Here Comes Peter Cottontail…Eventually

Our Easter celebration was held this past Saturday with surprisingly minimal drama.  It was the perfect gathering. Our 3pm party began with the 3:45 arrival of our family, which is early by CPT* standards. (*colored people time)

Olivia was only dropped once by my sister – who is formally on notice that whatever she does in this house will be heightened and broadcast to a wider audience.  Fortunately, “dropped” is a much more dramatic way of describing the 1-inch forward-tuck-and-roll that Olivia did onto the carpet after she jerked out of my sister’s arms.

“I do know how to hold a baby,” she said, just moments before Olivia dove for her plastic keys.

Uh huh.

At dinner, Gabe turned his nose up at the lamb, but was quite happy to gorge himself on hummus and noodles.  And Nick thoroughly enjoyed his aunt’s gluten-free chocolate cake, until little bumps appeared on his arm and we realized that the cake had coconut flakes in it.  Thank goodness for Benadryl.

By 10pm, our guests had left, the kitchen was clear, and all 3 of our precious angles were passed out in bed.  I peeked my head into each bedroom, completely and utterly in love with each child.

By 7am Sunday morning, I was over it.

The angels from last night had been replaced with Contrary, Clingy and Cranky – 3 creatures from the netherworld who were hell-bent on making sure we didn’t make it to the 10am Easter Egg Hunt. No problem, though.  If we could get through breakfast without any major meltdowns, we would still be able to make it.

Too much to ask for.

Nick is in his omniscient phase, which means that when we remind him to feed the dog, he flops to the floor wailing, “I knoooooooooowwwwwww.” Gabe, in his near-permanent position on Lori’s hip, decides to throw his support behind Nick and join the crying  – which is contagious in our house.  And Olivia is just pissed because her milk isn’t warm enough.  (How many times do I have to tell you people, body temperature!  I don’t care if it is soy formula.  Just fix it Cut to: bottle propelled across kitchen floor.)

When a message from our neighbors reminds us of the 10am start, I snap into single-word drill sergeant mode.

“Nick. Dog.  Gabe. Enough. Olivia. Chill.”

Then I read the full text of the message.  “Easter Bunny visited. Lots of eggs. Kids thrilled.  You?”

Newsflash – Apparently, the Easter Bunny is on par with Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy.  I thought the Easter Bunny only visited malls, parks and schools.  But no, it made house calls too.  I glance at the clock, then to Lori.  “I gotta put S-G-G-E in the D-R-A-Y.”

She hasn’t had her coffee yet, so she greets me with a blank stare.  “I gotta see a man about a horse,” I add, then hightail – cottontail?! – it to the mudroom to look for plastic eggs and old Halloween candy.  Outside, I haphazardly scatter eggs in bushes, trees, in plain view – anywhere that doesn’t require that my arms unfold from my chest since it’s 40 degrees, I am still in my pj’s, and I don’t wear a bra to bed.

When I get back inside, Lori has the kids calmly eating breakfast.  At my raised eyebrow, she points at the bunny ears adorning each head.  “New Shiny Thing.  Very Effective.”

“Nice. Hey guys, I just saw the Easter Bunny leave.  I think there are eggs in the backyard.”  Calm goes out the window as Nick jumps up from the table, Gabe slides from his booster, narrowly missing hitting his head, and Olivia gives one of her periodic squawks.

“Couldn’t wait the 5 minutes from them to finish,” Lori observes dryly.  I have no time for a witty retort since Nick is already out the door with his basket grabbing every egg in sight while Gabe is still one-stepping it down the back stairs.

“Save some for your brother!!!!” I yell, then I remember Olivia.  “And sister.”

“I knoooooooowwwwwwwww.”

At final count, Nick has 25 eggs, Gabe 7, Olivia 1.

When we’re finally on our way at 9:55, after tearing thru 6-month-old candy – chocolate, ok; gum, not so much – I take a good look at our ragtag crew.  Nick’s legs are ash-white from the Lotion Boycott of 2012, Gabe’s uncombed fro holds bits of breakfast from the Spring Hair Wars, and Olivia has branded Lori’s and my shirts with yellowish-white streaks thanks to the Q2 Spit-Up-On-You Summit.

We don’t reach the Easter Egg Hunt until 10:15.

Fortunately, it starts at 10am…CPT*.

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