The stay-at-home dad: Lost eggs and broken shells
| April 3, 2021 1:00 AM
Easter is here again. Sigh.
I’ve got nothing against any religious aspect of the holiday. The kid-related stuff, however, just gets exhausting. I’m pretty good with the Christmas stuff, and you can essentially buy a good Halloween with the right costume and candy. Birthdays usually go fine too. By the time Easter rolls around, the motivation just isn’t as strong.
I should be better. I was born on Easter! And yet, it always seems like my wife and I are scrambling to deliver at the last minute.
We don’t paint eggs. In fact, I’m always making flimsy excuses so that paint stays out of my kids’ hands on all occasions. I have nightmares about past messes. They can go paint with Grandma. She used to be an art teacher, so she should be a professional when it comes to scrubbing paint off tiny fingers.
Public egg hunts… no way. That’s a pre-COVID attitude, too. Too many kids running around and screaming in one place. I have four kids all on my own. That’s enough children. I also don’t want my 5-year-old daughter anywhere that might spark her cutthroat, competitive personality. She’d be the one swinging her bucket at other kids’ faces just to snatch a pink egg.
Instead, the Easter Bunny hides plastic eggs around our house and in the backyard. The 5-year-old loves her siblings so much, but if anyone finds more eggs than her, well, at least we’ve learned to give her a soft, cloth bucket so that it doesn’t hurt so bad when she unleashes the Hulk Rage.
The older kids want a challenging Easter egg hunt, but if the Easter Bunny hides the eggs too well, you have candy and chocolate laying around the house to entice future, unwanted houseguests. One year we found a few chocolate-filled eggs in July. We discovered them by following the line of ants marching in from under the front door.
The kids always want to keep those plastic eggs too. They switch the colors around, stuff little pieces of toilet paper in them or fill them with buttons or other loud, rattling objects. Sometimes they just shake around a basket full of empty eggs, just to make noise and be obnoxious.
Then they never put them away. And if they’re all over the living room floor, chances are I’m going to step on one and stab a tiny piece of plastic into the bottom of my foot. It will bleed, and there will be a line of blood splatter throughout the house, probably running adjacent to the ants.
Maybe it all seems so exhausting because the pandemic has limited my opportunities to escape the children after these big occasions. I love my four little buggers, but between all the lost teeth, birthdays and holidays, it takes a lot of energy to maintain the “magic” of childhood. It’s the reason why parents need date nights and wine subscriptions.
There won’t even be much time for an Easter recovery this year either, as my 5-year-old turns 6 just a few days later. If I don’t deliver on both, I might get a bucket to the face.
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Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad to four kids, ages 3-9. He is tired. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.