Parents, in case you haven’t heard, Easter has been dubbed by the media as “the new Christmas.” Kids now expect Easter egg dyeing, bunny crafting, egg hunting and Easter baskets filled not only with chocolate but with electronics and scooters. I have nothing but respect for the parents who are able to make holidays magical for their kids in whatever way works for them.
But in our house, we are turning down the magic a few notches. If you’re wanting to dial back the magic a bit, too, here are some tips on how to steal all the joy out of Easter egg dyeing, as learned from experience:
1. First, set the stage. If you have a 3-year old who usually naps, make sure she skips her nap. Also, get her good and mad immediately before dyeing eggs by refusing to give her Goldfish crackers unless she finishes her cheese stick.
2. Fail to count how many dye tablets come in the Paas egg dyeing kit ahead of time in order to ensure every child gets the same amount. (Why nine, Paas? Why?)
3. When the children spill vinegar on the counter when pouring it into the cups, don’t clean it up right away. Apparently, vinegar is highly acidic. And also, are all children’s hands covered with invisible cuts?
4. Cover the table with brown paper grocery bags, but don’t cut them up because you forgot to cover the table up until the last minute. Balance the dye-filled cups on these highly unstable surfaces for a minute before deciding to just go ahead and put the dye directly on the table.
5. Put all the other stuff that comes with the egg-dyeing kit on the table. This includes the plastic sleeves that can’t be used unless you have already boiled them onto the eggs; the stickers that can’t be put onto the eggs until after they’ve dried; and the one (again, Paas, really with the odd numbers?) “magic” crayon.
6. Forget to tell your children that the eggs will crack if dropped into the glass of dye from any distance over 1 inch. Also, scold them when they put their fingers directly into the dye to ensure the egg doesn’t drop from a distance of more than 1 inch.
7. Fail to tell them that almost any combination of colors results in brown. Refer to the color as brown, not peach.
8. Hover over the entire affair with a wet cloth, cleaning up every drop of dye as it falls onto the table.
9. Offer to let them eat one of the eggs. Neglect to mention the eggs are filled with yolk and egg white, not chocolate, and also that, in order to eat it, you need to crack open one of the newly-dyed masterpieces.
Luckily, my kids are either really good sports or have a very low threshold for what counts as fun, so they had a good time nonetheless. Now off to prepare for the Easter egg hunt…