1. I know how the fairytale goes. A crowd of delighted kids gathers, bright Easter baskets clutched tightly in quivering hands, bouncing with excitement while they wait to GO! Candy filled plastic eggs dot the grass, ready to be snatched up by giggly children on a sugar high. So.much.fun.
3. Okay, sure, it’s a crowd of delighted kids if you don’t count the three throwing temper tantrums because they have the wrong basket, four running away from their parents, and a handful screaming they don’t want their shoelaces tied before the hunt. Plus grumpy older siblings who got dragged along with could you just smile and have fun FOR YOUR BROTHER’S SAKE?! Criminy!!
4. Bouncing with excitement? Maybe. Or maybe they have to pee. Maybe they’ll drop trou and pee behind that tree over there, forcing Mrs. Baker to explain to her precious baby why Billy can spray the bark but she can’t. Bless.
5. No, the real deal goes something like this. A mob of kids gathers ’round a section of grass. I say “section of grass” because nobody hides eggs anymore, they just drop a bunch in a cordoned off area and release the hounds. Parents hold on with all their might because Lord knows all hell will break loose if somebody touches an egg before it’s Go time. Hell hath no fury like a four-year-old scorned and all that jazz.
6. The big moment comes. The green light is given. We witness humanity in all its glory.
7. Some kids are bulldozers. They roll right through anything and anyone in their path, scooping up handfuls of eggs until their basket’s overflowing. Then they grab the backup basket mom or dad was holding and dive back in. Little kid crying because you stripped an egg from beneath their hand? Too bad, sucker. You snooze, you lose. Adults with this child cheer him on with “You’ve got it, son! Don’t stop! Keep going! GET YOURS!!”
8. Some kids are meek. They move hesitantly from space to space, reaching slowly, needing reassurance that yes, they can actually keep the egg. These kids can go one of two ways – either they’re super easygoing, just as happy with two eggs as they are with ten, or they’re super high strung, bursting into tears when bigger kids grab every egg within a ten foot radius. Adults with this child range from letting their kid gut it out to rushing in to pick them up and brush them off.
9. Then there are the parents who pick up every single egg for their child’s basket. Can your kid walk? Do they have the motor function necessary to bend over, grab an egg, stand up, and release said egg into container? Yes? Then let them do it themselves. It’ll be okay if their bucket isn’t overflowing at the end. Really, it will.
10. Which brings us to the post-Easter egg hunt trauma. Kids stumble around looking shellshocked and a bit befuddled. Where did all the eggs go? There were so many, it can’t be over already. I WANT MORE EGGS, MAMA. MORE EGGS! Some kids abandon their baskets altogether, unconvinced their bounty is worth the bedlam. Others hit the wall, refusing to leave, tearing open plastic eggs and inhaling chocolate. Either way your afternoon’s shot.