Monday, April 02, 2007

I sure hope that the Easter Bunny has insurance

Not to mention the children.

So the weekend before Easter we take the kids to a local park for an egg hunt sponsored by some church or other (one that promises Sunday services full of "fun" and free coffee and God and everything). It's still cold despite being the last day of March, but the prospect of little plastic eggs filled with sweets helps warm us a little.

It's a madhouse. The folks running the show have set aside a large pie of ground consisting of several slices dedicated to different age groups. We decide that for our kids to have a chance they should concentrate on the slice of their actual age, which is to say the "Under 2" for Q (now at 23 months) and the "2-3 year olds" for The Boy (now pushing 4 but still, strictly speaking, 3). Good thing, because many many parents have decided that this event is some kind of measure of personal worth; failure to dominate, therefore, is not an option. My wife overhears a mom counsel her 2-3 year-old son to push other kids if necessary. And it will be necessary.

Someone dressed in a saggy bunny suit holds up a "Go!" sign in the pie's center, and the surge starts. The place is thick with fake eggs, but at least in the section that Q and I are trying to work in, the parents rush out onto the field and park themselves at the near edge instead of going in to the center. As a result, many little kids get squeezed out while adults gorge their kids' bags. I did not see one child actually pick up an egg directly from the ground — there simply was no time. Q and I only manage to snag two, and if I hadn't reached over a knot of crowd to pick those up myself she would have gone home with a big goose egg. Only after I loudly remark to my daughter that she got ripped off by absurd parents does a woman set a half-dozen of her wobbly, mute son's eggs at Q's sneakers. He had plenty to spare and can't count anyway.

These are the people we will fight for spots in good schools and who will soon start prepping their toddlers for the SAT. We just wanted some free chocolate and something to talk about over lunch.

Now we must beat them all.

1 comment:

John said...

That's crazy, isn't it? Much better to invite some friends and family over and take it private.