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Alex was really looking forward to Easter this year. She dyed eggs at day-care, at kindergarten and at home. She found a chocolate bunny, was given another by friends and hunted down fistfuls of chocolate Easter eggs.
Dyeing Eggs, Stuffing Turkey & Watching Alex Bounce off the Walls
Another Easter holiday has passed. It was less about Christ rising from the dead and more about our five-year-old daughter waking the dead, with screams of delight, upon finding hidden confectioneries.
"The Easter Bunny didn't do a very good job hiding the eggs," Alex remarked, at one point, after plucking a foil-wrapped chocolate 'egg', sitting in plain site, from the coffee table.
In past years, Easter had a way of sneaking up on us. There's no such thing now, as news of the upcoming holiday is distributed throughout Alex's kindergarten network. Before Easter weekend, Alex had dyed eggs thrice: at school, in day-care and at Sparks (young Girl Scouts). She was fully aware that a "candy-filled" weekend was imminent!
It's become a bit of a family tradition that we celebrate Easter at the float cabin. This year, however, we stayed on dry land. Rachel was scheduled for shifts at the hospital and our cabin-mate's were left high and dry, as their boat was in need of mechanical repair.
To learn about our land-lubbering Easter holiday, including photos of egg-dyeing fun and tales of a turkey dinner party ... read on ...
Colorizing a Dozen Semi-Spherical Embryonic Sacs
Alex was very excited about the approaching Easter holiday and looking forward to the egg dyeing ceremony. Although we have seven chickens, we broke down and bought a dozen eggs, at the grocery store. (Not that we're prejudiced, but to make colored eggs, it's better to use Caucasian eggs, rather than native brown eggs.)
In years past, the egg dyeing was accomplished by dipping, rolling and allowing the eggs to sit in bowls of colored vinegar and/or water. The longer you leave them sit, the more intense the color and if the eggs sit too long, a high-water line of color results. Rubber bands, wax crayons and oil is used to create pizazz.
This year's kit was different. It came with three packets of colored goo (blue, red and yellow), plus a dozen or so plastic bags. The idea was to squeeze a bit of color into a plastic bag, along with an egg and then work the color onto the egg. The longer you work the egg, the more evenly colored it would become. Mixing colors is encouraged, although letting the egg dry in between, allows a layer2 of color. Glitter was also included, for that paparazzi look. (Alex was keen on the glitter).
All three of us colored our eggs, on the back patio, as the day before Easter was a brilliantly sunny and semi-warm (you take what you get in British Columbia, during mid-spring!) Mom and Dad's eggs were highly decorated, but Alex won the award for mass production. In the end - if you included those Alex decorated at school and day care - we had 18 colored eggs (a new family record).
The Big Easter Egg Hunt
Rachel jotted off to work in the early afternoon, returning home somewhere close to midnight. The Oop had long been in bed, assuming that innocent repose that only sleeping babies and kids manage to achieve. She was accompanied in soundless, blissful sleep by no less than five stuffed animals, three books and a cardboard box, filled with tiny furniture and plastic people (AKA " Polly Pockets Polly Pocket Dolls Polly Pockets were designed in England by Chris Wiggs in 1983 for his daughter, Kate. In 1999 Mattel Corporation redesigned the miniature, hard plastic dolls, making them larger (3.75" tall), more life-like, jointed and pliant. These newer dolls also come with unique "Polly Stretch" garments, which are rubbery plastic clothing that can be put on and removed. Alex first encountered these dolls at the home of one of her baby-sitters and has been enamored with them ever since. They provide hours of play, as she makes houses for them of cardboard boxes. Clothes are tiny, however, and it's not uncommon to find a tiny slipper in the middle of the living room floor or abandoned in the folds of the couch. ") Her mouth was agape, her hair a mess and her smooth, worry-less face relaxed and content.
Dad hopped around the house, planting "Robin's eggs" and other small chocolate-filled in a variety of nooks and crannies. Most were meant for Alex to find, but Dad spent a bit of time hiding some for Mom as well. The idea was to leave an obvious candy trail to the living room and then hide some in more obtuse places, as there's nothing more fun than finding a hidden Easter egg, in July or August!
In a form of family tradition, a confection was placed on the tank of the toilet bowl (as it's often the first place a child will head, when they wake up in the morning). This caused a bit of concern for Rachel, who awoke at 4:30 AM, when she heard Alex de-hydrating in the bathroom.
"She's going to find that chocolate," she thought, "and then the whole house will be awake way to early, because she'll be excited that the Easter bunny came!"
Rachel worried for naught. Bleary-eyed, still-half-asleep Alex did her business, missed spying the candy and stumbled back to bed. The excitement wouldn't begin until 8 AM - a respectable time for egg hunting if there ever was one!
"Ohhh!" squealed Alex, "I found an egg - IN MY BEDROOM! The Easter Bunny has been here!" The screams echoed through the house and the Easter egg hunt was on!
The day dawned rainy and cold, so the hunt was limited to the interior, but that was more than sufficient.
Alex seemed to be very curious about the Easter Bunny, this year and she inquired on more than one occasion, "Dad, did you hide the Easter eggs?"
She readily accepted my assurance that it was not I, but the Easter Bunny that did the egg hiding, but I saddened to think that Alex has grown to the point where her innocence will be lost to a more realistic understanding of this - and other - holiday rituals.
Doubt flickered for only a moment, then was replaced with the euphoric glee that only a half-filled basket of chocolate can accomplish.
"Look at how many eggs I've found!" shouted Alex. (Sound levels tend to rise with excitement and this morning we had to remind Alex - several times - that she was inside and we were hearing her clarion calls in even the most remote corners of the house.)
Despite Alex's claim that "the Easter Bunny didn't do a very good job hiding the eggs", that "bunny" is fairly certain that several more chocolate eggs are left for discovery at some future date. (Rachel discovered one just this morning, hidden in plain sight in the office).
(Ha! Not hidden very well indeed!)
Alex also got a large (thankfully hollow) chocolate bunny rabbit, in addition to half-a-basket full of egg-shaped chocolates. Unlike in years past, the candy didn't last long. Alex walked around all day with an extra chocolate-covered smile, surrounding her lips. She passed on breakfast and informed us that she'd had a glass of water for lunch! (Sorry, a glass of water doesn't quite cut it and we sat her down for a more proper meal, which disappointed her, as it negatively affected her ability to gorge on chocolate.
The brown orgy slowed during the afternoon, but on more than one occasion, the Oop asked Dad, "Can I eat my chocolate bunny?"
"Let's save it for later," was the prudent reply.
Eventually, the bunny found it's way into the cupboard, out of fear for its safety, if left out in plain sight. (The Oop, like her mother, apparently has a voracious sweet tooth!)
Candace and Richard, our partners in the floating cabin, came over from Port Alberni to share Easter supper. They had planned to spend Easter at the cabin, but mechanical problems with their boat kept their holiday plans land-locked.
They arrived in the late afternoon, just as Rachel was returning from her day shift at the hospital. They brought a lovely bouquet of flowers for us, a Black Forest cake for dessert and (OMG) another chocolate bunny for Alex!
The two bunnies were cut from the same mold and we remarked that they must be cousins. Alex played with them in their acetate-covered boxes and was denied again, when inquiring if she could consume one (if nothing else, kids are persistent!)
We had an enjoyable baked turkey dinner, with lots of fresh vegetables, mashed potatoes and a wonderful cake for desert. After supper, we sat outside around a bonfire and chatted. Alex stayed up late, as we tried to let her burn off as many chocolate calories as possible, so we wouldn't have to peel her off the ceiling for two days in a row.
After a fashion, we bade our friends good-bye and trundled off to bed ourselves.
Easter turned out to be very pleasant, despite not spending it at the cabin and the fact that a certain bunny rabbit was mocked for his inability to hide Easter eggs.
"Hehehe," the Rabbit said, "Just you wait till next year!"