Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Knew Eggs Could Be So Complicated?

Our weekend was filled with some firsts. First time to watch Toy Story 2 (which has already been repeated quite a few times), and Caedmon’s first time to dye Easter Eggs.

I prepared early in the day on Saturday to dye eggs. We were going to do them right after lunch, but that didn’t work out, so we managed to make it happen later in the afternoon. As I was preparing, I put all the accessories we wouldn’t be using aside. We didn’t need to complicate things just yet with the wax crayon and the weird colors (our kit came with 12 colors. Who needs 12 different egg colors? We stuck to the basic 6), and the like. It was some fancy kit from Paas I’d bought on clearance last year.

Yes, I just said I bought an egg-dye kit on clearance. Because what’s better than getting a $1.88 item for 75% off and keeping it in the top of a closet for a year?

Sad, I know. But I digress.

We started out by letting Caedmon drop the dye tablets into the water.


And waiting for the colors to all dissolve. It took a sweet forever. (Yes, that is Toy Story 2 on the TV.)


And then the dyeing started.



After the eggs dried, Caedmon put stickers on some of them.


We only broke one egg, I’m proud to say. And since I’d boiled extras, it wasn’t a big deal. But Caedmon decided he’d like to go ahead and eat the masterpiece he’d worked so hard to dye and put 7 stickers on.


He’s never been much for boiled eggs. He ate about half this one and then left it on the table. It’s nice to know what I have to look forward to with the 15 that are left.

While we were working on our masterpiece eggs, Husband pulled out all those extra things I’d put away earlier. The shrinky-dinks, wax crayon, etc. He wasn’t sure how the shrinky-dink things were supposed to work. Which began a discussion on how we grew up dyeing our eggs.

We dyed eggs, but they mostly were gone before Easter. We ate them and used them for Deviled Eggs for Easter dinner. We went all out with the wax crayon, writing our names on them, then tie-dyeing (before they made tie-dye kits), shrinky-dink THEN dyeing them. You name it, we did it when it came to decorating. I think we even used glitter one year. (I say “one year” because I’m pretty sure there were still glitter remnants left the next year from the previous year’s glitter encounter. Just ask Mom how much she hates glitter.) 

We never hid real eggs because 1) we always had too many critters around that might eat them before we could find them, and 2) we always ended up leaving a few un-found, and with our luck, those would be the ones the critters didn’t eat, leaving us a nice present a few weeks later.

Actually, at my Nana’s (where the giant family egg hunt was every year), the Aunts and Uncles always hid one real egg. Whoever found it got a special prize. You can believe we hunted for that thing like crazy. The special prize might be a $5 bill or it might be a wedgie. You never knew. It depended on who was in charge of the prize.

So, we were a plastic-egg-hiding family. Plastic eggs stuffed with all manner of sugary goodness and if we were lucky, some money. The really good ones had $1 bills in them. We didn’t get Easter baskets like some other families did – and we really didn’t care. We just wanted the candy. We’d usually end up with a chocolate bunny, too. And yes, I did my best to make mine last until Halloween, when I could stock up again. But it was difficult because we all know Easter candy is the best.

Resistance is futile when it comes to Robin Eggs. Real ones, not those knock-off Speckled Eggs. Not that I haven’t eaten my fair share of those too. I’m just sayin’.

Husband, on the other hand, had never used a wax crayon on his eggs. Or shrinky-dinks. Never tie-dyed an egg, either. Ever. At all. When I asked him what they did to their eggs, he said, “We dyed them. We hid them. We found them. We ate them.” So there you have it.

Husband said they picked out their pre-made Easter baskets at the store, and that was the source of their Easter candy. They never hid plastic eggs.

Oh, the humanity!

Trying to raise a child and decide your own traditions sounds like an easy task. Sure, anybody can say, “On Easter, we’ll eat a nice breakfast, go to church, then hunt eggs.” That all sounds nice. But when you get down to the details, it’s so much more complicated. We’re still trying to figure it all out.  And probably will be for a while.

I’d love to hear your Easter traditions – from your childhood or some you created for your kids. Do tell!

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  1. We never used a kit to dye eggs. My mom made the solution with vinegar and food coloring. I suppose we hid the real eggs, but I don't remember. We always got Easter baskets or at the very least presents. My Mom would buy Easter candy and put it out in bowls and such for the season. I don't remember what we did when we were toddlers, but I have pictures of egg hunts in our yard. Aaron's family did things differently and we have adapted our families traditions fairly well. Last year we dyed eggs my way and this year his way. We hid both real and plastic this year (we celebrated early) and we put coins in some eggs (his tradition). And this year we don't have any chocolate candy. Isabella is sensitive to it and can't eat it. Sweetheart chicks, birds and bunnies, oh so yummy! I learned Aaron was a fan of them too!

  2. This is probably weird, but my mom always hid our entire Easter basket, which she had lovingly filled with candy and other goodies (including some plastic eggs filled with candy, but never real eggs.) I'm not sure really how it started, maybe out of necessity when we were young and lived in apartments without yards. Whatever the reason, we loved it and continued to hunt for Easter baskets well into high school when we would have likely balked at the idea of hunting eggs outside. I have really fond memories of this tradition!