One Good Egg Makes a Bad Easter Omelet

Whether you celebrate Easter as a Christian or enjoy it as a secular holiday, you probably have a few traditions that have sprung up around the occasion. Ours have changed a bit over the years as our kids matured.

No longer do we get up at 4 AM (or earlier 🙁 ) to do our Easter egg hunt. Last year, in fact, we had to wake Frank at 10. No longer are the kids content to fish eggs out of drawers and from under pillows; they like to be “challenged”. (So much so, I found two of last year’s eggs just last week hidden under the emergency candles.)

There have been years we’ve gone to church, years we’ve stayed in and lolled around in our pyjamas until supper, and years we’ve had strawberry waffles with extended family. But through it all, there is one sight I have witnessed every Easter for the last eight years: Frank at day’s end, belly bloated from chocolate, brown lips stretched in the smile of the utterly content.

I almost didn’t get to see that today and was a little stunned at how much that shook me.

I know, I know. How I can talk about health so much, yet not only permit, but count on my son eating to excess? I’m scratching my head, too. Nevertheless, there it is. Frank puts up with cupboards empty of junk food all but two days of the year (Christmas is the other occasion) in large part, I believe, because he has these kind of outlets. Also, I never intended for this to become a ritual; there was just this one Easter morning eons ago when I wasn’t wise enough to set a pre-breakfast chocolate limit and lo, my boy-child did indulge.
“I don’t need the calories, Mom,” he said. Then he turned his 3% body-fat self sideways, thus rendering himself invisible, and slipped through the railings in the banister.Anyway, imagine my surprise when this year Frank announced he didn’t want candy, chocolate, or an egg hunt. What he did want was cash. Enough to buy a video game that cost more than four times what I’d typically spend on his Easter goodies.

Why is parenting always filled with these landmines, huh?  Thank goodness I know better. If I were to have given in to this seemingly win-win proposition, I would have birthed a new tradition; one where a child threatens poor behavior, hints about how to steer them from the precipice, then names an exorbitant price. Let’s face it: this is bribery of which Frank speaks, albeit bribery in a cheerfully-yellow, peep-filled disguise.

In the end we compromised. I’d give him the cash equivalent of what I would have spent on his junk food, and he’d put it towards a video game. Perfect, right?

Except I forgot to nail down the fine print. While I thought I understood where Frank would spend his money, I did not specify. And once he held the money in his hand, he decided he wanted candy after all. He just wanted to choose it for himself and purchase it in the discount supermarket in order to maximize his dollar to calorie ratio.

Yay. My child understands the value of money, gets to indulge in his ritual and demonstrates qualities of self-agency. Why am I not cheering about this?

How about you? Any Easter traditions with which you have a love-hate relationship? Times your kids got a leg up on you in negotiations? Tips on nailing down “the specifics” beforehand? ‘Cause it looks like I’m going to need them. Oy. He’s only thirteen, guys.

PS: If you need an antidote for the silly male bunnies, and want to look at a different kind of Easter basket, I made you a present. Enjoy. Smilie by GreenSmilies.com

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7 thoughts on “One Good Egg Makes a Bad Easter Omelet

  1. Well, I have no kids as yet. But, personally I still love Easter Egg hunts. In fact, the very worst part of moving out of the house was missing out on the Easter Morning tradition of trying to find more eggs than my sister while searching for my basket!

    On the bright side, my husband understands this, and even hid eggs for me one Easter. It’s not just the chocolate, sometimes it’s the hunt that’s important! 😀

    ~Lia

  2. Lia, I agree. I haven’t had the chance to be the egg hunter for many years, but I’ve enjoyed the ritual vicariously.

    But how sweet is your husband? Unless my kids change their mind, P and I might need to copy your strategy next year. Easter isn’t just for the kids! 😉

  3. One of my sons has been saying for years he doesn’t like chocolate, so that he’d get cash in an envelope instead. No dice. Yep, happens here, too. 🙂

  4. Obviously I object to being placed in a bush and hunted down. I know it doesn’t happen to my kind per say, but the inferrence is there.

    Either way, I think you should be cautiously happy for him. He is going to be just fine. Unfortunately you might be totally broke by the time he reaches 18. Good luck with that.

  5. Eggplantinspace, I could see that Easter might be a trying time for you. Sorry about that.

    As for Frank, I suspect you’re right both on his making it to adulthood and the upcoming state of my bank account. I know; welcome to parenthood. 😉

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