It's Easter Week! Easter is one of the Irish community's most significant religious holidays and, in the eyes of babes, it's second only to Christmas. The Easter Bunny can't hold a candle to Santa but, the anticipation of what he may bring is enough to wake the tots well before sunrise... and, in our house, literally put the fear of God in them before they tucked into bed.
We spent last year's Easter Saturday night dying Easter eggs and reflecting on what the Bunny might bring when the Bunny might come and why he might skip over our house if they didn't go upstairs to bed right NOW! With a trio of two-year-olds, a feisty four-year-old and a six-year-old who is at times seriously sensible, the evening provided a few moments worth recalling and sharing.
For starters, we struggled with the set-up. Since we didn't have enough stools at our counter for all five of our kids, we decided we'd put the triplets in their high-chairs for the annual decorating of the eggs. They were extremely excited and for some reason, we just assumed that at the tender age of two, they had a clue about what to do. We assumed they would instinctively know NOT to drink the egg dye. This, as it turns out, was a mistake -- the kind of mistake that fortunately did not require a call to poison control but did require a bit of bleach in the next batch of laundry.
We also assumed they would know NOT to eat their newly decorated hard-boiled eggs. This too was a mistake -- the type of egregious error that resulted in a half dozen pastel colored eggs being consumed rather than gracing their Easter baskets. If only you could have seen their gleeful faces as they smashed their newly dyed eggs on their high chair trays... I've seen that look before and it just might have been on Christmas morning. It was that good.
While the "Cubs" smashed and ate their eggs, Liam and Ciara were engaged in some healthy sibling bickering. "That's my egg." "No, it's MINE!" "Mom, why did she get more than me?" "Dad, it's not fair!" And so on. Then Liam asked, "How does the Easter Bunny get in the house? Does he come down the chimney?" I have to say, we were stumped by this one. How does the Easter Bunny get in the house? Does he walk (or hop?) in the front door? Climb through a window?
Well, perhaps not surprisingly, it was this line of speculation that ended up putting the fear of God -- or perhaps more aptly put, the fear of the Easter Bunny -- into all our kids. The notion of a six-foot bunny climbing through their bedroom window or thumpity-thumping on the roof above their heads was enough to send all of them scampering up to bed. It also led them to wonder "Does the Easter Bunny bite?" "Will he come into our room?" "Can we keep the Easter Bunny?" and, of course, from our little fella who "no like Santa", "NO LIKE THE EASTER BUNNY!"
The upside of the bunny hysteria is that unlike most kids six and under, ours slept until 7:30 on Easter morning. And, they were pleasantly surprised to wake up without rabbit bites but rather, to discover baskets brimming with jelly beans and chocolate eggs (the aforementioned hard-boiled ones having been demolished and digested the night before!).
Today, it's back to school. The baskets have been picked over, the church clothes are washed and the egg dying outfits now resemble funky new tie-dyes. I've always wished we celebrated Easter Monday here in the States but truly, I think it might have been just too much for the kids to take. Not to mention, if Easter Monday follows Easter Sunday, I'd just be left to explain why Easter Tuesday and Wednesday don't come next. And, well, since I'm still trying to figure out how the Easter bunny gets in the house, I'm done with answering questions. For now, anyway!
* Originally published in 2011.