Easter Egg Hunt With a Toddler: Fiction vs. Reality
Easter is a very special holiday because it celebrates Jesus getting out of bed and walking around when no one thought he would which all parents can relate to.
If you have a toddler, you might be going to an Easter Egg hunt this year. Instagram has given you unrealistic expectations for holidays so I'm going to break it down.
Easter Egg Hunt With a Toddler: Fiction (Pinterest Version)
Your toddler wakes up after you do and with a smile on her face. Her diaper has a reasonable amount of pee pee in it and her pajamas are dry. She's not crying.
"Good morning, mother!" she says in an English accent even though you're not from England, "Happy Easter!"
You hug. You've hidden eggs all over your home so it's time for some fun! The eggs are beautifully decorated with complex flower patterns you found on a blog for people with too much time on their hands. With each egg your child finds she shrieks with delight and places it gently into her wicker basket that you made out of sticks from your backyard.
After finding all of the eggs in your home, she sits down at the table and eats them with a side salad.
Time for the community hunt!
Your toddler cries tears of joy when she sees her outfit. It's a white linen lace-trimmed dress you found on Etsy for $300. She giggles and stays still while you put on her white tights and pale pink moccasins that cost the same price as a week's worth of groceries. You finish the outfit with a matching pink cardigan that you knitted by fireplace light while listening to stories your crank radio.
You're ready to go! When you arrive at the community Easter egg hunt the parents and children are all happy and calm.
You hear the buzzer- time to hunt! Nobody moves. All the kids just keep gesturing forward and saying, "After you!" "No after you, fine chap!" (in accents)
Finally some children begin to move forward but when they find an egg, they insist on giving it to someone else. The parents begin crying tears of wonder as they notice none of the children putting eggs in their own baskets; they are sharing.
Suddenly the children decide to sit down in a circle and sing hymns. The parents take photos and videos for Upworthy and to inspire the world.
You examine one of the eggs and notice that it is not cheap BPA dollar store plastic but hand crafted vegetable-dyed felted wool. A little hole reveals the treats: organic fair-trade date-sweetened chocolate, conflict-free jellybeans, and glitter to represent kind thoughts.
Your daughter runs to you. "Mama! A butterfly landed on my dress! I don't want to get butterfly footprints on it. I know this cost you and papa many euros!"
You brush the butterfly away and hug your child. "Insects are our friends," you whisper into her un-pierced ears.
Time to go home now. It's 5PM so your daughter gratefully eats her chickpea loaf and beet slaw then runs off to bed.
"Madre," she tells you as you tuck her in, "the chocolate I got today...I got that for you. Eat it tonight in bed. You work hard and you're so pretty also."
You kiss her on the forehead.
"Can you close my door?" she says. "I'm very tired and want to sleep in."
"Goodnight precious angel."
Easter Egg Hunt With a Toddler: Reality
4AM You hear a sound. Even though you're scared, you get out of bed to see what's happening.
You can barely believe your eyes. Your toddler is standing in the living room, naked except for one sock, holding a plastic baseball bat.
Before you can say, "What are you doing?" the smell hits your nose. It's a cross between eggs and urine. You look around to see that your child has smashed every single Easter egg you hid just hours before and has left a trail of celebration urine throughout the house. You feel you life expectancy shorten.
While your toddler stares at his breakfast, you clean and cry just a little bit into the carpet. You wonder he behaves like this and secretly blame your spouse's sketchy gene pool.
After eating, your toddler asks if you're going to hide eggs for him. You explain that he already broke all the eggs hence the broken eggs from earlier and catch his arm mid-air as he try to strike you in retaliation.
Time to get dressed! You pin your toddler down on the floor as you try force day pants on. The twisting and windmilling of their surprisingly strong legs wears down your tired muscles. You resist the urge to yell swears and instead say them softly under your breath. You finally get a brand new outfit on your child and marvel at how adorable and civilized he looks.
You turn your back to find the socks and shoes. When you look at your toddler again he is nude. You begin the process again and ignore the scotch cravings.
As you drive to the community Easter egg hunt you explain what kind behavior is expected of him. To show that he is listening, he kicks of his shoe nailing you in the back of the head. You barely avoid driving into a concrete wall.
You arrive at the Easter egg hunt. The atmosphere is tense as if it's the Olympics or the SATs. In each corner you see parents coaching their kids on how to best elbow check other children for maximum seasonal candy.
Your toddler is no longer interested in the festivities and would prefer to be held with his face against your chest. Considering the gladiator arena type environment, you don't blame him.
It's time for the hunt! Thankfully your child is now ready to get some goodies. Let the fun times begin!
You notice that 60% of the people hunting for eggs appear to be in their early 20s but don't let it bother you. Everyone is running around like they're on dirty speed. It looks like a crack house raid and you spot several children almost get trampled by teenagers in Ugg boots.
A ten-year old to your left grabs a basket out of a preschooler's hand and screams, "Scram, 3T! You're not about this life!" A five year old cries out to his parents, "I want to go home! I'm scared!" His mom yells back, "Blood in blood out, remember! Get mama some Cadbury eggs if you want supper!" She takes a photo with her iPad.
Your toddler waddles around looking for treats but every time he sees one it gets scooped up by a 35-year old. At the end of the hunt your check your toddler's basket: six blades of grass, half of a plastic egg shell, a condom wrapper, a bottle cap and a single red jelly bean.
"Good job!" you say while considering moving.
On the way home you stop at the drugstore and buy $40 worth of 30% Easter candy vowing to come back the next day for even greater savings.
Dinner is pizza and candy on the couch while watching Cars 2 for the ten billionth time. Your toddler falls asleep at 7 but you stay up until midnight even though you know he'll be up at 4.
My book "Toddles Are A**holes" (second edition with new stuff) comes out on April 7, 2015. It's a straight-talk funny book for parents who need to laugh so they don't have a nervous breakdown. It has bad words but I'm not a perfect person, ok?
Sneak peak from "The Guilt-Free Guide to Day Care and Preschool" chapter.