Eleanor is now three and a half years old, which means this is the first year when she really understands the whole concept of things like Santa and the Easter Bunny. Zoey, being five and a half, is right smack-dab in prime “This Is All So Magical and Exciting!” age.
Which is why Zach and I had a near panic attack when the girls almost found out the truth about the Easter Bunny this year.
On Friday, we decorated Easter eggs to have ready to hide. As with last year, the shaving cream method of egg dyeing was the favorite again this year. Although, I have to say, I think next year we will try food dye on the shaving cream rather than washable liquid watercolors. The watercolors just don’t seem to stay very well on the eggshell (because, duh, they’re washable).
We also try one of those new egg dyeing kits that was supposed to make “Golden Eggs.” Yeah, I don’t recommend them. It has a cornstarch based “glaze” that is enough for, maybe about four eggs tops. You dab the glaze onto the eggs and watch as it sits there all bubbly and lumpy and not even remotely a solid gold color like the picture on the box. Then, even after it “dries” the glaze comes off on your fingers and anything else the egg touches. The “golden” eggs were a real pain to crack and peel, let me tell you.
When the girls went to bed on Saturday night, we had them set out their empty Easter baskets for the bunny to fill (much like stockings for Santa) and we left a plate with a couple baby carrots, a strawberry and a sugar cookie “just in case he’s a bunny who likes cookies.” Once the girls were asleep, Zach and I dutifully filled and hid the Easter baskets (yes, we hide the baskets too). I then asked him whether we shouldn’t just go ahead and hide plastic eggs for an egg hunt, but he wanted to use the real eggs (never once, in my entire childhood, did we ever hide the real eggs. Only the plastic ones).
So Zach set an alarm for 6am, thinking that would be early enough to give him a chance to hide the eggs before the girls woke up, but not so early that we’d risk food poisoning from having the eggs sit out too long. I was laying in bed, trying to fall back asleep while Zach hid eggs in the living room, when I was jolted wide awake by the girls’ voices coming through their monitor. “Wake up! It’s Easter! Let’s go see if the Easter Bunny came!”
“Zach! The girls are awake!” I called out, as I madly scrambled to get out of bed and wrap my robe around me. He was only part way through the dozen eggs he was hiding, and I just barely managed to head the girls off as they were getting to the top of the stairs. I fed them a line about how Alden had kept mommy up all night and it was still really early in the morning (both true, actually) and I really needed them to go back to sleep just a little longer. Poor Zoey was just destroyed. She was crying as I tucked her back in bed and I felt like such a jerk.
I wasn’t sure how to tell them when they could get up, so I opted for “You can get up when you start hearing the birds chirping.” Let me point out right here that the girls’ bedroom is in the basement. There are two narrow windows, both right by Zoey’s top bunk, but I have no idea whether they can ever hear any birds chirp in there. Through her sobs Zoey told me “I never hear any chirping! It’s always the crows that wake me up! Caw! Caaaaawwwww!” It was hilariously pitiful, to be honest, and I had to choke back a laugh.
With my girls back in bed, miserable, and the magic sufficiently squashed, I trudged back upstairs where Zach was finishing hiding the eggs. We both crawled back in bed but were wide awake now. I told him about Zoey crying and the bird chirping and the crows. We both kind of looked at each other for a moment and then agreed we should just go get the girls up. Zach went downstairs and started chirping loudly outside their bedroom door. I heard one of them (Eleanor, I think?) exclaim, “I heard a chirp!!!” And just like that, the magic was back.
The girls thoroughly enjoyed hunting for the eggs and their baskets, stuffing themselves with candy and cookies all day long, and having Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Kelsie over for dinner. And the Easter Bunny lives to hop another day.