on since before I was a kid, and would probably continue long after I was gone. Why was a holiday making me hate humanity?
On the way out, a church member handing out flyers asked Monkey if she had a good time and if she got some eggs. She was so excited to tell him about all the fun rides she went on, she only mentioned the eggs as an afterthought.
“I didn’t get any eggs, just this one piece of candy.” Once again she displayed that P.O.S. tootsie roll. I explained the “little people” rules.
And that was when my faith in humanity was (partially) restored. The man immediately went over to fellow organizers, who found some candy to put in her basket. Then another parent came over and gave Monkey five or six eggs from her son’s basket. He was one of the little people from my rules, and hadn’t found any either. At which point other parents filled his basket.
While the Hubs stewed on the way home, convinced that Monkey would grow up to be a doormat, I felt differently. Yes, there were way too many asshole parents at that and every other egg hunt this weekend. Way to many. And I think the importance for having eggs for a million kids under ten far supersedes that of making sure moody, pre-tween-whatever-the-hell-their-called get baskets full of candy filled eggs. You want to teach you kids something on Easter? How about pairing them up with the tiny kids? They will still get to hunt eggs, give parents a break (or keep them from being tools,) and maybe realize before adulthood the world doesn’t revolve around them. Then give them an egg with $20 in it.
All that aside, I was happy that at least this one time, Karma for my daughter was not a bitch. She was in fact exactly who she was supposed to be. And so was Monkey.
WHEW! Rant over. Now for the really funny stuff!
Sunday: Easter celebration part deux.
On Saturday afternoon, we had packed 48 eggs with candy. Why? Because we all knew from repeatedly watching Legend of the Guardians, that the Easter Bunny brought beautifully decorated eggs. Not candy. And while Monkey, Hubs, and I appreciated the effort, there was some concern about a lost egg that started to smell, or maybe too much protein and not enough good, old-fashioned, rot-your-teeth sugar.
So to make his trip easier this year, we filled up the candy eggs and left them out for him to hide. We also left a special golden egg out for him to leave a surprise, and two carrots on a Peter Rabbit plate. Why should Santa be the only one who gets snacks?
Flash forward to 7am this morning. Above us, I hear the tiny thundering of running feet. The sounds galumphs down the stairs and quickly approaches our bedroom door. The closer it gets, the more I can pick up a high-pitched squeal, possibly words… it’s just too hard to tell.
The Hubs jerks awake with a yell, ready to do battle with the unknown intruder. Had our bedroom door been kicked open by the SWAT team? Oh, no wait… it’s just Monkey!
“MAMADADATHEEASTERBUNNYCAME! HECAMEANDTHEREAREEGGSEVERYWHERE! THEY’REUPSTAIRSANDONDOORHANDLESANDIFOUNDSOMEBUTTHERE’SMOREANDWEHAVETOGOFINDTHEMALLRIGHTNOWSOGETUPGETUPETUP!!!!”
Needless to say, in our confused state it took us awhile to make all that out. But yeah, the Easter Bunny had been by for a visit, and Monkey was not disappointed. We were able to get her to get into bed with us for all of three minutes to explain everything that was going on. Then we sent her to get dressed, as today’s hunt was on like Donkey Kong. It would be delayed no longer.
(Fifteen seconds after she leaves our bedroom.)
Monkey once again hurls herself on our bed. “He brought all my favorite candy and surprises and he knows me! He knows everything I like!!!!!”
Many exclamation points later, Monkey was dressed and we finished her egg hunt. I say finished instead of started, because on her way downstairs, she had grabbed everyone she saw and made multiple piles on the way to wake us up. It looked like the Easter Bunny had pooped little piles of eggs from the bottom of the stairs to our bedroom door.
Monkey don’t play.
Eventually, the golden egg and plate with munched on carrots were found in the downstairs storage closet. As far as we could tell, E.B. was munching on the carrots when Daddy got up in the middle of the night, so he hid. Her golden egg contained the long-awaited “Turtle Necklace” (word to the wise, don’t ever take your daughter to a jewelry store until you are willing to spend that much for jewelry on her,) and the bonus of three little sparkly rings. None of them have come off.
Looking back on this weekend, and the trials my family, (and many of those I’ve seen on facebook today,) have gone through, I think I’ll be doing my own Easter egg hunt next year. Maybe not in my backyard, (it’s not that big,) but somewhere, probably on the Saturday before.
I can’t keep the world free of assholes, nor can I keep them from procreating. What I can do, is make sure that my kids, and those of like-minded parents, can enjoy the fun of egg hunts and become the next wave of non-crappy adults.
That’s me. Changing the world, one egg at a time… now where are my Cadbury’s?