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If You Give a Toddler an Easter Egg

April 23, 2011

(a tribute to Laura Numeroff and parents of toddlers everywhere)

If you give a toddler a hard-boiled egg,
She’ll want to see how far she can throw it.
When she sees you clean up the cracked eggshells,
She’ll want to throw it again “without it’s jacket.”

When you tell her the eggs need their “jackets” on so we can dye them,
She’ll want to know why we are going to kill the Easter eggs.
When you explain that “dyeing” is not the same as “dying,”
She’ll want to help.

She’ll drag over her red kitchen stool so she can see over the counter.
When you measure out the white vinegar to pour into the cup,
She will grab the cup out from under the pouring stream to look inside.
She will ask you why the cup is empty.

After you wipe up the spilled vinegar, she will ask you why it’s so smelly.
She will jump down from her stool and run out of the kitchen yelling,
“I don’t LIKE smelly binegar!”
You will quickly fill the remaining cups with not-so-carefully measured vinegar before she returns.

When you ask her if she would like to drop the dye tablets into the cups,
She will run back and climb up on her stool.
She will ask if she can eat the “vitamin” right now.
When you tell her it is a dye tablet, not a vitamin to eat, she will want a snack.

When she sees the three dozen hard-boiled eggs (minus the cracked one she threw)
She will insist that she only wants an egg for a snack.
You will get her the egg she previously cracked from the ziploc bag in the fridge
Because you are a clever mommy who had a feeling this may happen.

When she finishes her egg, she will ask when it is time to make the Easter eggs.
You will show her how the color tablet fizzles when dropped into the cups of vinegar.
She will not want to let her brothers drop any tablets into any of the cups.
She will attempt to spill the remaining cups of vinegar so the brothers don’t steal her fun.

When you grab her off her stool and tell her to wait in the dining room,
She will scream and say, “I NEVER get to do Easter eggs!!”
You will redirect her by asking her to lay the newspapers out on the dining room table.
She will complain that the newspapers smell stinky, too.

When you eventually get the cups of dye and water to the dining room table,
Your toddler will want to know if she can drink them.
When you tell her that this is the dye for the Easter eggs, not a drink,
She will ask if this is how we will make them dead.

When you explain again that “dye” is to color, she will want a crayon.
You bless the makers of Paas for including the wax crayon in the box.
When you demonstrate how to gently place the egg into the cup of liquid,
She will want to do hers immediately.

You will try to show her how to use the wire egg holder,
But she will put it in her mouth instead.
You let her brothers go first, hoping she will watch and learn.
She will drop her egg like a missile and giggle at the pink splash pattern.

When she has her egg in the pink liquid,
She will ask, “What can I do now?”
You will let her choose two more colors to dye two more eggs
So you can quickly help her brothers while she is distracted.

When she sees you helping with the wire egg holder,
She will want to use hers.
She will whine that it is lost and she never gets an egg holder.
You will help her find the egg holder that she had dropped under her chair.

She will jam her egg holder into her cup to lift out her eggs.
When she sees that her eggs are now white with a hint of color,
She will want to remove them immediately.
She will sulk when you tell her to wait another minute for the color to get darker.

After twenty seconds of asking, “But what can I do NOW?”
She will be allowed to remove her almost-pastel egg from the cup.
She will drop the colored egg on the table.
She will cry when she sees black newspaper ink on the light pink egg.

When you show her how to gently place the colored egg into the carton,
She will want to remove all eggs from all colored cups to put them away.
When her brothers tell her she cannot touch their eggs,
She will erupt in a flow of shrieks, tears and toddler snot.

When she gets out of time-out for throwing her egg holder across the room,
She will want to use it again for more eggs.
She will drop each white egg into a colored cup for no more than three seconds,
And will say, “I want it this light,” as she instantly removes it.

When all of her white eggs are done and put away,
She will complain that her brothers always have more than she does.
She will ask to go to the store to buy more eggs so she can color more.
When you tell her, “No,” she will be sent to her room for throwing another fit.

You will secretly be grateful that she is gone for the moment
Even though you can hear her yelling through her bedroom door,
“I don’t LIKE Easter eggs!!”
You will quickly finish the rest of the job with the older boys.

When you finally get the eggs put away and the table and floor cleaned up,
You will pour yourself a glass of red wine.
And, when your toddler sees your glass of red wine,
Chances are….she’s going to want to drop an Easter egg into it.

(First published in “Because I Said So” for TheAlternativePress.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2013 8:57 PM

    Reblogged this on From Grind to Whine and commented:

    This is an oldie, but a goodie. Makes me a bit sentimental to realize I wrote this two years ago and now my toddler is registered for Kindergarten. (Sigh.) Dyeing eggs was more fun than frantic this year. I feel the me from two years ago would want to smack the me from now upside the head for feeling nostalgia instead of joy.

  2. April 3, 2013 8:42 AM

    Oh my Gosh, this is hilarious!! And so true. The whole putting the eggs in the dye for less than 10 seconds is perfect. I cracked up! 😉

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