Before I became a mother, I had some naïve ideas about coloring Easter eggs with my future children, who’d all be wearing white linen and daintily dipping farm-fresh eggs into natural dyes (I think I even imagined that we’d have chickens in the backyard, oh my God). Let’s just say that now that I have a kid, I completely understand why my mom always bought plastic eggs, because whoever came up with this whole egg dyeing thing clearly didn’t have children.
If you’re thinking about dyeing eggs this Easter weekend, here is some advice from someone who learned her lesson the hard way. Do it outside. Preferably in an open field, miles from civilization, and make sure everyone is naked and that you have lots of paper towels and possibly some anti-anxiety meds on hand. Expect that most of your eggs will end up cracked, none of them will look even remotely like anything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest and that, actually, most of them will be a murky, greyish color instead of clean, springy pastels.
The reason? Little kids just don’t see egg dyeing the same way we do.
Here is what your kids are really thinking when dyeing eggs:
1. First and foremost – eggs = excellent projectiles.
2. If this dye looks good on eggs, it’s going to be beautiful in my hair, on my clothes, on the walls, and on Mommy’s newly upholstered dining room chairs. Our house is going to be so much prettier with my pink and purple handprints all over everything.
3. Ewwww, Mommy, these eggs smell like farts! Gag, cough, gag.
4. Hmm, the last time I saw a light blue egg it had chocolate in it. Let me get this open and pull out all the nasty yellow and white stuff. There has GOT to be chocolate in here somewhere. MOMMY! WHERE IS THE CHOCOLATE IN THIS EGG? WAAHHHHHH!
5. Can I crack this on my brother’s head? Like, really hard?
6. OK, so red and yellow make orange. What does red and yellow and green and blue and pink and purple make? Why do my eggs look like Halloween decorations? The world is coming to end! My eggs are ugly!
7. I hate hardboiled eggs! Mommy, the Easter bunny better bring me something other than these hardboiled eggs. Please tell me I’m not getting hardboiled eggs in my Easter basket! I’ve been a good girl! (Cue tears.)
8. Hey, all these pretty colors look yummy. I bet the red one tastes like cherry. Let me try it. ACCCKKKK! IT TASTES LIKE VINEGAR! I’M GOING TO THROW UP!!! VINEGAR! GET IT OUT OF MY MOUTH!
9. Eighteen eggs plus six cups of egg dye equals a total of three minutes. Now we’re done. Can I have the iPad? I want to watch YouTube videos of people opening boxes of toys and monotonously describing them for the next three hours. That’s way more interesting than eggs.
10. Splashing in muddy puddles is really fun, but how much MORE fun would it be to splash in rainbow, muddy puddles right here inside the house?? I cannot even control my excitement. I am immediately pouring all these beautiful cups of rainbow liquid onto the kitchen floor and stomping in them. This is the greatest thing ever!
Happy Easter, everyone!
Related post: A Letter to My Children Concerning Their Artwork