When Easter Egg Hunts Go Bad Blame These Parents

anal-egg-huntIs there anything more delightful and innocent than an Easter egg hunt?

The short answer is yes because I’ve been to a couple that had more in common with a mud-wrestling throw down at a bar during dollar beer night than a Springtime frolic through a meadow dotted with wildflowers, butterflies and hand dyed eggs decorated in a three-tier color motif and monogrammed with a template some crazy crafter mom downloaded off Pinterest.

My first Easter egg hunt gone bad happened in Texas on Palm Sunday when my son was just a seersucker, smocked, suit wearing toddler. The Wednesday night bible study classes had organized an after church Easter Eggstravaganza.

Eggs were spread all over the church playground and an adjoining field. When the pastor said ready, set, go, off went the kids to collect eggs. This childhood moment of bliss lasted probably about two minutes before parents got involved in the hunt.

Specifically, two dads who, apparently dismayed, by their children’s lack of egg location prowess began helping them fill their baskets. This evolved into the dads competing against each other in a race to get the most eggs.

The final “Dear God in heaven hear our prayers” moment occurred when one of the dad’s took a palm frond that had been handed out to all the kids at church because of Palm Sunday and began hitting the other dad with said frond.

Blessed be the irony because all the eggs had been filled, not with candy, but with bible verses about love.

Sadly, or if you’re me, even more delicious was an Easter egg hunt years later at a country club. The egg hunting took place on the 18th fairway and children were supposed to hunt in their age group areas in an effort to avoid having little kids competing against older kids for eggs.

All was going well until a few older kids, in a searching frenzy no doubt, ventured beyond their age boundaries. This lead to a couple of parents going ballistic (and perhaps egged on by the pre hunt Bloody Mary buffet) that their little ones were being deprived of the full egg hunt experience.

Before you could say “Hopping down the bunny trail” these parents stormed the 18th green and began an egg free for all. Not only were they grabbing eggs for their children, but they also heckled the older kids and threw in a few hip checks plus some classic tripping moves.

The kids falling alarmed some of the country club members, but not how you would think. No, the hard-core golfers got super ticked off that the melee had proceeded off the fairway and onto the green. This had several over 65 gentlemen charging the course not to protect the kids, but to save their precious golf turf.

Minutes later the area was full of parents, kids, AARP card-carrying golfers and a country club worker with a mega phone shouting that the egg hunt was O-V-E-R!

It took people threatening to call 9-1-1 and at least one promise of a lawsuit to clear the 18th hole.

So, with this in mind if you’re venturing out into the high stakes world of competitive plastic eggs collecting I urge you to beware of these types of parents.

The Kicker

This mom or dad can’t seem to stop themselves from kicking Easter Eggs their child’s way. From the toe kick that rolls the egg right to their kid’s basket to the old soccer move, the back heel, this parent will adhere to the adult “hands off” Easter Egg hunt rule by letting their feet do the dirty work.

The Screamer

These parents confuse an Easter Egg Hunt with a winner take all death match for their family’s superiority. The Screamer bellows instructions, tips and in some cases hurls verbal insults all in effort to insure their little Peter Cottontail collects the most eggs.

The Stalker

Not content to follow the rules and watch from the sidelines this parent feels the need to be their child’s shadow as they hunt for eggs. The Stalker has many varied personalities and also can turn on a dime into a Kicker and/or Screamer.

The No Fair

If it’s a competition involving their child be it a Little League game, Fourth of July bike decoration contest or Easter egg hunt this parent is going to call “No fair” over something. Usually it’s going to be that their kid was “robbed,” “shortchanged,” or “lost because the winner wasn’t following the rules.”

The Take Over

Let’s us all join hands in a moment of pity for the parents with lackluster impulse control. These adults overreact to every situation and as soon as they see their cherub is little slow on the whole egg collection concept they rush out and commander the Easter basket because nothing says good parenting like an adult tripping other children to procure a plastic egg filled with, maybe, two jellybeans.

*Attcover_1.3-2ention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

 

Dear Snarky – Competitive Easter Egg Hunting

aig1Dear Snarky,

Do you have any words of wisdom on how to keep an Easter Egg hunt family friendly? I come from a very competitive, large, family and we have a huge Easter Egg hunt every year. It was okay and kind of funny when my brothers and cousins would tackle or trip each other to get eggs before we all got married and had kids, but now it’s just dangerous and silly. How do we as a family stop the madness?

Signed, Cracked Egg

Dear Cracked,

Oh, how I can relate to this letter. We aren’t by chance related? Because my family for years had a throw down disguised as an Easter Egg hunt. It was hilarious, until as you pointed out in your letter, you add children to the mix. Now, the advice I’m about to give you is not something my family did because sadly no one in my family listens to me BUT I believe this is a solution Peter Cottontail would hop down the bunny trail for.

First, have age division and boundaries for the egg hunt. The little ones in the family can kick off the egg hunt by searching in their own area. This way the eggs are easier to find and they can run around without the fear of being accidentally knocked to the ground by Uncle Matt.

Keeping with the age theme, I would have all the adults go last and before someone says Ready, Set, Go make sure all the children are safely out of harms way. As the grown ups turn the egg hunt into a pro wrestling spectacle take joy in the knowledge that instead of putting candy in the adult eggs you have inserted fortune cookie like strips of paper that share thoughts on caring, kindness and family love. They might not take the hint but think of the fun you’ll have watching their faces as they open their eggs.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

 

Dear Snarky for Friday, April 5

dear_snarky_logo

Dear Snarky,

What would do when a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt goes bad? Our Homeowners Association held our Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday and it got ugly. There is usually one or two parents that get a little overly excited about the egg hunt, but never in my 20 years of living here have I witnessed parents, mostly dads, get what I would call very aggressive in helping their kids get eggs. We had dads shoving kids out-of-the-way so their kid could pick up an egg. Children were also tripped and we had a couple of dads that took their kids baskets, leaving their kids to watch as they, the parent, got the eggs! I’m the “special events” coordinator for the HOA, that means I plan the parties and I’m ready to suggest at the next board meeting that we stop the Easter Egg Hunt.  What would you do?

Signed, Disappointed

 

Dear Disappointed,

First, don’t take it personally. Easter Egg hunts have gotten so out of control that some communities have discontinued them. When my son was 3, two dads, (who I just want to add were also Little League coaches) almost punched each other during a – wait for it- CHURCH Easter Egg hunt where the eggs didn’t have candy in them, but bible verses! Blessed be the irony!  Sadly, this overly competitive species of dad you’re describing is here to stay and it seems they’re increasing in number. My question is where is the wife telling her husband to take a chill pill? Oh, that’s right she’s probably taking pictures of her hubs, tripping an 8-year-old, to put on her Facebook page.

I would suggest taking a year off from the hunting of eggs and have your neighbors gather for a spring party where kids can decorate an egg-shaped cookie and have every family bring a canned good for a food bank. It sounds like your HOA needs some good karma and this might just help it along.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find T-shirts, ecards for Facebook and my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.  Here’s a little ditty about it:The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.

 If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

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